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    Historical Timeline

    1890s. John Nelson built a hotel (where the current Camp Nelson Lodge now stands) next to his cabin.

    1892. Nelson packed Governor Henry Markham and soon-to-be mayor of Los Angeles, Henry Rose. They were said to be the first paying guests at Camp Nelson.

    This historical timeline of Camp Nelson Lodge is taken from "The Tule River Middle Fork and Its People" by Malcolm Sillars. To purchase a copy of this book, contact Jeri Roberts at jeri@ocsnet.net.1906. Either John Nelson or Charles Smith built a larger hotel in front of the orginal one.

    1927. Nelson's cabin and the original hotel burned. Smith immediately began rebuilding what is today the Lodge.

    1937. After the Dance Hall was destroyed in a snow storm, the lodge began hosting community dances. Dean and Mary McComber bought the 140 acres of Camp Nelson that included the Lodge, the store, bar and pool hall, the cabins, the meadow, and the pack station at Quaking Aspen from Charles and Emma Smith.

    1937–1952. The McComber years were socially active, despite the fact that these were depression and war years. Tuesday night was family night dinner at the Lodge. Wednesday nights were bonfires and talent shows. One night was for square dancing in the Lodge for kids and adults. Thursdays were dessert and bridge days. Saturday night was dance night for adults and kids over 16.

    1952. The McCombers sold the Lodge and other properties to Wy and Thelma Grier. The Griers added the coffee shop at the west end, the bar at the east end, and the motel behind the Lodge.

    1971. Swartzwelder Investment Co. bought Camp Nelson Lodge and brought in Bill and Esther Perrotta to run it. 

    1976–1979. The Civil War Re-Enactment Society staged Civil War skrimishes in the Nelson Meadow with a southern buffet and a "Blue and Grey" ball at the Lodge.

    1980. In December it was announced that Nelson Creek Inn, as the then current owners called it, would close on January 5, 1981, and remain closed until development problems were resolved.

    1981. Shirley and Jim Cox turned over the management of the Lodge to Floyd and Nila Pickard, local residents of the Furguson Drive area.

    1982. The Buckley Group took over the Lodge and Judy Hahn operated it for the remainder of that season and then closed it again.

    1988. After some complicated financial dealings, bankruptcy, and the failure of American Federal Financial, the property and business was sold to Jim and Bonnie Hood on June 23. Later that year, on Thanksgiving Day, the renovated Camp Nelson Lodge was officially reopened to the public.

    1990. The Lodge closes once again.

    1997. Jim Hood deeded the Lodge to his attorney, Philip Bourdette. Ron Peterson, who held the mortgage on the Lodge, foreclosed and won the proceedings. Ron Peterson sold the Lodge to Steven Huth and Mike Quatacker. The Lodge and motel were then sold to Len Aten. Aten held a few conferences and special events in the Lodge, but it was never open to the general public. 

    2006. On August 13, Aten sold the Lodge to David and Gail Jackson.

    2007. After some remodeling, David and Gail Jackson reopened Camp Nelson Lodge.