Saturday, October 6, 2007

Kennedy Meadows

Fire Destroys Historic Lodge In Tuolumne County

Kennedy Meadows Lodge

The plaque was taken just two weeks ago when we spent part of our day here. In 1943 this lodge was burned accidently by a marine corp and rebuilt in the summer of 1944.

String of Packs (I bought this card for my step dad to be framed).

I recently visited the Kennedy Meadows Lodge while we camped at Dardanells two weeks ago. The lodge burned to the ground early Monday taking a chunk of history with it and threatening a way of life that has existed in the high country since World War 1 still raged. The blaze began in the lodge, which housed the restaurant and grocery store. Kennedy Meadows holds so many memories for me. When I was a teenager, my family would go camping there. My step dad would ride his horse there. My little sister Kiersten and I would pick daisies there and make daisy crowns to adorn our heads. All of us kids would go get a ice cream or some kind of treat and watch the cowboys and girls saddle up their horses and get ready for their rides.

Jeff Jardine from the Modesto Bee mentioned that the "Kennedy's pack station remains open as deer hunters comb the back country in search of a four-pointer.

His artical also mentioned that Kennedy's Lodge was built a long time ago. They didn't use any drywall. It was all plywood, with shingles on the side walls. There weren't any summer rains at all either. It was like a tinderbox. Even if there's a new lodge in place by the end of next summer, the sense of loss will be felt by anyone who ever vacationed there, stayed in the cabins, ate in the restaurant or shopped in the store. The vintage photos of the high-country lakes, the bridges and the area's namesake, Andrew Kennedy, throughout the restaurant and resort office might be impossible to replace. It will be missed by generations of families who took their first trail ride or pack trip from the stables behind the old lodge. It will no longer serve as a backdrop for the meadow alongside the Stanislaus River's main fork, where generations have picnicked, barbecued and listened to cowboy poetry. The good news is that the bar is still there. The Last Chance Saloon, about 20 yards away, is the last over-the-counter whiskey or beer before you head into the back country can be bought, escaped the destruction. Kennedy Meadows became a destination even before it was a resort and pack station leading to that pristine playground known as the Emigrant Wilderness."

I could just go on and on about the history this lodge holds. The stories are countless, there are so many.

This makes me sad. I am in shock to hear this. It is gone. We were just there. I walked around and took pictures, bought a Kennedy Meadows Sweatshirt, and two cards to be framed for my step dad. We went into the restaurant, bar and checked out the lodge for the possibility of a future stay.

You just never know...
this just makes me sick.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear of the fire. It brings it home to you when you saw it so recently. We've had a fire of our own here, a local church. It looks as if it was arson, you wouldn't believe how law and order is breaking down here. It was a lovely stone church. The tower and clock still survive, the stain glass windows, roof and interior are gone. Luckily it wasn't one of our older churches (1850's), hopefully it will be rebuilt.
    Are they going to rebuild the lodge?

  2. Oh Angela: What a horrible shock! I hate fires. Like the one that gutted the home I was born in. Fire like cancer..ruins everything thing it touches.
    I'm so sorry you won't be able to go back again to enjoy it. Will they replace it, do you think?

  3. That is a huge shame as the picture of it looks like such a nice place to go. I can just imagine your sorrow over this.

    The photo of the horses is so beautiful...or the post card whatever you said it is...

    At least if it is rebuilt, then you can make new memories there and hold the older ones in your heart.


  4. Angela this is awful. I am saddened that this piece of history is gone. I got goose bumps reading about the history of the place, even if it is rebuilt it can never be replaced.
    That you have such fond memories of it is wonderful, at least you have that.

  5. Oh that's awful. I'm glad you have a way to remember it.

  6. That is, indeed, sad news. I read the post, and that was brilliant but in the end -- sad too. I like your photos and postcards.

    Nice post.

    Thanks for your visits.

  7. OH how sad Angela.
    Nothing can take it's place now. At least you have your memories. Nothing can take those.

  8. wow that is shocking! Kait was there camping in June! your right you never know.
    I hope that somehow they will rebuild this they must a lot of families go camping there every year.

    love you

  9. Oh no!! How sad! I loved that place. What sad news.....

  10. oh that is so sad ... so sorry honey, xox