A few weeks ago, I did a post entitled “Poudre Canyon: The Rustic House and Resort.” The Rustic was one of the earliest hotels and resorts in the upper Poudre Canyon, opening in 1880. A neighbor, the Glen Echo Resort, moved in just to its west in 1921.
Glen Echo, on land which once belonged to pioneer settler Norman Fry, was for a time the headquarters for the Racine Mining, Milling and Power Company. The property, after the Racine headquarters building had burned down, was purchased by John and Carrie Cook and H.L and Edith Harris. By 1921, it housed a small store.
The first mention I could find of Glen Echo was a two paragraph article in the December 11, 1921, Fort Collins Courier:
“Glen Echo is just the beginning of a summer resort owned by Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Harris and Mr. and Mrs. John F. Cook. They are all making their homes at Glen Echo which joins the property of the Rustic. . . . In fact, people often think Glen Echo belongs to the Rustic, as it is so near the hotel.
“Messrs. Cook and Harris are building a barn, ice house and garage for four cars. They will serve meals and rent cottages in the coming summer and run a general store at Glen Echo. It will be a pleasant place to spend a few weeks during the warm months.”
Like the Rustic, the original store was located on the north side of the road and, like the Rustic; it was moved across the road to the south side. According to Stanley Case, the original store building was hauled across the road by two teams of horses, probably in 1924 or 1925. Once in position on the east side of the canyon road, the store was joined by four rental accommodations, initially wooden platforms with tents.
The Cooks and Harris lost the property during the depression and by early 1931 Glen Echo was sold to Herman Welter, who would own it for a number of years. Welter quickly added an addition on the back of the store as his living area and painted and generally fixed up the place. He also added five rental cabins. Below is an image of Glen Echo, from this period, along with a close-up of the store and cabins.
Mark Miller was a long-time Fort Collins photographer who enjoyed working in the canyon. Many of the Poudre images we have were taken by Miller.
Below is a later Miller photograph of the resort.
As you can see, Welter has refinished the building a darker color, added a front awning, and a much bigger Glen Echo sign. Also, in much smaller letters, it says “Herman Walter’s Place” over the Glen echo sign. He now also has a gasoline pump in front of the store.
The two cars on the south side of the road are believed to be 1936 Fords, while the nearer auto is probably a 1935 Pontiac. The image is so sharp that the license plate on the Pontiac is readable. It is a 1937 Colorado plate, giving us a solid date for the photograph.
Case tells a story in his book, The Poudre: A Photo History, that Welter guaranteed that every guest would catch their limit of fish, even if he had to occasionally help. Welter was an excellent fisherman and was nicknamed “the blue heron.”
Herman Welter sold the property to Earl and Elizabeth (Dolly) Stonemets in 1946. They built a new store that completely enveloped the old store. They also put on an extension to the east. Here’s what the Stonemets’ version of the Glen Echo store looked like circa 1950.
The beautiful automobile parked at the store is a 1949 Buick Super. Below are two images of the interior, from this same period.
Unfortunately, the people in the photograph aren’t identified. Forced to guess, I would pick Earl Stonemets as the man in the tie and Dolly as the lady behind the ice cream counter. If any of you know for sure, please contact me.
The cabins, of course, were important to the success of the resort. Miller made a number of photographs of the cabins. I’ve picked two of them to share.
When Miller took this photograph, circa 1950, it was the most important and historic cabin at the resort. Notice the outhouse to the right and rear of the cabin. Called Cabin # 1, it was the Cooks’ home when they started the resort back in 1921. Around 1931, when Herman Welter added a living quarters to the back of the store, the building became a rental cabin for large parties. It served guests until 1984 when it was taken down to make room for a laundry and a recreation center.
In April 2003 the main building burned down; it was replaced a few years later and still offers a restaurant, store, cabins and campsites. Here’s a recent photograph I took of the Glen Echo store.
Centrally located on Highway 14, at almost 100 years old, Glen Echo is still serving guests visiting the Poudre Canyon. I hope the current owners, Dean & Tami Mazzuca and Dan & Denice Anderson, are planning a big celebration for 2021.