The History of Copperline Lodge
The 6 city blocks where the CopperLine Lodge was originally built was deeded to its original owner in 1946. The 30’x30’ Lodge proper was put together, log by log, in 1954 with a floor kitchen and guest room that took up half of the ground floor, a meeting room that occupied the other half, and four evenly divided upstairs guest rooms that shared two bathrooms. Proof of the time frame is written on the second course of logs on the east wall in Gathering Room where it says in legible pencil, “Dorothy Wyers peeled this log August 1954.” (See photo)
Originally called “The Sportman’s Lodge,” the Wyers family operated it as a small hotel until they sold it to George Storer, founder of the Old Baldy Golf Club in 1963. Before that sale in 1960, the Wyers built the east wing with four more guest rooms and the west wing with three. After the sale to Old Baldy, ground crew workers and cooks who worked at the Club stayed in the Lodge until 2015—53 years—when the present owner, Dan Pont, a long time Marriage & Family Therapist with an interest in restoring old residences, purchased the property and began returning the Lodge to its original purpose.
Thanks to the Wyers and their vision when they built the facility, the Lodge was a perfect restoration project. Starting with a concrete block foundation, the stacked timber exterior walls are still in excellent condition. With a new copper roof (true to the theme), cedar siding and knotty pine tongue and groove floors throughout, plus moving a few walls and beams, the CopperLine Lodge is serving guests. They enjoy privacy, comfort, all the conveniences like hot showers, quiet rooms, TV and internet, and of course the nostalgic, rustic beauty of natural log and timber surroundings—like your grandma’s homey cabin.
Edison’s light bulb began commercial production in 1880, and the need for copper exploded over the next 20 years. Telegraph and telephone transmission lines also converted from steel to copper wire and contributed to the need for copper. So Ed Haggerty and George Ferris teamed up with investors and began exploiting a rich deposit of copper ore in the Sierra Madre Range in southern Carbon County, about 20 miles south of the CopperLine Lodge starting in 1897.
The roads were crude and often impassible with mud and snow in colder months, and even summer rains often made the mine site inaccessible. So they built 16 miles of towers and put the ore in baskets suspended on cable between the towers to move it to the smelter in Encampment. Think “ski lift.” Ore transit also included 4 miles of pipeline from the mine site to first tower where the baskets were loaded, and one stretch of the tram-line (the Copper Line) that crested the Continental Divide.
That engineering feat is commemorated by the CopperLine Lodge. Our sign out front is hanging from a scaled down replica of the towers from which the original copper line was suspended.
Meet the Owners
Dan and Nancy Pont, proprietors, are long time residents of Carbon County (and a few other interspersed places). Dan was a mental health therapist for many years, wrote Sage Advice for the Daily Times, and also started several businesses in Rawlins and Saratoga. Nancy is a long time paralegal with a nursing background and specializes in medical malpractice cases.