Sunday, September 11, 2016

Rim Rock Lodge, Its History and Future

 Geoff Ziebart presented the program "Rim Rock Lodge, Its History and Future" to an audience of 95 people at the Spearfish Area Historical Society on Sept 6, 2016.  This was the kick-off program for the 2016-2017 season.
     The land in Spearfish Canyon where Rim Rock Lodge is located was initially a mining claim by Marcus Edgerton.  Marcus moved on from mining and became the first clothier in Spearfish.   Edgerton built a cabin on the site in 1919.   He sold the land and cabin to Margaret Bridge, Dean of Black Hills Normal, for $1 in 1932.
     Even though it was the middle of the Great Depression, Margaret immediately hired Fred W and Fred E Shields to build six cabins, a 3-story lodge and a restaurant on the site.  The Spearfish Canyon railroad was washed out by a flood that same year, but Margaret kept going, completing the construction in 1934.  She started a Boys & Girls Camp at Rim Rock in conjunction with another camp called Lapped Circle Ranch (location unknown).   Margaret was also known in the area for
holding birthday parties for 80 year olds at the cabin in Spearfish Park.  Margaret died in 1994 at age of 57.
    There have been many owners since:  Willard Crane in 1944, Donald Hair in 1948, Bruce Yarborough in 1952, Benjamin Sprecher in 1955, Esa Haataja in 1970, and Walt Ziebart in 1977.   In Feb 2015, Geoff and Lori Ziebart secured the family business and have done extensive renovation to the cabins and 6.25 acre property.   Rim Rock Lodge is open from mid-June to mid-Sept.  See more on their website
    When asked about any memories from Rim Rock Lodge, SAHS members recounted enjoyable stays at Rim Rock Lodge, the tasty pancakes and oatmeal cooked by Mrs. Ziebart, the mountain goats on the rimrock, and the 1950's square dancing by musician Glenn Yarborough.