Stone Mountain Lodge History
The history of the Stone Mountain Lodge property dates back to the founder of the town of Lyons (in 1880), Edward. S. Lyon. From 1890 to 1917 the property was a sanitarium called Thorncroft, and owned by Lily Lyon, the daughter of Edward S. Lyon, and her husband T. J. Thorne, the first teacher at the old Lyons School, a businessman and lawyer.
Lily Lyon and T. J. Thorne
In 1917 the property was called “Bella Vista Cottages”. It included a dining hall and catered to tourists coming to see the Rocky Mountains.
The Thorncroft Dining Hall on July 4, 1911
A portion of cabin 17 dates back to one of the original Bella Vista Cottages. Most of the cabins of Stone Mountain Lodge today were built in the 1950’s. During this time, the Pond offered trout fishing – you could take the fresh caught fish up to the on-site restaurant and have it prepared for your dinner. We have heard that nutria and snakes were also raised and sold during this time.
In the 1960’s, Stone Mountain Lodge was known as the Red Cliff Motel, when the lodge building opened.
The “Red Cliff Motel” billboard of the 1960’s
Today, Stone Mountain Lodge and Cabins brings back some of that nostalgic feeling of the 50’s and 60’s, but with updated cabins, a lot of room to roam, and the same towering red cliffs, wildlife, and views.
Peter and Mindy Makuta buy the Lodge in 1999
All the units were totally refurnished, painted and brought up to date since 1999. The Makutas have greatly enhanced the property’s natural beauty with careful landscaping in the addition of hundreds of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers.