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A 1935 article, "Ski Heil!", by Joel H. Hilderbrand describes how a couple of dozen ski enthusiasts hired a bus to come up to Soda Springs in February 1934 and stayed in an abandoned railroad station for two days of skiing. They wished they had their own lodge like the Parsons Lodge in Tuolumne Meadows. Architect, Walter Ratcliff, was one of the party and offered to design a lodge. A subscription list was started and a 99 year lease on the property was obtained from the Forest Service.

The lodge was started in 1934 and finished in 1935. It was named after Clair S. Tappaan (1878-19320, a Superior Court judge from Los Angeles, who was on the Sierra Club board of directors from 1912 until his death.

In 1925 the Hutchinson brothers got a group of fellow Sierra Nevada lovers together, calling themselves the Sierra Ski Club, to build the Hutchinson Lodge on land they bought, which included property up to Boreal Ridge.

In 1955, the Sierra Ski Club, whose members were aging decided to discontinue the club. The group included many Sierra Club members and they decided to give the land and Hutchinson lodge to the Sierra Club.

In 1979, the Sierra Club traded the land behind the Hutchinson Lodge to the Forest Service for the land they were leasing. One of the conditions of the sale was that they buy the land leased by the Cal Lodge, the Hidelman Lodge (the German club) and the Rose family cabin and sell it to each of them for $1.

Some of the land is still leased from the forest service.

clair tappaan lodge, Rose family cabin, Hutchinson Lodge, Cal Lodge, Hidelman Lodge, German club

History page at the CTL page
Donner Lodges

Source: Sierra Club documents and Herb Holden, former CTL manager.

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last updated 16 July 2007