It began with a search for health.
Reginald Cusack, a doctor from Ireland, came to Colorado in 1882 seeking a healthier environment for his asthma and overall health. He eventually settled in the Wet Mountain Valley and purchased property. He first offered rest in 1885 to local miners who needed lodging by sharing his first cabin with them, which became known as "Bachelor's Rest."
Years later Reginald and his wife, Gertrude, operated a summer resort and had a regular community of family members and visitors seeking a healthier environment and restful atmosphere. The ranch was awarded its name, The Pines, in 1911.
Over the years The Pines continued to host guests as it changed ownership. It was a summer resort for visitors primarily from England and Ireland initially. Guests from nearby cities of Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver were also frequent summer visitors. Beginning in the 1980s, a local rancher's son and Vietnam veteran, Dean Rusk, turned The Pines into a dude ranch and then DIY wedding venue.
Today the ranch is used primarily to offer a restful escape especially for those in high-stress service-oriented jobs such as medical personnel, first-responders, teachers, military/veterans, and foster-adopt families. We still host weddings and family reunions, but our passion is helping the people who help others.
The "Old Lodge" was originally built in 1898 by Gertrude's future sister-in-law, Sara Isabelle "Belle" Holdsworth. She and Gertrude's brother, Vernon Urquhart, lived there for only a short time before returning to England. Reginald and Gertrude turned it into a lodge for The Pines Summer Resort, which they operated until the 1940s.
In 2021, the "Old Lodge" was nominated to be included on the National Registry of Historic Places. A new grant with History Colorado will help us determine how best to preserve this building. In coming years, the lower level will feature a museum showcasing the ranch's history as well as history of the local area. The second floor bedrooms will be used to house volunteers or other guests.
The "Old Lodge" a Dutch Colonial built in 1898.