Thursday, October 3, 2013

Those Places Thursday: Grand Lake, Colorado, 1954

This past Sunday, I posted some photos from my parents' honeymoon in Colorado in September, 1954.  One photo was of my dad sitting on the porch of a cabin, taken from inside the cabin.  Here's another view of him on the porch, showing the cabin itself:

My parents knew that the cabin was in Grand Lake, Colorado, but they couldn't remember exactly where or what resort it was on.  The only clue we had was in the photo itself.  You can see the word "Nakoni" on a sign on the front of the cabin above.

I did some Internet searches for "Nakoni" and "Grand Lake" and "Colorado," with no luck.  My searches DID bring up the Grand Lake Area Historical Society.  They provided an e-mail address, so I sent in the photos from last week and the photo above, and asked if they recognized it.  Here is their (quick!) reply (the links were added by me):

Thank you for sharing the pictures of your parents' honeymoon in Grand Lake. The Nokoni Cottage was part of the Rhone cabins.  I am attaching a map of the lodging the Rhones offered along the shore of Grand Lake. They also operated the Corner Cupboard restaurant which was a very popular place on Grand Avenue.  That building and many of the cabins have been removed.  The location of the cabin Nokoni is now close to where the Western Riviera motel is located.  It is one block west of the Kauffman House museum.
Kathleen Means
Collections Manager
Grand Lake Area Historical Society

Kathy also said she believes the map pictured below dates from the 1950s, and she gave me permission to use it here on my blog:

Mom and Dad said they remembered spending 2 -4 nights here.  They remembered walking from their cabin to the dining room at the Corner Cupboard restaurant.  One morning, it was so cold that a sprinkler left on overnight had formed ice crystals.  They also remember walking around the lake (probably not ALL the way around; it's a pretty big lake) and taking a canoe trip on it.  They remember that it was the end of the season and there were very few people in the other cabins (this would have been the latter half of September 1954, when kids were back in school).  They said they did not have reservations; they just drove into town that day and asked (probably at the Corner Cupboard) if there were any cabins available.  As you can see from the map above (in the lower left corner), Nokoni was right on the water.  The area looks very different today.

The Corner Cupboard dates back to about 1919.  I found a reference to it in a 1919 National Park Service book on General Information Regarding Rocky Mountain National Park, available online:

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.


  1. This is just such a great story and the slides are so clear and colorful. And you go and find the history and marketing really are "Sleuth Extraordinaire" What a great post thanks Amanda !