Historical Trivia

Grand Lake Colorado History

Original Packing Box with Joh Lapsley Ish’s name

Grand Lake Colorado History – Rapids Trivia

* Orginal packing boxes, used by John Lapsley Ish when he arrived in Grand Lake, Colorado, were used to build the Rapids Lodge. One of these wooden boxes with Ish’s name printed on it is still visible in a storage room in the restaurant.

* “The Lodge” has had approximately 30 owners. Our colorful history includes gambling, prostitution and bootleg liquor … perhaps this explains the frequent ghost sightings”. Taken from the Historic Walking Tour Guide of Grand Lake, Colorado (available in local stores).

* In the 1950’s The second floor of the historic building was a casino and the 3rd floor was a brothel. There was an emergency buzzer located under the front desk, so that folks upstairs could be alerted when the law stopped in. On hearing the buzzer, staff and guests cleared the building via the back doors. When some remodeling was done the slot machines were buried behind the Rapids Suites Building and are still there today.

* During the 60’s Jim Croce, Kris Kristofferson and Janis Joplin all played at the Rapids when the restaurant area was a thriving Honky Tonk bar. The Kingston Trio and The Everly Brothers entertained here too!

* In summer, the Rapids hydro-electric slough (from the “overshot” water wheel in the Tonahutu River) can still be seen under the bridge to the North of the Rapids Lodge.

* There is a friendly old lady that wanders the corridors, moves and hides items and opens and closes doors. She used to drink a bit they say and one day her husband just disappeared and was never found. Some say they have seen him too.

* If you would like to learn more about Grand Lake Colorado History, please visit the Kauffman House Museum right off of Main Street.