Way Back When: Mesa Lakes Resort

PHOTOS SPECIAL TO THE SENTINEL/Priscilla Mangnall collection Mesa Lakes Resort prior to 1933.

Mesa Lakes Resort, taken sometime after 1933.

Clipping from the Friday, March 14, 1924 Daily Sentinel.

Spring fever has hit me hard and I am anxious to head to the hills. Grand Mesa is on the top of my list not only because of its cool, green serenity but because a great deal of my life’s history has taken place up there.

I’m sharing some photos from my collection in this column.

Mesa Lakes Resort has been around for nearly 100 years, in one form or another. In the photo of the little boy by the fountain, you can see a couple sitting on the porch. On the wall behind them is a sign, advertising Velvet Ice Cream, the precursor to what is Enstrom Candies today. Chet and Vernie owned a cabin at the resort.

The other sign is advertising the boat rentals that an article from a 1924 edition of The Daily Sentinel tells us about.

Mesa Lakes also sold White Eagle Gasoline, as evidenced by the white milk glass eagles on the overhang over the gas pump.

Roy Russell Sisac and Lysle Foster were the original owners of the resort. Foster was R. R.‘s brother-in-law and they built their first cabin at the site in 1919. The fountain was erected in 1933 as a memorial to Ida Lee Foster Sisac, Roy’s wife, who died suddenly of acute appendicitis.

The fountain survived the fire that leveled the second lodge that Roy’s son Russell and wife Edith built in 1954. Harold Harvey owned the lodge when it was destroyed by fire, but the memorial fountain survived until 2012 when new owners replaced it with a fire pit. The Sisacs sold Mesa Lakes Resort in 1968. Their son Robert, or Bob as most of us know him, opened Board & Buckle with his wife Alice in 1971. His cousin, Kent Foster, still works at the bike and ski shop on North Avenue.

The new owners have renamed Mesa Lakes Resort. It’s now Mesa Lakes Lodge, but it’s still a stopping point for fishermen to grab a hamburger or for tourists that want to rent one of the original rustic cabins.

But even as things change, one thing remains the same, Grand Mesa.


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