Origins of the Lodge at Palmer Lake - The Biles Family Story

Grandpa and Grandma were driving by Palmer Lake one day when he spotted a grassy hillside and made the remark "I'd like to have a cabin right there". Grandma said "Why don't you?". So they acquired the property from Mr. Buckles and planned to build the following year. But fate had other plans and Grandpa died on October 26, 1932. It was a terrible loss for the family and had come so unexpectedly - just a few days in the hospital and he was gone to be with the Lord. He was buried in Tumwater, Washington where he had his beginnings. The next spring the decision was made to go ahead with the summer place Grandpa had wanted. When Grandma started drawing up the plans, each of her family asked her to put on a room for them resulting in a large building. It consisted of a huge two story living room surrounded by nine bedrooms and a bath and shower and on the outside a screened porch. To top this off was an enourmous room built for a recreation hall - pool and ping-pong tables. In spite of its size, the three story building was always referred to as "The Cabin"...

Brownie Braun and his father did the rock work for the three story fireplace, Charlie Palmer forged the oversized andirons and fire tongs, also the heatilators. Ross McNett drew up the plans and supplied the many men from the mill that put together the pine panelled building. Through the years it became the gathering place of relatives and friends from far and near...Grandma was a gracious hostess and people loved to come there. Numerous clubs and organizations held yearly parties and weekends at the Cabin...lots of memories of that place. Every Easter the family would gather there for a celebration of spring and on July 4 the beach was lined with the clan celebrating the day with fireworks in the evening darkness over the water.

Dad Hays entered the scene for an important role in the landscaping. He had been an Alaskan gold miner - now retired and a terrific taffy maker as old and young in the valley could verify. He came to live in the little cabin that was built on the beach and proceeded to build the many rock walls that kept the side hills in place. Dad Hays was known and loved by all.

Mr. Buckles, another colorful older man, owned the property to the north and had sold to Grandma the three acres for The Cabin, became part of our lives too. He raised a fine garden and his melons were excellent. A good and loyal neighbor always.

Grandma did beautiful handwork and always had some kind of it going. She could knit, crotchet, make all the kinds of quilts, rugs, bedspreads, tablecloths and many other items. Another thing she had a fondness for was detective stories. Between Solitaire and solving those mysteries, and the handwork Grandma was a very busy lady. Between she and Dad Hays a beautiful garden setting was created all around the place, plus a vegetable garden with everything including an asparagus patch. That area grew the best tomatos, melons and berries! Of all these accomplishments I really believe she excelled at being a hostess. She was one of a kind. Grandma spent her summers at The Cabin and her winters elsewhere - every spring she could hardly wait to get back up there.