Laird's Lodge Historic District

Amiable, gregarious Eli “Cap” Laird, a Lake Coeur d’Alene steamboat captain, was a well-known big game hunter in the Idaho panhandle and western Montana by the time he built Laird’s Lodge and cabins between 1927 and 1935. Never a true “dude ranch” in that guests did not participate in the chores, it was built specifically as a tourist retreat with recreational offerings from the strenuous to the relaxing. Laird advertised the area as “chuck-full o’ hush” at a time when tourism was still an infant industry here. His own designs for the buildings are in the deliberately “Rustic” log-and-stone style popular in western resorts from the 1910s into the 1940s, what visitors expected as part of an “Old West” experience based on Hollywood images rather than on actual frontier architecture. Laird further chose cabin names such as “Round-up,” “Stampede,” and “Lariat” to emphasize his theme. In the 1930s, he added modern amenities, including electricity generated by a paddle wheel in the river. After Laird died during World War II, his wife sold the property and it continued as the Diamond L-Bar Ranch, after the Lairds’ original stock brand, until 1968. During the 1970s, the lodge and cabins were sold to separate private owners.

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Lindbergh Lake, Seeley Lake, Montana ~ Private