In 1903, Pell Jones, who ran the Elk Lake operation from 1881 to 1910, began work on the construction of a new lodge. The project took several years to complete. Among those who pitched in to help, according to family lore, was my grandfather, Bernard Ernst, who participated in the building of the chimney.
One unusual feature of this building (the current lodge) is the use of vertical rather than horizontal logs, which can be seen in the living room. On the outside, the logs were hidden by shingles put in place at a later date for extra weather proofing. In restoring the lodge we found the original oakum, which is a 19th century mix of traditional untwined hemp, horse hair, and tar used for chinking wooden boats and log cabins.
This winter, the lodge underwent a major re-construction and preservation. The work was done by the masterful Shawn Casey's High Peaks Builders company under a tenting of plastic sheeting supported by a wood super-structure. This enabled workers to be protected from a severe winter in a heated environment. The upper story lodge rooms gained a higher ceiling and dormers with additional windows, new heating/air conditioning, and a sprinkler system. The old chimney my grandfather helped build was re-pointed and completely rebuilt with the original stones by Thomas Maliniak Senior and Junior.
Every effort was made in design and construction to retain the original look of the building, and although long-term guests will notice differences, the bones and details are the same as they were over a hundred years ago.