See Full Photo Gallery at Bottom of Page
The Antlers Ranch was homesteaded by Teresa Stanfield, an early self-reliant pioneer woman, who acquired a patent to the land in 1898. The parcel was described by John La Font in his book, Homesteaders of the upper Rio Grande, as, “the pocket of land in the big bend of the river five miles south west of Creede.” It was known then and is still described on maps as “Antlers Park”. Stanfield and her family built the original lodge building, which is the office, gift shop and restaurant building today.
Not long after, the property was acquired by the Weaver family, who began operating it as a tourist resort with a dining room in the lodge building. The resort was described by La Font as, “one of the liveliest, busiest and prettiest tourist resorts in the community.” The picture at the right shows a man on a raft in the pond at Antlers Park Resort during the Weaver’s ownership. The old motel style building can be seen at the right of the picture. It was believed that Nicholas Creede had wintered at Antlers Park while prospecting in the area the year before he made his famous strike that sparked the Creede Silver boom. Nicholas Creede’s prospector cabin can be seen over the man’s shoulder to the left. It is made of rough-hewn aspen logs, much as you might imagine such a cabin would be constructed. The cabin remained an attraction to tourists for many years and was one of Antlers rental cabins, but unfortunately it was lost sometime in the 1960’s.
By the 1920’s the property was acquired by Charles Heinz and continued to be operated under the name “Antlers Park Resort.” Photo’s here show the lodge building built by the original homesteaders along with the original hotel style building and the dance hall down the river built by the Weavers. What is now the lodge front yard and the parking lot was then a large vegetable garden. The old bridge can be seen in the photo of the rear of the lodge building. Guests relax on the porches of the hotel and the lodge and enjoy the river out back, much as guests do today.
Antlers was acquired by a group out of Texas and James Davis and his wife Nell were the on site proprietors. James “Jimmie” Davis still lives in his home just south of the Antlers property. Jimmie and his group built the current motel style building and the Six big cabins on the river. The beautiful and very accurate painting to the right by Nash is dated 1982. It hangs in Antlers lodge game room. It shows the old lodge looked much as it did in the 1890’s and the new motel building and three of the six river front cabins built by Davis. The four mountain view cabins and the three across the river dating to the early 1900’ s can be seen in the painting much as they had existed for 90 some years and very much as they appear today. The topography of the cliffs and the Bristol Head Mountain are very accurate and suggest the painting is an authentic representation of how Antlers looked at the time.
Today Antlers cabins and rooms have been, renovated and updated and many amenities have been added by owners, Chuck and Patti Powers, while maintaining the original old western charm that has made it a destination resort for over 100 years.
Historic Photo Gallery
This picture was given to Antlers by an 80 year old guest. It shows him playing in front of a cabin across the river on a trip with his family when he was a boy. Antlers guests may travel the world, but they find time to return where it just feels like home.
Bridge over the Rio Grande
Antlers Rio Grande Lodge ~ 1990's
Mom at the Antlers Lodge