“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Norden in Nevada County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Hutchinson Lodge

Hwy 40 Scenic Bypass

Hutchinson Lodge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
1. Hutchinson Lodge Marker
Caption: (upper right) The picture above is a mural in Hutchinson Lodge painted by Susan Barr in 2009. It represents Summit and Hutchinson life in 1929.
Inscription.  History
Lincoln and James Hutchinson, for whom Hutchinson Lodge is named, were born in the late 1860's in San Francisco of pioneer parents. Both were educated at University of California Berkeley and Harvard. James was a charter member of the Sierra Club, founded in 1892. The brothers and their friends were avid outdoorsmen and bagged Sierra Nevada peaks in the summer and skied in the winter. They called their group "The Sierra Ski Club." Dissatisfied with existing Summit lodging, they built Hutchinson Lodge in the summers of 1924 and 1925. The lodge was constructed from rock and trees on the property following plans drawn up by group member Walter Radcliff. Initially electricity was not available and water came from a spring, was stored in a redwood tank up the hill and gravity fed to the lodge. Heat came from wood burned in an open fireplace with a huge copper hood.
By the 1950s, with the members aging and use of the lodge diminishing, the lodge and lands were given to the Sierra Club. The lodge has remained largely as constructed with a recent modest updating for comfort and safety.

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In the early years the two-lane Lincoln Highway (Historic 40) was often closed by snow for many weeks and skiers like the Hutchinson Brothers would take the night train from the San Francisco Bay Area. Arriving at Norden in the dark early morning hours, they ate breakfast with railroad men at the "Chinaman's" under the snow sheds and then hiked uphill to the lodge.

Things to do right here
During the winter's heavy snow you can cross country ski or snowshoe right out the door, or relax, read, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends. Downhill skiing is available at nearby resorts.
Spring, summer and fall provide a plethora of hiking, swimming, fishing, biking, and rock climbing opportunities.
The lodge has a capacity of 20 and can be rented by self-sufficient groups (no staff) through contact with our neighbor to the east, Clair Tappaan Lodge. The reservation number is: 800-679-6775
Erected by Donner Summit Historical Society. (Marker Number 15.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Donner Summit Historical Society series list.
Location. 39° 19.054′ N, 120° 21.188′ W. Marker is near Norden, California, in Nevada
Hutchinson Lodge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
2. Hutchinson Lodge Marker
County. Marker is on Donner Pass Road near Soda Springs Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 20850 Donner Pass Road, Soda Springs CA 95728, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Norden Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Summit Valley (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cal Lodge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tri Lodges (approx. 0.2 miles away); Clair Tappaan Lodge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Royal Gorge History (approx. ¼ mile away); Summit Valley Sheep Pens (approx. ¼ mile away); Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Road (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Norden.
Hutchinson Lodge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sierra Club
3. Hutchinson Lodge Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on February 7, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 325 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 7, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Feb. 23, 2024