The Hayden Cabin/Mammoth Museum is celebrating the historic century of tourism in the Lakes Basin during its three big summer events.
Summer visitors started recreating here early in the 20th century, following wagon-era roads dating from the mining boom of 1877-1881. These roads were gradually improved for automobile use, and resorts and family cabins began springing up.
Tamarack Lodge, Wildyrie, Crystal Crag Lodge and Twin Lakes Store, Woods Lodge, Lake Mary Store and Pokonobe, were built from the 1920s-1950s. Each lodge has a continuous history and has hosted generations of family visitors.
Beyond the resort lodges, private family cabins sprouted in the Lakes Basin. Of these, some 120 remain standing today. Built on Forest Service land, most of them date to the Roaring Twenties and extend up to the late 1950s when the practice ceased.
A new exhibition depicting the history of the Lakes Basin is now on display at the Hayden Cabin/Mammoth Museum. Curator Mark Davis contrasts two large maps that show the area before (1924) and after (1939) the construction of State Highway 203 in 1937.
For the third summer, free Jazz at the Hayden Cabin brought together musicians from Mammoth Jazz Jubilee on July 11 and 12.
An enduring highlight of summer is the Country Western Dance and BBQ held at the Cabin. Derik Olson’s Cross Country Band will set feet tapping until people jump onto the dance floor for a rollicking good time. It’s a family affair with irresistible BBQ and side dishes. (July 28)
The annual Old Timer’s BBQ is always a memorable time, when old timers come and share their stories of the old days in Mammoth—this year, look for tales about the beginnings of packing and ranching here. (Aug. 25)
The Hayden Cabin Historical Museum is tucked into a bend in Mammoth Creek, off Old Mammoth Road. For more information call 760.934.6918. -Diane Eagle