By Bill Pumford, Image from Duane Banner Collection
TITLE: DEER LODGE PARK – FORWARD TO TODAY: This week’s image shows the interior of the Dance Pavilion from the late 1920’s with couples enjoying one of the frequent dances held there. The most intriguing plan for Deer Lodge Park was for the creation of a lake by damming Grass Valley Creek which then could be used by the property owners for fishing and water sports. The proposed lake would also have included a clubhouse. Construction of the dam began in 1924 but was never completed, believed to be due to lack of funding as the country headed into the Depression. In 1932 Edison extended an electricity line to Deer Lodge Park to provide service to the 40 cabins present at the time. However, it was not always a bucolic setting. A big snowstorm in 1932 stranded some 15 people, including an 81-year-old man, which may have gone unnoticed longer except for Art Olson wading out in waist-deep snow to get help. In the mid-1930’s a heavy snowstorm collapsed the roof of the Dance Pavilion and soon thereafter the Lodge burned, leaving just some framing. The Lodge was located between Rockridge Road and Manzanita Way. Several of the street names in Deer Lodge Park reflect the early people that had significant impact on the community. These street names include Olsen (misspelled), Buckles, Krause, and Culbertson. Grass Valley Creek and canyon, comprising some 160 acres, was eventually sold to a nature conservancy. The Banners have had a great deal of involvement in Deer Lodge Park. Carol Banner was the secretary for the Deer Lodge Park Property Owners Association for more than 50 years and her husband, Duane Banner, spent a great deal of time grading and plowing the roads within the Park. Deer Lodge Park continues to be a vibrant community of about 150 homes.