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Post by wangrong on Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:40 am

The house and hotel were on the east side of the old turnpike; a 100-acre (40 ha) field on the other side of the road had a small herd of milk cows and a vegetable garden to provide for the guests' needs. The field also had a rifle range and a nine-hole golf course. Guests could enjoy tennis and croquet, and a lawn stretched from the house east to the lake, which offered boating and bathing. There was an outlook point 0.5 miles (0.8 km) southwest of the house, and Ricketts built a 40-foot (12 m) observation tower at the highest point on North Mountain, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south. After the first tower collapsed, he built a 100-foot (30 m) replacement, and named the site Grand View.[26]
Ricketts was a lumberman who made his fortune clearcutting nearly all his land, but no logging was allowed within 0.5-mile (0.8 km) of the lake,[27] and the glens and their waterfalls in the state park were "saved from the lumberman's axe through the foresight of the Ricketts family".[28] One hemlock tree cut near the lake to clear land for a building in 1893 was 6 feet (1.8 m) in diameter and 532 years old.[27] The North Mountain House hotel was threatened by a forest fire in 1900; the subsequent loss of much of the surrounding old-growth forest led to decreased numbers of hotel guests. Changing tastes may have also played a role in the decline in popularity; the hotel had over 150 guests in August 1878, but only about 70 guests in August 1894.[29]

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