Longs Peak Inn

A native of Fort Scott, Kansas, Enos Abijah Mills first came to Estes Park at the age of fourteen. In 1901, he negotiated with Carlyle Lamb for the purchase of Longs Peak Inn. Finally in 1902, Mills bought the Lamb property. His summers were busy; his business became a success. Having that lodge also allowed this budding naturalist to offer his own ideas about how Longs Peak and this region could be presented to visitors. Mountain climbing, hiking, viewing birds or beavers, or merely getting alone with nature, could all start at his doorstep. "They need the temples of the gods," said Mills of his urban visitors, "the forest primeval, and the pure flower-fringed brooks." Tending Longs Peak Inn (and rebuilding it after a fire in 1906) meant that Mills no longer returned to work as a miner each winter. Instead, he took a job with Colorado's Irrigation Department as its "Snow Observer." Tales of his adventure in the wilderness delighted every audience.

In the summer of 1916, Elizabeth and Esther Burnell came to Estes Park to stay at the Longs Peak Inn. In 1918, Esther Burnell married Enos Mills and helped him operate the Longs Peak Inn. After Mills' unexpected death in 1922 she continued to run the inn and promote her husband's writings for more than 20 years.

Credits and Sources:

“People.” National Park Service: Rocky Mountain, Colorado. History & Culture. Accessed May 31, 2013. http://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/historyculture/people.htm

“Rocky Mountain National Park: A History. Chapter 5: For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.” National Park Service. Park History Program. Accessed May 31, 2015. http://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/romo/buchholtz/chap5.htm

“Rocky Mountain National Park: A History. Chapter 6: Paradise Founded.” National Park Service. Park History Program. Accessed May 31, 2015. http://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/romo/buchholtz/chap6.htm