Nestled in the pines at an elevation of 7755 feet, the historic Bears Inn is located 3 miles south of Evergreen and 30 miles west of Denver in the small community of Marshdale Park.
The town of Evergreen was given its name because of the area's forests in 1875. Ute, Arapahoe, & Sioux Indians inhabited this area & many of our improved roads are also old Indian trails.
The earliest white settlers were fur trappers & traders and French-Canadian lumbermen followed.
In the 1930's & 40's Evergreen was one of the most popular resort areas in the Rockies . Located in beautiful Bear Creek canyon surrounding Evergreen Lake (completed in 1928), it is truly an artist's masterpiece. Originally there were five resorts in the Evergreen community. However, the Bears Inn, formerly part of the Marshdale Lodge Resort, holds the distinction as Evergreen's oldest resort with continuous guest operations.
Marshdale Park came into existence in 1923 after Dr. Wilbur Marsh, a prosperous Denver dentist, purchased 165 acres from patient, Richard Hobbs. Mary Marsh, Dr. Marsh's wife, immediately built a tea room where travelers could stop by for a cool drink, sandwich or a full meal. The Marshdale Lodge continued to expand into a large dining room & twelve upstairs sleeping rooms evolved. Dr. Marsh employed a local carpenter who built a couple of cabins each winter. Dr. Marsh went on to sell the cabins the following summer, while retaining twelve of them as part of the Resort.
The Marshdale Annex (now the Bears Inn) was built in 1928 to add more overnight accommodations to the original Lodge. The Marshes continued operation of the resort until 1948 when Dave & Florene Eads of Topeka , Kansas , purchased the property & operated it as a ranch resort with horses located in the adjoining meadows. Recreational activities included horseback riding, chuckwagon barbecues, hayrides, steak fries, badminton & horseshoes. Guests also enjoyed square dancing & playing cards in the Lodge.
In 1968 the Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra made the resort their summer home. Young musicians from around the world rehearsed & performed numerous outdoor concerts at the resort. The CPO remained at the resort until they moved to Breckenridge and became the National Repertoire Orchestra in 1990.
A series of three owners occupied the property between 1990 & 2002 when current owner, Vicki Bock, purchased the Inn . Until then the two buildings had operated as one property & only during the summer months.
Vicki has maintained the structural integrity & charm of the building while updating it for the contemporary traveler. The Inn features modern plumbing & electrical systems, decks, patios, an outdoor hot tub, & two outdoor gas campfires. Nearly all the rooms have been redecorated with Vicki's collection of antiques & mementos from her extensive travels. The two bedroom cabin, where the Marshes originally lived, has also been updated & is now available for guests, as well as the entire Inn .