LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Crews tore down what was left of a damaged historic Colorado ranch lodge on Friday.

“This was first built in the 1920s,” said Jessup Lodge owner Susan Jessup.

Last September’s floods destroyed the guest Lodge At Sylvan Dale Ranch near the Big Thompson Canyon in Loveland.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Because rushing water ruined more than 50 percent of the building, Jessup was told she could not rebuild.

It was an emotional scene on Friday as crews tore down the lodge.

“When you lose so much you wonder whether you can move forward,” said Jessup.

Inside the lodge the Jessup family hosted many events including wedding ceremonies.

“What happened inside these walls was a lot of joy, a lot of people coming together and just enjoying each other, place and the facility that it provided,” said Jessup.

Guests started signing the walls of the lodge decades ago and it became a tradition among those staying at the lodge to leave a little bit of themselves.

Guests would sign the walls of the Jessup Lodge at Sylvan Dale Ranch in Estes Park (credit: CBS)

Guests would sign the walls of the Jessup Lodge at Sylvan Dale Ranch in Estes Park (credit: CBS)

Barb Jepson, a long-time employee at Sylvan Dale Ranch, said she has fond memories of the guest lodge and that she can still smell the cinnamon rolls once baked there.

“Always warm and always smelled good… This was a place where people got together to laugh and talk and share things,” said Jepson.

After last fall’s devastating flooding, the Jessups had to close the ranch and let workers go.

But some have stuck around to offer support.

“It will be different, our first step is to survive and then thrive,” said Jessup.

On Saturday volunteers plan to help remove debris to clear the way for a new building.

Jessup plans to build a new events lodge and open the ranch for business to guests on June 1 for the first time since the flooding in September 2013.


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