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Old Trapper's Lodge

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John Ehn had been a trapper before moving to California and opening a motel in 1941. He hired a sculptor to make a huge statue of a trapper to publicize the Lodge. Seeing the sculptor at work was training enough for him and he set to work in the mid-1950s transforming the front yard into a history of the Old West with cowboys, cowgirls, gunslingers, Indians and a Boot Hill graveyard. He spent the last 30 years of his life building the statues, using life masks of family members for the faces. The motel office was filled with Western memorabilia, weaponry and pelts. The front of the building was covered with tools.

After Ehnís death in 1981 (at age 84), the family sold the property to make way for airport expansion. Although his creations were declared a California state cultural landmark in 1984, bulldozers leveled the Lodge in the late 1980s and the statues were endangered. The main sculptures, signs and tombstones were relocated to Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA by the SPACES organization. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3.

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