Rustic rock fireplaces in the mountain regions of the Great American West are timeless and pay homage to the hardy spirit and rugged determination of the explorers, trailblazers and settlers that went before us. Inspired by the majesty of the mountains, rustic lodges and resorts with massive
stone hearths were crafted from the mighty timber and stones found along their rugged slopes . . . . .
Old Faithful Inn Pictured Above
A microcosm of the majesty and grandeur of the mountains from which they arise, western rock fireplace designs tend to be monumental in scale.
From the booming Industrial Revolution of the 19th century emerged a rapidly rising middle class. No longer the exclusive domain of the wealthy, travel and leisure -- spurred on by the rapid expansion of the railroads -- was available to nearly everyone.
Entrepreneurs seeking to capitalize on the economic boom developed magnificent lodges and resorts to cater
to the influx of vacationers and tourists. Rugged and rustic in appearance -- constructed of native logs and
timber -- the lodges and resorts belied the luxurious accommoda-
tions and service found within!
The Old Faithful Inn, opened in 1904 in Yellowstone National Park, was
one of the outstanding resort developments of the period. Colored post-
cards such as the one pictured above were created to promote the re-
sort and to attract visitors. The photos that follow show some of the
early guests outside the Inn during the emerging years of the 20th cen-
Now, more than a century later, the Old Faithful Inn continues to welcome guests to its magnificent facility.
As shown in the images at right, little has changed in the building's exterior since it first opened in 1904.
Similarly, as depicted in the early postcard image
of the lobby with its monumental
stone fireplace, pictured below, the more recent photo beneath it is nearly identical in appearance.
In addition to the majestic stone hearth -- a "must" for any mountain lodge or resort -- note the massive
peeled and stained logs, as well as the naturally shaped branches that form the open balustrades. A
Adirondack Style architecture from the Adirondack Mountain region of up-
state New York, it travelled westward and mingled with other architectural styles to form a distinctive regional variation.
The architectural flavor of western mountain lodges and resorts soon spread to the region's dwellings . . . .
and continues to have wide appeal to the present day, as shown in the im-
age at left. Like the lodges and resorts of times gone by, a rugged rock fire-
place is an absolute "necessity!"
The monumental stone hearths pic-
tured below are outstanding examples of present-day incarnations of rustic resort fireplaces of yesteryear. Framed by massive peeled logs, they harken back to the heyday of grand mountain lodges!
As with the examples above, the two striking designs pictured below are also of relatively recent origin. The rugged hearth below, left, is crafted from huge blocks of cut granite. Below, right, large cut stones extend from the fireplace facing to form a cozy inglenook!
And finally . . . . . . few rustic stone hearth designs exude the period ambiance of the stunning rock fireplace pictured below. Complete with a rustic log mantel shelf, this present-day example simply oozes nostalgic charm!
Fireplace Design Pictured Above By
For Colorado Ranch Of Fashion Icon, Ralph Lauren
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