This vintage postcard1 highlights the huge centerpiece lounge — called the Great Room or Great Hall — at Starved Rock Lodge in Starved Rock State Park, in northern Illinois.
It looks like it would be a fabulous place to spend a day reading a book in front of the fireplace. Especially on a snowy day. In fact, as I type this, it's about 27 degrees and snowing lightly at Starved Rock.2 So I'm guessing that the fireplace is roaring. Cool.
The lodge, which was built between 1933 and 1939, still looks very similar to this today. Here's a link to a recent photo on Starved Rock's Facebook page.
Here are some historical tidbits about the lodge, from Wikipedia:
- The lodge and cabins were built by the Depression-Era Civilian Conservation Corps, at a cost between $200,000 and $300,000.
- The lodge and cabins were designed by Joseph F. Booton.
- "On its exterior, the lodge is primarily constructed of stone, unhewed logs, clapboard and wood shingles. Booton's design intended to impress upon visitors the idea of a 'woodsy retreat.' This is seen in the way he designed round log purlins whose unevenly hewn ends extend beyond the lodge's eaves."
- The lodge and cabins were listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on May 8, 1985.
According to the website for the Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center, it's available for weddings, corporate retreats, weekend getaways and as a base for hikes and other outdoor activities. Or you can just go there and flop down in front of the Great Hall fireplace with a book.
Finally, getting back to the old postcard, I can't read the date on the postmark. But this card was mailed with a 3¢ stamp, and that U.S. postal rate for postcards was in effect from August 1958 to January 1963, when the rate rose by one cent.3 The card was mailed to a woman in Waukegan, Illinois, and had the following, fairly mundane, message:
We stayed here our first night. It's beautiful — a perfect spot for a whole vacation. Going to Springfield next.
Alice & the kids"
1. The 9A-H2167 notation on the lower-right corner of the front of the postcard helps us to date this Genuine Curteich-Chicago card. The cards produced in the 1930s were tagged with the letter A and the 9 indicates that it was 1939. The H tells us that that the card was printed using the C.T. Art Colortone method. All of this information is detailed nicely at eBay's "Guide to Dating Curt Teich Postcards."
2. According to today's forecast from AccuWeather: "Snow totals of 6 to 12 inches with locally higher amounts will be recorded in northern Illinois and from northwestern Indiana to southern Lower Michigan." I am jealous.
3. Here's a handy chart on the history of U.S. postcard rates.