BY LEANN DILBECK –
Potter Fire Department was dispatched at approximately 6:15 p.m. this evening to Lone Cedar Lodge. Potter Fire Chief Vernon Wells said the building was fully engulfed when they arrived on the scene and Hatfield Fire Department provided mutual aid.
Wells said between the two departments, almost 20 firefighters battled the blaze but it was a total loss. Wells said the property was very grown up and the structure was unoccupied. According to him, property owner is Pharis Presley from Arkadelphia, Ark.
The exact cause of the fire is unknown. Wells confirmed that electricity was still on at the meter.
Located on the corner of county roads 412 and 42, aka Old Line Road, in an area that used to be called Rainbow Springs, the building dates back to the 1920’s.
According to a local historian, Shirley Manning, the lodge was built by Isaac H. Stetler for his daughter Mrs. George W. Coffman of Chicago. When she saw the building she and her husband moved here full time. So many visitors came that they added a large addition around 1930. It was a favorite place for artist and nature lovers. Stetler didn’t like killing any animal or insect and kept a pet snake, among other animals. Stetler came to Polk County to work on the railroad, but he was also a prospector and bought acreage at Rainbow Springs. He gave his daughter five acres for the house, and later added additional acreage. The name came from a lone cedar which stood on the five acres where the house was to be built.