While Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch remains to this day an excellent all-inclusive vacation destination in its beautiful mountain setting, there is a great deal of history involving the surrounding area! There will be more to come on the interesting history of the ranch itself, but this focuses on the picturesque Springston Bridge near Red Horse that to this day is the remaining representation of a booming lumber town. At the location of the bridge there was a town previously known as Anderson. Just a few miles from Harrison and nestled at the base of Anderson Mountain, it was located on the Coeur d’ Alene River adjacent to Anderson Lake, one of many lakes that surround Red Horse Mountain Ranch.
For all of our guests that opted for the afternoon pontoon ride down the river to experience the amazing scenery, wildlife, and ice cream from the Harrison Creamery, they know it well! The bridge is also a popular place for boaters and those brave enough to cool off in the chilly river on a hot summer day.
To all those who have had the privilege of visiting or working at our ranch, they have surely ventured down the Blue Lake Road route to our valley that passes the historic Springston Bridge, with a scenic view of the Coeur D’Alene River. Springston was founded in 1900 during the lumber and gold mining boom under the Springston Lumber Company, and later the Russel and Pugh Lumber Company. This small town has left its footprints near Harrison that can still be seen today.
The railroad that once passed through it now exists as a trailhead to the gorgeous 73-mile Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes. This well-kept bike trail is a popular activity for our guests as they get the chance to bike along the river and view the protected wildlife of northern Idaho, particularly magnificent birds of prey and moose!
In addition, the old wooden hull of the ‘Golden Star’, one of the company’s stealthy tugboats, can still be seen on the banks of the river next to Springston Bridge. Adventurous settlers made this their home during the peak of the Springston Lumber company, creating homesteads around Harrison and even living on float houses!
The quaint town of Harrison near Red Horse Mountain Ranch and the Springston Bridge remain as rich historical reminders that today’s amazing dude ranch destinations were founded on true stories of homesteading by adventurous settlers with a passion for the Wild West. Arguably the very heart and sole of a dude ranch! Thanks for appreciating the history of the area that is home to Red Horse Mountain Dude Ranch, and stay tuned for more about the founding of Red Horse!