Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> LAKE HUGHES
Lake Hughes Trading Post (The Rock Inn)
Lake Hughes, California

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ALL DIFFERENT

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Earlier

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Later

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Late 1940s View 1

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Late 1940s View 2

Unused 3½x5-inch real photo postcard on Kodak paper, probably late 1940s (some of the automobiles appear to be 1948 models), published by Angeleno Photo Service, 1030 S. Alvarado, L.A. 6, Calif.-2.

This is the same photograph as LW2823 but a different "pan and scan" — this one shows more on the right and less on the left.

The Rock Inn in Lake Hughes, completed in 1929, had been called the Lake Hughes Trading Post. Today the address is 17539 Elizabeth Lake Road. (The county changed all of the street addresses in the 1950s.)


History of The Rock Inn

After mustering out of the U.S. Army in 1907, Joel B. Hurd returned to his home state of Massachusetts, married and started a family.

The family migrated to California and to Lake Hughes in 1926. Hurd took a job managing a small grocery owned by B. Brannon and became Lake Hughes' postmaster, with the post office operated out of the store.

Lake Hughes had formerly been known as West Elizabeth Lake and until the 1920s was farming and cattle grazing country. In 1926, however, Pasadena homebuilder Clarence Austin bought 40 acres along the lake shore to develop as a resort of vacation cottages, which meant a growing population.

In April 1928, Hurd and Brannon's store, post office, gasoline station and a 15-room apartment building they had just built were destroyed by a fire. The South Antelope Valley Press reported the blaze apparently started when tar being heated on the roof caught fire.

The store merchandise was retrieved from the burning building and moved across the street, according to an interview with Hurd in the December 1962 Antelope Valley Spectator magazine. Hurd had his store open for business within four hours after the fire, the magazine said.

"When (Hurd) looks back on this event he laughs at the fact that the first thing that (his son) Joel saved from the fire was the eight ball from the poll room," the magazine article states. "After the experience of losing their building, the ... businessmen decided to built their next store out of stone."

Actor Paul Koslo, property owner since 1975.

The result was the Lake Hughes Trading Post, the now-famous Rock Inn, completed in 1929. Built of rock quarried in the Lake Hughes area, two stories tall with arched windows and doorways and a large stone fireplace, the Rock Inn was a store, post office and hotel. It also functioned as a bus station called a stage stop, although by the 1920s the valley had auto stages, not horse-drawn stages.

Hurd's sons, Joel Jr. and Chuck, ran the trading post after their father, according to Valley Press accounts, while the elder Hurd stayed as postmaster until 1951 or 1952. Lake Hughes' annual '49ers Day festival started in 1949 as a birthday party for the elder Hurd, organized by Austin.

After the end of World War II in 1945, business slowed, forcing the Hurd brothers to close the Rock Inn's hotel, according to the Valley Press. Records show they split the space on the second floor in two, and each lived in one half.

After the Hurds, Adrian and Delores "Dee" Shrout ran the Rock Inn.

In 1975, the property was purchased by the family of actor Paul Koslo (1944-2019). Koslo took sole ownership in 1979. Koslo renovated the building, reinforcing the rock structure and remodeling the second floor into bed-and-breakfast rooms.

While the stone building is owned by Koslo, the proprietor of the Rock Inn is Warren St. John. The inn is a popular weekend stop for motorcycle enthusiasts who come in for sandwiches, burgers, and something cold to wash them down with.

— The Rock Inn 2013


LW3098: 9600 dpi jpeg from original RPPC purchased 2017 by Leon Worden.
THE ROCK INN
Lake Hughes

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1930s Earlier

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1930s Later

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~Late 1940s

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Powerhouse Fire 2013

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August 2013 x23

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Paul Koslo Obituary 2019

More Paul Koslo


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