The Mt. Lemmon Lodge will be the first major lodge in Summerhaven since the 2003 Aspen Fire burned the last of the mountain’s three big lodges to the ground.
Here’s a look back at the history of those establishments on Mt. Lemmon.
Jenni Zimmerman’s grandfather, Tony Zimmerman, used to bring Tucsonans up the backside of Mt. Lemmon before Catalina Highway was built.
“That’s what he did, was shuttle people up and down,” Zimmerman says.
But it wasn’t all Tony Zimmerman didhe eventually left a lasting legacy through his work on Mt. Lemmon.
“He had a saw mill and, then we owned the Mt. Lemmon Inn and it burned in 1977.”
Tony Zimmerman helped build what we now know as Summerhavenincluding building the Mt. Lemmon Inn, which opened in 1945 and was a landmark lodge until fire destroyed it on April 29, 1977.
The Mt. Lemmon Inn was never rebuilt.
Fire had also destroyed the nearby Ponderosa Lodge seven years earlier.
After those two fires, the Alpine Lodge was the only remaining hotel on the mountain until 2003.
The Alpine Lodge too was destroyed in 2003, a casualty of the Aspen Fire. It was that wildfire that also wiped out much of Summerhaven, burning for nearly a month that summercovering almost 85,000 acres in the Santa Catalinas.
Although the Zimmerman family never did rebuild the Mt. Lemmon Inn, they did open up the Sawmill Run Restaurant, which they still own and operate today.