Reginald Cusack, a doctor from Ireland, came to Colorado in 1882 seeking a healthier environment for his asthma and overall health. He eventually settled in the Wet Mountain Valley and purchased property. Together with his wife, Gertrude, Reginald opened his home to guests and had a regular community of family members and visitors seeking a healthier environment and restful atmosphere. The ranch was awarded its name, The Pines, by Congress in 1911.
Reginald originally designed The Pines to be a place where he could teach others with breathing problems such as tuberculosis and asthma how to hunt, fish and garden so they could live in the area. Activities such as picnicking, hiking, fishing, hunting, and horseback riding were common as well as storytelling and performing plays.
The Cusack home, known these days as the Old Lodge, was a wedding gift from Gertrude's English parents who didn't want their daughter sleeping in a cabin with a dirt floor. It is an 1890s mail order home that still stands today.
Dean Rusk purchased The Pines in 1984 rescuing it from abandonment and decline. The Cusack home was the only building still remaining on the property. It was missing its front door and there were even mountain lion tracks inside the building. Dean was able to repair and restore the Old Lodge from original materials he found carefully packed away in the home’s cellar.
Dean’s priority was to utilize the property as was originally intended – as a wonderful place for visitors from all over the world who could relish the beauty of the mountains while enjoying a peaceful and restful family-friendly atmosphere.
After more than 30 years of welcoming guests, Dean, age 70, and his wife Jodi are ready to retire, but they are committed to ensuring The Historic Pines Ranch continues to be a home away from home for visitors from near and far.