Ponderosa Lodge Lost Due To Fire

As you may already know, tragedy struck Friday, March 10th when a fire consumed the beloved Ponderosa Lodge in its entirety. It is believed that falling ice from Friday’s storm damaged a propane tank, resulting in a major fire. The ongoing storms created washouts preventing fire trucks from reaching the lodge and ensuring a total loss. We’re grateful that no one lost their lives, but Dave and Jen (its owners) have now lost their livelihood.

Since 1960 the Ponderosa Lodge has been the cornerstone of its small mountain community. During the holidays it would host our potlucks, during the summer our live music and entertainment, during the wildfires it helped feed the hundreds of firefighters who protected our forests. To its community, the lodge provided its patrons with warmth, food and shelter, a place where friends become family and countless memories have been made. The lodge has meant so much to so many, but no one more than its current owners.

Dave and Jen left their lives in Orange County and San Diego to take over the lodge and continue the legacy that the Brewer family began. They were married on Dome Rock and for the past 5 years have called Ponderosa home. Since then they have dedicated their money, blood, sweat and tears, tirelessly working to keep the lodge running and creating a magical space for so many of us to enjoy.

In September 2020, when Ponderosa was under evacuation orders due to the SQF Complex Fire, Dave and Jen were quoted by the local news:

“It was a very traumatic experience not knowing if we were going to lose everything we put into the place and our whole life is in here,” said Sharp.

“We have the greatest community you could ever possibly imagine. I never understood what that word meant until coming up here and seeing how much support we have for each other and constantly helping each other out and helping each other,” said David.

Dave and Jen’s life savings went into the lodge and they did not have insurance as the carrier dropped them during the recent brush with wildfires. New coverage was not feasible given the cost. They are now left with a total loss. Now is the time for us to give back. Let us come together as a community and help the people that have already given so much. We will get through this. We are Ponderosa Strong.

From Pondo Dave via Facebook:
"It’s with a heavy heart we announce the lodge is closed indefinitely for all services. Yesterday a fire broke out and we lost the entire lodge. We are devastated and heartbroken, to say the least.

Heart and soul were put into the lodge by many. Jen with her creativity and design, and myself with structural preservation and construction aspects.

The lodge has witnessed decades of joy, comradery, community, laughter, and satisfied a million hungry tummies.

All gone in a matter of minutes.

We don’t know what the future holds but want to acknowledge all the support and well wishes. We did not have property insurance so this is a direct loss to us. Our carrier canceled on us during the coastal fires, and new policies were unaffordable to us.

Heart, soul, and everything we had was in that place.

Everyone is safe and in the end that’s what matters. Thank you for all the messages, we truly appreciate it."

Please donate whatever you can today. Your donations will go directly to Dave and Jen as they take the next steps and decide when, or if, they will rebuild the Ponderosa Lodge.

If you’re not able to give, please share!

Donations (457)

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  • Christopher K Hanson
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Marlene Haws
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Skyler Golub
    • $20 
    • 3 mos
  • Jessica Lanser
    • $20 
    • 3 mos
  • Jessica Colet
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
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Organizer and beneficiary

Chris Adams
Springville, CA
David Sharp

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