Write-up by Brandon Gilligan
Dudler’s Inn Historical Marker placed by: Canyon Rim Chapter, Sons of Utah Pioneers
Dudler’s Wine Cellar Historical Marker placed by: Jordan River Temple Chapter, Sons of Utah Pioneers
GPS Coordinates: 40º42’40 N 111º48’21 W
Dudler’s Inn Historical Marker text:
Perhaps one of the longest living and prominent residents of the area known as Parley’s Hallow, now officially Parley’s Historic Nature Preserve, was Joseph Dudler. About 1864, he settled in this location. Here he built his home. It was two stories, thirty-six by fifty-six feet in size, with rock foundation walls, the narrow front facing south, and the rest of the first floor dug into the side of the valley. The remains of the rock wall, east of the still existing foundation stones of the original building, is a continuation of the front wall of the lower floor of his Inn. The story above was frame with vertical siding, and it was here that the “Rooms To Let,” dining, and kitchen spaces were provided.
As business improved, in 1870, he built a brewery to the rear and west of the Inn. To provide further for this, he built an addition to the Inn itself, continuing the rock foundations further north sixteen feet with an adobe instead of frame upper story. In addition, he continued the lower floor north, only four feet further in the ground, with what has been called the “Wine Cellar.” Still there, it was a rock-walled room, underground, about fifteen-and-a-half feet wide and twenty feet long with ten-foot high, domed, rock ceiling. It is an ideal place for keeping things cool.
His irrigation water supply was brought to the site in a ditch from Parley’s Canyon Creek, but for drinking water he used a spring on the property northeast of the Inn location which is still flowing.
Dudler operated a saloon or two in town as well as the Inn, and in 1892, added a similar business in Park City where he also continued in the brewing and saloon business. He kept the farm and brewery area going in Parley’s Hallow until his death in October of 1897. His descendants continued using the Inn as a residence, referring to it as the “homestead” until it was destroyed by fire, the work of vandals, the night of the 17th of October, 1952.
Dudler’s Wine Cellar Historical Marker text:
Early in 1870, Joseph Dudler, owner and operator of the Inn which was on the ground level of his house, built a brewery in back of his house here in Parley’s Hallow. To Provide for this, in addition to the brewery proper, located on adjacent property west and north of the Inn, he extended his entire earlier building sixteen feet further into the north side of the valley. To this extension he added what came to be known as the wine cellar. He built this rock-walled, underground cellar for a store room as well as storage for the products of his brewery. The walls and roof of the cellar, which still retain their structural integrity, average two-and-one-half feet thick and the walls were ten-feet high. The labor expended to excavate the basement, the cellar, and to erect the two-and-one-half story building of the house and inn, would have been a tremendous task. There were no backhoes, front-end loaders, no dump trucks or cranes in those days to help in the construction; just back-breaking, muscle-straining, hard work. The structure of the cellar was so well designed that over a half-century later, when crews came to clean up what was left of the burned-out building, this stone work that comprises the cellar, supported the weight of the “Cat” when the ground was leveled.
Just to the west and a little bit north of the cellar was a tall brick chimney on the north end of a small frame building which was the brewery proper. This chimney remained for many years having outlasted the frame brewery building, but it too has long since fallen to the ravages of time as did the brewery building itself much earlier. Joe Dudler was a carpenter by trade and a brewer by profession and the following years would prove his proficiency at both.
When Joe first set up his first brewery at this location, he called it the Philadelphia Brewery. He sold his products not only at the inn, but also a little later at his Philadelphia Brewery Saloon in downtown Salt Lake City. His inn was also known for a time as Dudler’s Summer Resort and simply as Dudler’s Saloon.
In the early 1900’s his son Frank and daughter Retta ran the saloon at Parley’s Hollow while their father set up a saloon and ran his famous business in Park City. Joseph Dudler died in 1897.
Joseph Dudler and his family settled in Parley’s Canyon in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1864 after moving from Appleton, Wisconsin. Upon arrival he began to build a home in Parley’s Canyon. Joseph was a carpenter by training and was very capable in building and crafting. Parley’s Canyon was a highly trafficked area for travelers going to or through Salt Lake City. Dudler quickly took advantage of the potential business opportunity and between 1865 and 1870 he added to his home an additional story, as well as a large brewery and a cellar to house the products of the brewery. The brewery was capable of producing approximately 900 barrels of beer in a year. This would have made Dudler’s brewery on this site among the largest in Utah in the 1860’s. The addition to the home allowed for a saloon in the basement and rooms for let. Dudler’s Inn was often referred to as Dudler’s Saloon or Dudler’s Summer Resort. The supply of beer produced by the brewery quickly outgrew the small basement saloon and in 1870 Dudler opened the Philadelphia Brewery Saloon on 200 South Street in Salt Lake City. There were probably two other saloons at various times in Salt Lake City that Dudler operated. In 1884, Dudler opened another successful saloon in Park City called the California Brewery Saloon. The brewery in Parley’s Canyon continued operation until Joseph’s death in 1897. In the years before his death, Dudler attempted another brewery and saloon business in Vernal, Utah. This was an unsuccessful and short lived endeavor.
After Joseph Dudler’s death, his son Ron and daughter Loretta ran the the saloon in Parley’s Canyon. After the turn of the century commercial operations on the site ceased. The land soon became the primary residence of Loretta Dudler Schaer and her husband Harold Schaer, who were married in 1907. Loretta, often called Retty or Mary, suffered from depression and anxiety. These conditions were exasperated after the death of her second son, Charles, who died at the age of 19 months. At this time there were few effective treatments for such disorders. Loretta’s older son moved away to make his own life, and her husband had abandoned her by 1918. Loretta struggled with poverty and depression on the land in Parley’s Canyon for the next 34 years. She did prove to have a keen legal mind and was able to keep control of the land in the face of water rights disputes, tax difficulties, and various other problems with the local government. The home became increasingly isolated. Loretta’s odd behavior and isolation earned her the titles of Crazy Mary, and Parley’s Witch. The home fell into disrepair in the 1940’s and was subjected to theft and vandalism. In 1952, the entire structure was burned by vandals. Loretta died five years later at the age of 80.
After the fire, a demolition crew came to clear the debris. The cellar was too well constructed to be easily removed and was left. The stone walls of the basement and the cellar remain. Descendants of Joseph Dudler owned some of the land until 1982 when the remaining nine acres were sold to the city of Salt Lake. The area now called Parley’s Hallow or Parley’s Historic Nature Preserve is currently used for recreation. A bicycle path runs right past the ruins of Dudler’s Inn. The bulk of the canyon is used as an off leash dog area with hiking trails along the creek. There are three other historical markers near the Dudler’s Inn site in Parley’s Canyon,
For Further Reference:
Minutes of the Great Salt Lake City Council Meetings, August 9, 1870.
Fluehe, Richard. Dudler’s of Parley’s Canyon: A History. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1990.
Vance, Del. Beer in the Beehive: A history of brewing in Utah. Great Salt Lake City: Dream Garden Press, 2006.
Youngberg, Florence C. Parley’s Hallow: Gateway to the Valley. Salt Lake City: Custom Printing Inc. and Graphic Design, 1991.