The Work Family                                                                           

Our family settled in Dunlap (originally called Shipe's Valley) in the mid-1800's. We were cattle ranchers and the Squaw Valley-Dunlap area was an ideal foothill location that provided plentiful rainfall that produced excellent native grasslands for forage. In the later 1800's, logging operations commenced in what is now the Sequoia National Forest and the Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks. The area was rich in stands of pine, fir, cedar, and some unbelievably huge trees that we know today as the Sequoia Redwoods. Lakes and flumes were built to transport lumber to the valley floor and commerce developed to support the logging operations. The only road to the mountains went through Dunlap. In the early 1890's, our family built and operated the 2 story Dunlap Hotel to provide dining and lodging to travelers. Surrounding services included a doctor, dentist, blacksmith, dry goods store, mercantile, and a jail. In 1918, we built the area's first gas station. My grandfather, O.E. (Banty) Work was our first elected constable and provided law enforcement for over 40 years. The justice court was located in Squaw Valley. Throughout the years, we continued to ranch cattle. In the early 1970's, we converted a portion of the ranch into an RV and fishing park. The RV park was taken over by my sister, Connie, in the late 1970's and she expanded the services to include hang gliding. It turned out that the Dunlap area was absolutely ideal for flying and she hosted the National Hang Gliding Championships in 1983. Hang gliding and paragliding continue to be a popular activity today and enthusiasts from all over the world come to try out this world class flying site, both recreationally and competitively. Flights of over 100 miles can be achieved. While Connie no longer flys, she does have an upscale bed & breakfast in Squaw Valley (The Branded Calf) that caters to flyers and travelers alike.

 

Hwy 180 was constructed and opened shortly after WWII creating a direct route to the national parks that bypassed the community of Dunlap but greatly enhanced the ability for travelers to see and experience the wonders of Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks. The Squaw Valley Motel was built in 1950 to provide lodging for an increasingly mobile public. Today, well over a million people visit the parks annually.

 

As you can see, we have had a multi-generational long love affair with our mountain that continues to this day. My son, Morgan Work, is a 6th generation native and he is the general manager and your host at the Squaw Valley Motel. He looks forward to personally greeting you and welcoming you to the mountain. We truly enjoy our rural lifestyle and the slower pace that goes along with it. Here you can shed the anxieties of urban life and relax in the serenity and tranquility of our quiet mountain. In other words..."Take a load off and enjoy the ride!" 

 

Lonnie Work 

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