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Fire at Four Springs


On May 30, 2011 a catastrophic fire destroyed the historic lodge at Four Springs. An investigation determined that the fire started in the garbage enclosure, apparently from ashes placed there by a member of a departing group.

It was a shocking loss. The lodge held many memories as well as treasured symbols, artifacts, books and art.

On August 14, 2011, we hosted a day of remembrance with the Guild for Psychological Studies for friends of Four Springs. Hal Childs and Tim Locke facilitated a time of sharing and ritual.

Working with our insurance carrier was a lengthy and frustrating process.

Nearly 20 months after the fire they agreed to a settlement that should have been reached in weeks. The delay was costly, and has made it necessary to build only a portion of the lodge at this time.

The board has established the Four Springs Phoenix Fund to finish construction of the building as it is envisioned.

In September 2013 we broke ground. We anticipate hosting the Guild for Psychological Studies for the first program in the new lodge in June 2014.

To make a donation to the Phoenix Fund, click here.

If you would like to support Four Springs with donations in kind or participate in work projects, please call 888 428 5189 to learn more about how you can help.

Earlier Updates:

After 1 year: June 2012

The insurance company responded in May with a second proposal, still far below what would be adequate to rebuild the lodge that existed before the fire. They have agreed to look at additional information and revise their offer. If the new proposal is reasonable, an arbitration process can be avoided and construction can begin much sooner.

Meanwhile the board has been working with architect Michael Cobb to develop the plan for a new lodge that can be built when a fair settlement is reached. We have begun to mill the interior paneling from two large pine trees here at Four Springs so that it will be dried and ready to use when the interior is being finished.

After two years: July 2013

Faced with a hearing in March, the insurance company made a reasonable settlement offer, after nearly two years of low-balling and stalling.

Unfortunately, the cost to build architect Michael Cobb's design turned out to be way off target, bid by several contractors at more than 50% beyond the budget we had given him. Mike also billed much more in fees than he proposed, and refused to revise his design without substantial additional charges. He even charged us for talking to him about how much he would charge to fix his mistakes.

We selected another architect to craft revisions, had the necessary drafting, engineering calculations, energy calculations and accessibility review redone, and are now waiting a second time for word from the county regarding a building permit. All signs point to this happening very soon, and we hope to begin construction in a matter of weeks.

Due to the costly delays and continuing issues regarding insurance coverage for the restoration period, we are planning to build the main space with meeting, dining and kitchen facilities, and two of the six lodging rooms, with the remaining four bedrooms to be built at a later date.

Having a commercial kitchen again and the new meeting space will allow us to fully utilize all of the existing cabins for larger groups and seminars, and we will also be able to provide a wheelchair accessible lodging room in the new building.


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