Together, the newlyweds developed plans for the Rocky Mountain Ranch School for unruly "mentally peculiar" children. They constructed the main building, laundry house with two bedrooms, and garage for a total of $20,000. The school opened in 1928 with seven students in enrollment.
Economic hardships during the Great Depression soon caused the Rocky Mountain Ranch School to close, and after several years back east in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Juanita returned alone to her beloved Silver City.
From 1936 to 1959 Bear Mountain Lodge changed hands several times, almost always serving as guest lodging. Weddings, receptions, banquets, and memorable visits from awe-struck tourists have been regular events at the Lodge throughout the years. One local couple reminisced about the numerous times they were contracted to deliver up to a hundred dressed chickens for some grand festivity on the grounds.
Beginning in 1959, and continuing for 41 years, the Lodge was owned and operated by Myra McCormick and her husband Fred as the Bear Mountain Guest Ranch. Fred died in 1978, and Myra, an avid birder, eventually donated the property to the Nature Conservancy in 1999 with the stipulation that they continue to operate it for a minimum of ten years. The Nature Conservancy thoroughly remodeled the historic structure and operated it as requested before shuttering it late in 2009.
Now once more, Bear Mountain Lodge stands ready to provide comfortable lodging and unforgettable experiences to all those lucky enough to seek it out.