Winks Lodge Historical Colorado Lodge
At the core of Lincoln Hills Cares is historical Winks Lodge which first began in 1925 when Obrey Wendall "Winks" Hamlet and his wife Naomi Hamlet began their construction of Winks Lodge, also known as Winks Panorama, which would become the first full service resort in the growing area. Completed in 1928, the historical Winks Lodge consisted of three-stories and (6) bedrooms. Over time additional facilities were added to include, Winks Tavern, a honeymoon cabin, the orange cabin, tin house and a three-plex cabin.
Today Winks Lodge in Colorado is one of the most significant buildings in the United States in both terms of historical and cultural value for African Americans who have made use of this facility since its founding in 1922. Winks Lodge has become widely recognized as a symbol of hope and determination in the African American community.
As it was one of only a small handful of resort hotels that catered to African-Americans, Winks Lodge drew many of America's most noted African-American creative luminaries including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Lena Horne and Billy Eckstine who would visit Winks Lodge before/after their performances in the Five Points jazz venues within Denver. Extending beyond music, Winks and Naomi Hamlet would host readings, similar to the literary salons of the Harlem Renaissance, which featured such national treasures as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Thurston and Countee Cullen.
Obrey “Winks” Hamlet's second wife, Melba was a noted cook and guests traveled far and wide to sample the "best barbeque offered outside of Kansas City". When one couples this level of cultural interaction with the stunning natural beauty, fresh air and a level of societal freedom rarely found, at this time, it is no surprise that Winks Lodge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.