In 1940, the first cottage was built...
Briar Patch Inn is nestled beside the sparkling waters of Oak Creek, at the base of the soaring Red Rock mountains that form Oak Creek Canyon. In 1876, the first settlers found this area to be a haven for harvesting of fruit trees, vegetables, and the native German Brown Trout in the spring fed waters of Oak Creek.
In the 1930s, a German carpenter sought solace in the Canyon, built his home and then saw the need to provide lodging for the “movie folk” who were making westerns in Sedona. In 1940 he built the first cottage, the “Bluejay,” complete with hand hewn wooden door latches, still functioning today. Subsequent buildings became “Rocky’s Cottages,” after his name Raacke.
In the 1960s and 70s, Ike and JoAnn Olson with their 3 children spent many retreats in Oak Creek Canyon to escape the summer heat of their home in Scottsdale. In 1983 they were able to purchase the Briar Patch and the neighboring Terracotta Resort (previously Rocky’s) and combine the two to become 18 cottages on nine acres of towering sycamores, oak and fruit trees, where they have made their home. In 1996 their son, Rob, returned from work overseas to join them in their family venture. Often, one of their 2 visiting children and grandchildren will be found pitching in where needed.
Out of respect for this special spot on earth, it has been a “labor of love” to provide an environment where guests can relax in the quiet beauty of nature, free of telephones and TV. However, 3 cottages do have 19” TVs.
The Briar Patch Family agree with a guest from Paris, France who wrote in the guest book:
“It’s a little, wonderful paradise, where the river is the maestro, nature the musician and all together they play a peaceful harmony at the Briar Patch.” S.M.