Outside of Panaca is a small modular building surrounded by beautiful lawns and a number of rock formations. This place, known as the Cathedral Gorge Inn, is a place of rest and healing, which is not too different from its original purpose.
In the 1980’s, the northern part of the county was facing a crisis; due to the recent death of the local doctor, it would soon become impossible to continue services in the area like the prison or the youth center. This necessary position was filled by Dr. Joe Wilkin, who stepped up to offer his services, even going as far as to build his own clinic. This two part building came together and provided the much needed medical assistance the area required, and Wilkin strived to create a place that provided both high-quality care and a beautiful place to receive it.
But, the days of providing care would come to a close as the good doctor passed away from cancer, passing the building on to his family. For a short time it served as a home for wayward boys, but outside of that, the building sat abandoned. For a decade, the foliage that was so well-maintained during Wilkin’s lifetime, outgrew the building, covering the doors and windows while old medical records and equipment rotted within. In 2014, however, the old clinic exchanged hands, falling into the ownership of Beverly and Pete Peterson of Panaca. These two enterprising folks began working on the building, restoring the quality that had been so important to the original owner.
“I think he’d be happy with what we’ve done,” Bev said as she looked over the sprawling yard as her husband, Pete, mowed the lawn.
Now, after years of renovation and care, the Cathedral Gorge Inn offers a place for people to lay their weary heads. As one of the only vacation homes in the area, their services are greatly appreciated when families come to town. The inn is known for its clean and comfortable environment, and many of its patrons have commented on how much the place feels like home. The inn doesn’t forget its heritage, however, and a few of Wilkin’s pieces of equipment decorate the front room as a reminder of the physical healing that this place once provided. Now, it’s purpose is that of spiritual and emotional healing as those without a place to stay can find a place to call home.
The Cathedral Gorge Inn will celebrate its four year anniversary on May 18 with an open house from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Everyone who is interested in the rich history of the building as well as the excellent service provided by its current owners are welcome to attend.