The operation of Badger Inn, Post Office, and the Badger Store

Here is a brief history of the operation of the businesses at Camp Badger.

The Weathers were true 49'ers, coming to Sacramento, then in 1874 moved to badger. They operated a boarding house, store and post office just north of what is now Badger. This was a stopping place for the many teams hauling between the logging mills and the valley.

Mr. and Mrs Cooksey were next to operate these businesses.

The next owners were Mr. and Mrs. Ezry and their two children.

Next was Toliver Cortner and his brother, Preston (Press) Courtner.

About 1916, a couple from Dinuba bought the property from the Courtners. This was Dean and Lucille Wedelle.

Lucille, like Mrs. Ida Courtner, came to the mountains as a new bride. Lucille explained it this way:
"When Dean and I were married we came to Badger, our new home. The old cabin, and buildings immediately became a part of my life. Next to Marriage, this was heaven. I always wanted to be a hill-billy. here I am, after 57 years, a tried and true hill-billy. What more could I ask?"

The only telephone in the area was at the store. This was a great new way to get messages up and down the hill. Many messages were received by Mrs. Wedelle and passed on to a local Badger citizen.

A fire consumed the store and destroyed a grand collection of local Native American baskets, dolls and other artifacts. Another building was moved across the road and became the store building which has now been closed since the late 1970's. Jack Reed, brother of Barney, was last to operate the store.

Luana, the daughter of Dean and Lucille, married Barney and they became the proprietors.

Myron Woodard was the first postmaster in 1870. He estabished the Post Office and applied for postmaster. The new PO needed a name, so Woodard named it after his home state of Wisconsin, the Badger state.
The mail arrived at the Post Office on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Originally at the store, the PO was put on skids and moved to the present site of the Tulare County Road Yard. Later, it was moved to Sierra Glen, where it still operates.

At this time, the Badger School was just a couple hundred yards away.