The history of the Laguna Vista Restaurant and Saloon dates back to the late 1890s. The gold-mining camp of Elizabethtown, five miles north of here, was founded in 1867. One of the residents in the late 1890s transported rejected railroad ties from Ute Park to Elizabethtown for two summers to build a hotel. He left for the winter and returned in the spring to discover his railroad ties had been stolen, and a new hotel had been constructed in Therma, now Eagle Nest. You are sitting in what was the lobby of the El Monte Hotel, which was built with the stolen railroad ties, and looking out the window on one of the routes of the Santa Fe Trail.