Did I tell you my husband and I almost bought the Rogue Elk Hotel? I found my old scrapbook from the 1990’s. I thought you might be interested in hearing about this old historic hotel.
The Rogue Elk Hotel was built with nearly 150,000 feet of lumber hauled by horse teams above Butte Falls, Oregon; C.O Power was the architect. I read 26 foot support columns support the 30 ft. wide entrance. Two huge fireplaces built of native stone are estimated to weigh 90 tons. The furniture designed for the hotel by the McDonald brothers were made from the finest quality heavy oak; hand detailed carvings that were embellished with deer hides and elk hide paintings. The walls were graced with an exquisite art collection featuring a painting of Crater Lake and Oregon nature scenes. The outside grounds were lighted by a spectacular light system. At the time, the building was one of the finest in Southern Oregon with 19 sleeping rooms. The grand opening of the Rogue Elk and was July 22, 1916, over 200 people attended the affair. Massive flower arrangements with ferns and flowers adorned every corner and exquisitely displayed food and drinks graced every table. Music, dancing and poem reading was the entertainment. In the morning there was horseback riding hunting and fishing. Through the years some elite visited the hotel including Herbert Hoover and Zane Grey. In the 1920’s opposite of the hotel located on the river bank there was a well-known dining room and open air dance pavilion. This was the only floating dance floor in Oregon! It became quite the hot spot, but soon too much drinking and fighting brought many problems to the hotel. Mysteriously In the 1950’s the dance pavilion burnt down. Remnants of the rock fireplace are still visible from the road.
“When you wonder where in the world to go, and you long to be where the cool breezes blow; just crank up your car, and drive’ like sin’. On the Crater Lake Road, to the Rogue Elk Inn. There you’ll find by the river, a hotel, grand, as nice as the finest home in the Land, Where the food is good; the beds, soft and clean, — the kind of place which spring makes one dream.” Will McDonald 1916
I found this postcard Written from McDonald pictured above, to Emma Andrews in 1926, Weird how these things seem to migrate to me… I am remembering when our friends Ron and Janet stayed the night to check out the rundown hotel on our behalf. They said it was Beyond Spooky and they said they were Scared out of their wits! They commented on strange bad smells and sounds, especially a popping sound like a power breaker. In the long process of buying the place we collected a massive painting of a Rogue Elk to hang and other art of Crater Lake, Zane Grey collectibles and unique furnishings to complement the historic decor. I was obsessed with the research and mapping out our plans of how we were going to execute this huge historic money pit endeavor. We were unable to negotiate a deal with the separate lot, the eyesore parcel across the street on the river where the dance hall used to be. Unfortunately, a deal breaker because this is what you see when you walk out on to the grand porch or look out on from the massive windows. We declined from the purchase, in turn losing our large down payment. However, looking back I think it was the best decision. We have great memories of driving out to Trail Oregon, walking to the river, checking out the camp grounds, and talking to the neighbors. Not to mention all the humorous memories of eating at the old cafe on the property! If time travel was possible I would definitely love to go back to the grand opening of the Rogue Elk Hotel. Anyway, thanks for reading my blog! Oh’ and I almost forgot if by chance you buy the place, could you please get rid of the hideous blue paint! Note historic photos above, thanks!
My scrapbook….. Pictures! you can click on them. Notice the picture below is the pavilion with floating dance floor on the Rogue River.