Oregon has SO many treasures that one’s summer schedule could be filled with just visiting places right here at home.  If you haven’t been to Timberline Lodge up on the slopes of Mt. Hood though, let me suggest you think about going.    It’s a beautiful and historic building, filled with important Oregon art, good food and amazing views.   Roger gave a talk up there last fall for the 40th anniversary of the “Friends of Timberline” group, and in return he received one free night’s lodging.  The room offer was set to expire June 1st, so last week we zoomed up to do a sleepover…all the more fun because though we’ve been to Timberline several times over the years, we had never stayed there.

The lodge was built in 1939 in 18 months as a CCC and WPA work project and put hundreds of people to work including many artists and crafts people.  Furniture, rugs, draperies and bedspreads, hardware…all hand made just for the lodge.  President and Mrs. Franklin Roosevelt were in the region for the opening of the Bonneville Dam and came on to do the dedication for Timberline Lodge on the same day…there’s a nice film loop in the lobby with Roosevelt’s recorded address…

Timberline 1

The way up the mountain took a while and the weather was glowering, promising low photo views…

way up

but a warm welcome at the lodge where the big fireplaces had wood fires going…

greeting fire

and Henk Pander’s big (larger than life size) portrait of Richard Kohnstamm was right there as you check in…


He’s holding the lodge in his right hand and for good reason…in the mid-1950’s, only 15 years after construction, the lodge…due to mismanagement and deferred maintenance…was in rough shape (with broken windows, ruined drapes and bedspreads).  It was Kohnstamm that refurbished the lodge and made it into the showplace it is today…with a new wing added in the 1970’s, and a day-use lodge that takes some of the heavy foot traffic from skiers and boarders OUT of the historic building (these days there’s a sign outside stating that skis and boards are not allowed inside the historic building).

We headed to our room on the third floor, noting the shape of the door at the end of the hall…




room detail

blinds 3blinds 2blinds 1

detail (1)


and we read in the room brochure that “that shape” was the Timberline arch and is repeated throughout the lodge…

Timberline shape

Not much of a view today…

mountain view 2 (1)

so we took ourselves on a self-guided tour.  No need for a brochure as we were in familiar company all the way.  On the ground floor we found Manuel Izquierdo’s portrait bust of former Portland Art Museum curator Rachel Griffin…

Rachael by Izquierdo

and as we climbed the stairs the wonderful carved newel posts delighted…


Newell post 3newell post 2newell post 1

the first floor has the terrific Barlow Room…formerly a snack bar, now used for special events…


which is home to the amazingly beautiful, original and creative carved-linoleum murals BY Doug Lynch…(in fact our last visit to Timberline was to Doug Lynch’s memorial service in this room)


Lynch 1

Lynch 4


IMG_9128Lynch 3IMG_9125

Here’s Harry Wentz of the Museum School (now PNCA) faculty doing a little drawing…

Lynch 2

The pieces that were behind the snack bar were scrubbed until there was no color, and then removed and put in the attic…luckily they are (palely) back in place…



also on the first floor is the Cascade dining room…where we learned from our waiter (the person on the far right) that he hitch-hikes up to work from the town Government Camp below the lodge, and then there is a ski-trail that allows them to ski or board home…and that he has worked here for three years as it affords him year-round snow boarding.

Cascade dining room

and on this level also the surprisingly cozy sitting areas filled with original huge and heavy furniture…



sitting by the fire

then up to the second level where there are lots of paintings by familiar folk including William Givler…


Charles Heaney…


(but the big beautiful Heaney painting “The Mountain” was out for renovation or on loan)…by now it was dinner time, or at least cocktail hour…

martini time

fireplace from 2

and if you climb up to the crow’s nest you can pass Henk Pander’s beautiful portrait of CS Price (I love the imaginative quality here and am so glad this portrait is on public view…)


Price by PanderPrcie detaildetail

and wander into the new CS Price wing to see “the Huckleberry Pickers”

Huckleberry pickers 1

Huckle 2

in close proximity to sculptor Tom Hardy’s “Ravens” of 1975…


Ravens 2

Ravens 4

a fitting memorial to Hardy, who died last month…

Ravens title


We didn’t have to dash outside for a view of the lodge at night in the snow as the elevator provided these nice Ray Atkinson views…

Atkinson 2

Atkinson 1

Atkinson 3

We awoke the next morning to snow …

morning snow

but to better views up the mountain…

Friday morniing view

mountain view 2

mountain view

the valley still veiled in clouds and mist over the day lodge…

day lodge-no view

and off we went, around the east side of Mt. Hood…

east side view

and on in to White Salmon to George and Jennifer’s where we took a north-side long view from their deck…

Mt Hood room view

and, eventually after a little weekend frolicking, home.  Plan a visit, you won’t be sorry…in fact make your list of iconic Oregon places and get going.   Been up to Crown Point in the Gorge and Multnomah Falls?  Crater Lake?  Cannon Beach?  the summer lies ahead!






  1. Thank you, Bonnie, for a look at this beautiful lodge and environment. I’m sorry to say the last time I was there was maybe 38 or 40 years ago…It looks like a getaway is in the works. Hopefully this summer or early fall.

  2. Fabulous! One of my favorite edifices, next to the Capitol. I’m so parochial. Roosevelt didn’t come to the dedication in 1938, even though the federal government financed most of the construction, through the Public Works Administration. He didn’t get along with our very conservative governor, Charles Martin. What I have read about him, with good reason.

    When we put on the reenactment of the dedication in 1988, I insisted that Fala and president attend. They were a big hit.

    1. In the recorded Timberline dedication Roosevelt did mention Governor Martin, who was there I think. I remember the 1988 reenactment…we sat under the old trees and watched the parade (I still have the photos!) xxoo

    2. Wonderful tour of Timberline Bonnie! Thank you for sharing all these amazing highlights of your visit. It’s been so many years since visiting there, It should be a destination for an adventure to look forward to.

  3. Two years ago we stayed at both the Chateau at the Oregon Caves and the refurbished lodge at Crater Lake, and are still wishing we’d included Timberline on that trip!

  4. Thank you Bonnie. Such a beautiful tribute. As you know as a 17 year old I spent my summer in 1959 for 6 weeks working as a maid ( had to lie about my age). At that time all the employees lived on the 3rd floor of the lodge. It was really hard to move from that mountain and lodge. I returned to stay at the lodge for two nights in celebration of Kohnstamm’s 25 years at Timberline. It was wonderful to be back in lodge and visit with people I had worked with during that summer. Dick and Molly had invited all the employees of that time. A few of these employees never left. So grateful to share this experience with you Bonnie.

  5. You’ve given me a great guided tour of the lodge and inspired me to visit. (I’ve also been meaning to comment on how much I enjoy your posts.)

  6. Judy thanks…I don’t think you’d be disappointed about a visit to the lodge…given the heavy weather it is something of a miracle and so fascinating to see all the documentation they have on hand there. Also there is the thing of being up on the mountain that we stare at daily from the valley floor…nice.

  7. Fighting back the tears here….lovely journey Bonnie. Very touching. Thank you again for sharing.
    See you tomorrow at 10!

  8. LOVED this post! As I do so many, most, o.k. all of your wonderful communications. But this one provoked a full, long and happy memory trip of the Mountain and its marvelous Lodge. Earliest enchanted evening (1962?) I will share was when a small group of the Mt. Angel Academy borders were somehow privileged to spend a night at the lodge with a couple of the Sisters. The Lodge was basically empty, freezing and wonderful! We got to swim in the heated pool with deep snow ringing it. The Sisters were jolly in their full flowing black habits. The girls were jolly & awed. Amazing place to explore & one I had never heard of before, perched on a magic Mountain that I had never seen before. Thanks, Bonnie!

  9. Sue-Del what a GREAT story…sort of like Madeline goes to the mountain! There is an undeniable magic about the place…the place seems to grow out of the mountain and is solid and imaginative at the same time. All the ghosts were friendly ones, I thought. xo

  10. And thank you Sarah for your years of tireless work with Friends of Timberline, for your beautiful book about the lodge, and for your stewardship.

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