Located on Santiam Pass just 20 miles west of Sisters, Oregon, on land historically inhabited by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Tenino, and Molalla Nations, the CCC-built Santiam Pass Ski Lodge is experiencing a surge of interest. Preservationists and history lovers from around the region have come together to restore the lodge. The Friends of Santiam Pass Ski Lodge are doing the hard work necessary to bring the lodge back into public service. HistoriCorps is thrilled to be a part of this effort!
As shared by the Friends of Santiam Ski Lodge, this building “is one of Oregon’s historic gems. The beautiful Civilian Conservation Corps built lodge was constructed in 1939-40 as a winter recreational facility in the High Cascades of Western Oregon. It was originally intended to be a ski lodge for the Three Fingered Jack winter sports area. Accommodating up to sixty guests within its dormitories, the lodge was built in response to growing public demand for recreational facilities. It represents a significant period in US history, has a unique architecture and builders.
“Between the years of 1940 to 1986, Santiam Pass Ski Lodge was a favorite venue for diverse groups throughout Oregon. It was host to thousands of guests per year who visited for winter activities, summer camps, hiking, backpacking and rest for travelers over the Santiam Pass. Many visited the lodge for camps and retreats during the years it was operated by the Presbyterian Council of the Cascades. After 46 years of operation the lodge closed in 1986 and has not been in operation since.
“Santiam Lodge is an excellent example of the rustic architectural style of the era, and one of six lodges in the Pacific Northwest constructed with an original design by the CCC. The lodge included a ski shop, a large main lounge with stone fireplace, a dining hall, kitchen, office/caretaker’s quarter, recreation room and storage rooms. Materials for construction of the lodge were all derived from local sources. The stone for the foundation, fireplace and chimney were all quarried from Hogg Rock just to the west. Most of the lodge was built from timber milled from local trees.”
Our campsite at Fish Lake Remount Depot is fascinating. The first structure at Fish Lake was a roadhouse built in 1867 by the Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountain Wagon Road Company to accommodate travelers along the Santiam Wagon Road. It became a Forest Service outpost in 1905. Activities at the site now focus on interpretation, historic preservation and landscape restoration. Learn more here. Volunteers on this project will experience beautiful natural surroundings while honoring the history of this incredibly special place.