A twenty mile drive uphill through hairpin turns, switchbacks, and terrifying drops takes you out to The Chateau, which was built and opened around 1934 as a job-creating endeavor for the local community of Cave Junction. Many of the employees have worked for The Chateau or The Oregon Caves for generations, and these establishments provide much-needed income for not only those in the service industry, but also for the local merchants, farmers, and winemakers who supply the cafe and shops on the site.
The fact that this place is so far off the beaten track means that it is in almost pristine original condition. It is a great example of the rustic style that was really big in the 20’s and 30’s, and all local materials were used in its construction. The gigantic beam and stair supports all came from the same tree, and everything from top to bottom is finished out in original local stone and wood - right down to the bark shingles outside.
And did I mention the ghost? Ah,
As the story goes,
As luck would have it, I was in room 301, directly across the hall from
Talk about sobering up in an instant. Man. I love a good ghost story as much as the next girl, but this was a little much. I tried to be logical about it. I did, really. My first thought was that there must be pipes in the wall, or perhaps the wall was next to the stairs and someone was rumbling up and down in a hurry and shaking things up on my side. But no. There were no pipes in the wall. The pipes are all exposed due to the construction style, remember? Nor were there stairs on the other side, either. Or lovers having a swing at romance. Or three swings, as the case may be. I’ll tell you what WAS on the other side of that wall, though. A closet. A third-floor closet.
And did I mention the dripping? The caves are formed by millions of years of the constant drip, drip, drip of water. Good for the caves. Bad for my camera.
Low ceilings, too. I still have a knot on my head from whacking it against a stalactite. Or is it stalagmite? Either way it hurt, and I got scolded by the tweenage docent because the contact of my skull against the precious formations of the cave could hinder their growth and development for centuries to come. As far as I’m concerned, that’s what the cave gets for knocking me in the head. Stupid cave.