Tuesday, January 3, 2012

On The Road Again: Wolf Creek Inn...Southern Oregon

The Original Northwest Bed & Breakfast 

By Steven Masone

Probably the most beautiful places on earth is California and Oregon coastal and mountain areas. Leaving California heading north Interstate 5, the mountain town of Ashland Oregon greets you with it's beautiful Ski area and an almost old world charm in the downtown district where great restaurants and eclectic mix of a myriad of shops that reflect Ashland's artistic community that has evolved from Ashland being host city to Southern Oregon University. World renown for it's Shakespeare Festival.

As you continue on through the Rogue valley named after it's famous Rogue River swallows you up with it's impressive wine country and pear orchards famous also as home of Harry & David of the  Bear Creek Corporation.

 The story of family-run Bear Creek Corporation traces its roots back to Sam Rosenberg, a prosperous clothier and hotel owner, who built the luxury Seattle Hotel Sorrento in Seattle in the early 1900s and traded it in 1910 for 240 acres of pear trees in southern Oregon's Rogue River valley. The orchard cost $300,000; the pears were Doyenne du Comice, a thin-skinned, easily bruised fruit hybridized in France in the 1700s and renowned for its fine texture and flavor. The Rogue River valley, with its rich volcanic soils and sunny micro climate free of frost, proved better suited to the Comice pear than its birthplace in France. Under Rosenberg's manager, the pears took first place twice at the annual New York pear show. The rest is history.

But we must keep moving through this beautiful valley because our destination this week is about an hour north up the most breathtaking mountain pine country one can find anywhere. Historic Wolf Creek Inn.

When we heard that Wolf Creek Inn hosted their first Crawdad Festival last July we contacted the new operators who have resurrected the Historic Inn from failure three years ago. As The Delta News & Review has decided to expand another e-publication into southern Oregon, owners Mark and Margrett Quist asked us to consult with them for this years festival. Because of last years success this year can double or triple and our production and promotion team is excited to get involved.

In 1975 the Inn was purchased by the state of Oregon. Local carpenters and craftsmen spent 4 years restoring the Inn to its former luster. Historians from the Oregon State Historical Preservation Office spent countless hours researching the original floor plans and wall coverings in order to return the Inn to the look and feel of the mid 1920's and recreate the atomosphere for current visitors.
Many famous folks visited the Inn, including President Hayes, Jack London, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Mary Pickford, Fredric March, Patrick Stewart, Robert Redford and Sir Anthony Hopkins, just to name just a few.

In August 1911, Jack London stayed at the Inn for several weeks, where he enjoyed hiking in the forests behind the Inn. During this time, he wrote a short story entitled "The End of the Story." He also completed  his novel "Valley Of The Moon" during another stay. Jack London's room is in the front of the Inn on the second floor, much as it would have appeared in 1911. 

I visited the Inn six years ago when it was hit and miss to find it open. I was going to do a story for the Linden Herald Newspapers but it never worked out. This week we will review all of their offerings, and legend has it their may be some "Haunting" from time past and we will keep everyone posted on that! 

Sitting room with great fireplace!  
"Ladies  Parlor"


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