The Oregon Caves Chateau
Part 3 - Guest Rooms
June 6-8, 2004
by Jess Stryker
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Planning to visit the Chateau? See our primary Oregon Caves Chateau Information page where you will find an extensive list of the Chateau's facilities and amenities, maps and directions, the Chateau's direct reservations phone number, and a number of specific suggestions that will make your visit more enjoyable.
The Chateau Oregon Caves, Furniture and Guest Rooms
The Monterey Furniture:
The Chateau at Oregon Caves is primarily furnished with antique Monterey Furniture, made by the Mason Furniture Company in Los Angeles, California. Most of the pieces are original furnishings placed in the Chateau when it opened in 1934, making this the more rare early-period Monterey furniture. This is likely the world's largest collection of Monterey furniture in a single location. George ("Monterey George") Mason created the Monterey furniture line, which he manufactured from 1929 until 1944. The furniture is primarily made from kiln-dried Alder wood, and features an "Early California Spanish Revival" appearance. Unfortunately, this style is not really in keeping with the Alpine architecture of the Chateau. My guess is they probably chose it for the Chateau because it was readily available and reasonably priced.
Most of the Monterey furniture uses wrought iron accents and fittings as Mr. Mason's factory also did wrought iron fabrication, so they could make everything in-house. Many of the pieces are hand painted prior to varnishing. Mr. Mason encouraged workers in his furniture factory to take pieces home with them and hand paint them on their own time. They then returned the furniture and he paid them for the additional art work. So the quality and quantity of art work varies greatly.
Monterey furniture like these pieces are now collector's items and are in high demand. The furniture in the Chateau is owned by the National Park Service. Damaging or stealing it is a Federal crime, so if you visit the Chateau, treat it kindly. There are few places where you can have this kind of free access to look at, examine, and even touch such classic furniture!
The Chateau doubles as a museum due to it's historic structure and furniture. The management graciously operates it as such, all the rooms are left with the doors open if they are not occupied by a guest. This allows visitors to freely examine and admire the historic rooms and furniture. Hopefully visitors will respect this policy by not messing with or taking things from the rooms. Generally this policy is not advertised in order to not attract undesirable elements. I'm letting you in on this little secret here, because I assume if you have come this far on our tour you are interested in, and will respect, these irreplaceable works of art. Please don't misuse this information so this open-door policy can continue and others can also enjoy this resource!
3rd Floor/Attic Rooms:
Like most old hotels, this one has ghost stories. The resident ghost at The Chateau at Oregon Caves is "Elizabeth". The story is that Elizabeth and her new husband were honeymooning at the then just-built Chateau. She caught him cheating on her with one of the chambermaids. From this point the story varies:
- The most common version is that the distraught Elizabeth leapt to her death from the window of her room. Room 310 is almost unanimously said to be the room she stayed in, although I have heard the story using room 210. (We stayed in 210 and didn't see Elizabeth or witness any of her pranks.) If it was room 310 she had to climb out onto the roof, since the window is in a shed dormer on the roof. A quick slide down the steep, roof takes you from the window to a 6- floor drop down to the rocky creek bed below.
- Another variation on the story is that Elizabeth didn't jump out the window, she slit her wrist and died in the bathtub of room 310.
- Another variation has her hanging herself in the room, or possibly off the roof?
So what does the ghost of Elizabeth do to disturb visitors? She apparently is not a friendly ghost, but not particularly harmful either. The story is that when someone stays in room 310, she leaves the room and wanders the hallways all night. She cries and moans, with the noise often coming from the 3rd floor linen closet, where she apparently likes to hide. She also is rumored to not like those who don't believe the stories about her. Apparently she does not restrict herself to the 3rd floor. She reportedly has dropped stuff on the head of a particularly vocal non-believing employee on a couple of different occasions in the kitchen!
OK, now for the reality check. There are no official records of any deaths at the Chateau- ever. It is likely that if a jilted bride did a swan dive from the Chateau roof, or slit her wrists, or whatever, it would have been noted in the local papers. Certainly the Chateau management might want to avoid negative publicity, but it's hard to keep a juicy story like that under wraps! It's especially difficult to not leave some official death notice. It's doubtful they just snuck out in the woods and buried her body without anyone missing her. But every old hotel needs a ghost story! That's part of the fun of old hotels.
If ghosts aren't your style, maybe you could hike the area in the early morning or evening hours and look for Bigfoot. There's a recorded Bigfoot sighting in the vicinity of the Chateau!
Now let's take a look at the landscape of Oregon Caves Chateau!
Click Here to Continue the tour.
Oregon Caves Chateau Tour Index:
Oregon Caves Chateau, Part 2. Virtual Tour of The Chateau at Oregon Caves- the Interior Public Areas.
Oregon Caves Chateau, Part 3. Virtual Tour of The Chateau at Oregon Caves- the Guest Rooms & Ghosts.
Oregon Caves Chateau, Part 4. Virtual Tour of The Chateau at Oregon Caves- the Landscape.
Oregon Caves Chateau, Review. The Chateau at Oregon Caves- Review.
Oregon Caves Chalet Photos and information on the historic Chalet Visitor's Center building.
The Oregon Caves. Photos from the park service Cave Tour.
Oregon Caves Chateau- Planning Your Visit Brief history, extensive list of facilities and amenities, advice for visitors, maps and directions, reservations phone number.
Historic Hotels & Lodges