Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, Oregon - Page 11

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These photos are out-takes, ones that didn't make it into our photo tour. When creating a hotel tour we generally take well over 100 photos of the hotel and grounds. That's a few more than most folks want to see, so we try to edit the tour to a more reasonable number. Unfortunately that leaves a lot of interesting photos that don't make the cut. So we are posting some of those photos here and on the next page for you to look at if you have time and interest.

Newel Posts:

Timberline Lodge is famous for its carved newel posts, particularly the 12 posts carved into animals. A newel post is the upright post that anchors the top or bottom of a stair handrail. At the Timberline Lodge the builders went to great lengths to combine art with architecture. The photo above is a newel post on the back stairway on the west end of the lodge.  This back-stair newel posts features less expensive to carve geometric patterns (photo above.)

All of the newel posts here at Timberline were made from recycled telephone poles. They were carved in 1937 under the supervision of Thomas Lewin and Ray Neufer. The animal newel posts that follow are found on the two main staircases adjacent to the Head House. The process of carving each post started with plaster sculptures of the animals created by Florence Thomas. These plaster models were then used to guide the work of the wood carvers. All of the animals represented are found in the Pacific Northwest.

Badger Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Bear Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Beaver Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Back of Beaver Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Bobcat Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Duck Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Eagle Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Fawn Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Fox Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Mole Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Owl Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Pelican Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Western Kingfisher Newel Post at Timberline Lodge.

Looking up the back staircase on the far west end of the Lodge near the pool. A couple more carved newel posts are here on the second floor landing.


Arches are found throughout Timberline Lodge. The so-called "Timberline Arch" is the most common, with it's flattened top and curved sides. Here is an example of it in the fireplace opening. You can also see one side of a Timberline Arch made of heavy timbers on either side of the chimney in the doorways across the room. But there are lots of arches here and not all of them are Timberline Arches.  Let's take a look around at examples of some of the arches.

A Timberline Arch on the ground floor, unique as it is made from stone, not wood.

Here's a very traditional arch, also on the ground floor. This arch has a classic keystone at the top.

The entrance to the Blue Ox Bar is a Gothic, or pointed, arch. This iron gate is a recent addition to the lodge, but done with classic style and workmanship.

This hallway door is shaped as a tall narrow Timberline Arch. So how do you mount hinges on a door shaped like this one? For a door to swing easily, the hinge knuckles must be directly above each other.

Here's the back of the arched door showing the hinge hardware.  The key to the hinges is extremely long leaves/wings that allow the knuckles to be aligned.  Notice how a single long pin is used for all 3 hinges.

Julie demonstrates how the door swings on the hinges with the elongated leaves/wings.

Iron Hardware:

This is the iron gate on the entrance to the Cascade Dining Room. It is original, made by the WPA.

An example of the metal work you might miss if not looking closely. All hand hammered on a forge and shaped from iron bars. Most of the iron work was actually performed in a blacksmith shop in Portland and then the finished work was transported up to the lodge. That reduced the number of workers that needed to be transported up the mountain to the lodge.

Rustic hand-made door hinge.

This is the latch on the door of one of the guest rooms. It appears to be a simple lift bar style latch like those originally used at the Lodge, however it is a replacement. See next photo.

As you can see from the end view, the lock is actually a modern security door lock with deadbolt. A great job of retrofitting a historic fixture with a modern one in order to keep the historic look, while providing the better security of a modern lock.

More iron work. Very few iron braces and straps like this were used on wood joints in the original construction. Where possible mortise and tenon joints were used rather than straps. 

Here is a close up of the rafter supports in the Head House. All the large timbers are notched to create strong joints. The iron straps help with alignment of the beams, but are mostly just decorative. As previously noted what you see here is a false roof set at about a 45 degree angle. The actual roof is above this one and much steeper.

Workers in the iron shop in Portland used old railroad tracks to create these log grates with simulated spiraled ram horns. The metal work was supervised by Orion B. Dawson.

Light Fixtures:

There are many different styles of light fixtures at Timberline, almost all hand made for the Lodge. These are the iron chandeliers in the Head House with parchment shades. The shades must be regularly replaced with new parchment.

Light fixture in the Barlow Room.

Another light fixture in the Barlow Room. These sled shaped fixtures are original from when this room was the skier's grill. Look at the carving in the wood. Also notice the dimpled pattern created on the surface of the beams by the axe used to shape them (easiest to see in the upper left corner of the photo.)

Light Fixture. Look at the designs on the rims and the detail work on this light.

A more simple light fixture.

There is a hint of the Timberline Logo in this light.

Interesting design. Are those mountains in a hanging valley? Or just a Indian influence design? Or both?


Over a million people a year visit Timberline Lodge, and most have made as least a couple of trips up these stairs, many wearing ski and hiking boots. Sand and rock particles caught in their boots wear away the wood surface very quickly. The original stair treads are 6" thick solid wood (probably fir) and it would be extremely difficult and expensive to replace them. Here you can see where they cut out the worn wood surfaces so that new replaceable wood tread surfaces could be inlaid into original stairs steps. Maintaining an old ski lodge like Timberline is a lot of hard work and takes creative thinking at times.

Close up of a corbel carved into the shape of a bear head on Timberline Lodge. He's got a bit of snow stuck on him.  Notice the curved rafter board above the corbel.

Displays in the Rachael Griffin Historical Exhibition Center on the ground floor of the lodge detail how the ironwork was done and show typical tools and examples. Notice the complete lack of metal straps or braces on the posts and beams in this photo. All the wood joints are fitted and bolted. Notice there are fire sprinklers too, fire sprinklers were installed when the building was constructed in 1937 which was very unusual for that era.  A great idea as so many of these historic lodges/hotels have been lost to fire.

This is the old winter "Quonset Hut" tunnel that was erected each winter.  It allowed guests to safely enter the hotel when it was buried in snow. (It is no longer used.)

View of Mt. Jefferson
Mt. Hood in the clouds.

Wait, there's still another page of photos!  Original works of art and furniture.