If these walls could talk… They’d talk about the cowboys sleeping in the attic for a dime a night – about how they had to dig their spurs into the floor boards that ran around the edges, so they didn’t fall off and through the ceilings of the rooms below. The rooms below had the fancy people in them, who could afford 75 cents a night.
They’d talk about how the cowboys tipped their hats to the ladies, drank their whiskey, checked their horses, and mostly stayed to themselves. They’d talk about how the cowboys’ spurs marked up the floors, leaving a permanent memorial to their presence, even to this day.
If these walls could talk… They’d talk about the stagecoaches that rolled in with the weary travelers who’d been riding for 16 hours, all the way from San Francisco. The stagecoaches carried all type of folk. The women folk were the soon-to-be brides to their future mighty frontier husbands.
They’d talk about the speculators – with their top hats, three piece suits, and round bellies – waddling around, sniffing the air, looking for investment opportunities. Wondering, was this somewhere they could build a bank, a store, a future town? At night, they’d gamble – playing their card games – trying to entice the cowboys who only had horses and cattle, but not a lot of coin.
They’d talk about how, occasionally, a dispute would break out, voices were raised, pistols drawn. It was still the age of duals, but a dual was the gentleman’s way. It was the frontier – the wild west – where the fastest gun won. Luckily, The Inn had rules. Everything could be solved with a shared bottle of whiskey and one card drawn from a pile of cards shuffled by a neutral party.
If these walls could talk … They’d talk about the U.S. president that slept here – the civil war hero who banned alcohol from the White House – but who occasionally imbibed, regardless of his famous ban on alcohol. The first president to travel west of the Rockies, he also introduced the first telephone and typewriter into the White House, then decided to serve for only one term. His First Lady brought the first Siamese cat to America.
They’d talk about how, after the turn-of-the-century, other guests stayed at The Inn, who were equally exciting, in a new way. It was the era of glamour.
They’d talk about how the celebrated leading man of Hollywood would drive up in his famous Duesenberg, with a woman or two riding with him. …and about how the parties began and went late into the night.
They’d talk about the drinking, dancing, and scandal – lots of scandal – mixed with laughter and love, and the notorious affairs of the rich and famous. They’d talk about how, often, a husband would be surprised with the news that his wife had suddenly arrived in town – unannounced! Yikes! They’d talk about The Inn’s numerous stairwells, including secret ones, that saved many a man’s marriage.
They’d talk about the Hollywood stars hiding out from their producers and directors – who could never find them here at The Inn – so far away from the lights, stages, and cameras. The most well-known stars continued to run away to The Inn, bringing their third, fourth and fifth wives with them.
They’d talk about the famous writers, who found this hidden inn, that joined with the Hollywood stars in their revelry. Famous writers who typed away within these walls – writing their stories – “The Valley of the Moon” and “The End of the Story.” A local mountain was even named after one of these writers: “London Peak.” The first author who refused his Pulitzer Prize for literature stayed within the walls of this inn. The writers who stayed within these walls were all rebels in their own way – hiding out at The Inn with the other runaways.
Today the Inn is known for its spirits– the ghosts of past guests. One such ghost is the monster – a possible spirit of the woods ... perhaps a cryptozoological beast – known as “The White Ghost.” The White Ghost appears with fangs, and blood surrounding its mouth. One guest claimed to have been bitten by it!
Another reported ghost at The Inn is the stagecoach driver who, upon death at the Inn, was discovered to be a woman!
Some guests at The Inn claim a feeling of something brushing up against them.
The ghost of a little girl can be seen in various windows. One can hear the sounds of her singing and playing.
The occasional sound of the piano playing in the ballroom (where chairs are known to move on their own) can often be heard.
Objects disappear, and a particular baking pan is known to fly around on its own in the kitchen!
If only these walls could talk ...
They just did!
Jeanne Baker said she first came across “The Inn” when she did a tour of many of the historical markers in southern Josephine County Oregon. Baker said, “I find our wild west history forever fascinating as I continue to explore these areas both in Siskiyou County and southern Oregon.” Baker is a Dunsmuir resident, an active member of the Siskiyou Writers Club, and operates the local tour company, AHA Travel.
From the various clues in Baker’s story, “The Inn,” which answers to the following questions were you able to guess?
Q: What is the name and location of “The Inn”? A: Wolf Creek Lodge in southern Josephine County, Oregon.
Q: Which U.S. president stayed at the historic Wolf Creek Lodge? A: Rutherford Hayes
Q: What famous actor drove a Duesenberg to the Wolf Creek Lodge? A: Clark Gable
Q: Who penned the novels, The Valley of the Moon, and The End of the Story, and had a mountain in Oregon named after him? A: Jack London
Q: What Pulitzer Prize-winning author stayed at the Wolf Creek Lodge? A: Sinclair Lewis
According to the Travel Channel, the historic Wolf Creek Lodge is the longest, continuously-operating hotel in the Pacific Northwest, and is reputedly haunted.