Front Elevation of the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge - Willamette National Forest OR
In July 1939, work began on construction of the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge, using a design developed by Wesley “Buzz” Gilmore under the supervision of William Parke. Gilmore, a former Civilian Conservation Corps enrollee, and Parke were US Forest Service employees in the Willamette National Forest. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees from Mary’s Creek Camp and Fish Lake Camp built the structure over the course of eight months.
Made with local materials, the rustic-style lodge is an excellent example of CCC construction and the favored aesthetic of the era. Stone from nearby Hogg Rock makes up the first floor of Santiam Pass Ski Lodge with the majority of the timber for the structure milled from local trees. It was designed to accommodate sixty people and included a ski shop, a main lobby with stone fireplace, a dining hall, kitchen, storage rooms, and caretaker’s room.
The building also represents an important aspect of the US Forest Service’s and CCC’s joint role in developing recreational opportunities during the Depression. For some time, Oregonians expressed interest in winter recreation in the Cascades and that inspired the Forest Service’s search for a ski area somewhere between Mt Hood in the state’s north Cascades and Crater Lake to the south. Forest Service architect William Parke lead a survey party in 1938 to determine possible locations for ski areas off the new Oregon Highway #20. They chose land near the Santiam Pass to develop the lodge for the planned Three Fingered Jack Winter Sports area. The nearby mountain, Three Fingered Jack, gave the winter sports area its name.
Lindberg-Muir, Catherine (1989) Santiam Pass Ski Lodge: An Evaluation of Historical Significance. McKenzie Ranger District, Willamette National Forest USDA Forest Service. July 1989,
"Santiam Pass Ski Lodge," Oregon State Historic Preservation Office Database. https://heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/index.cfm?do=v.dsp_siteSummary&resultDisplay=649676
"Santiam Pass Ski Lodge," USDA Forest Service website (Viewed October 8, 2022). https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/willamette/learning/history-culture/?cid=FSEPRD582706
Project originally submitted by Jim Reed on October 13, 2022.
Additional contributions by Judith Kenny.
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