Construction of the Chateau
The Chateau was completed in 1934, at which time the Chalet became the gift shop and guide residence. The original concessionaire that operated the Chalet and Chateau (now often called “the Lodge”) had invested significant money into the projects and as a reward was given test contract to run the cave tours as well. Many year have passes since the original local company was the concessionaire, so the National Park Service began providing cave tours in 2001.
The Design of the Lodge
The design of the buildings, using local material in a rustic fashion, is in keeping with most of the old lodges found in National Parks and National Forests. Landscape architect Arthur Peck suggested the traditional look of the district, and Grants Pass carpenter and self-taught architect Gust Lium followed suit when he designed and built the Chateau. The rocks are the same marble as that which comprised the cave and the bark which covers the structures is from native Port Orford Cedar trees. The rustic design of the cave’s historic district set a precedent which was followed in constructing other buildings in several state parks and the Siskiyou National Forest.