Share Your Stories

historical-photosThe Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau works with the Department of the Interior on the preservation, stewardship and improvement of cultural and natural resources of the Oregon Caves National Monument.  Some of that work is done at the state and local levels of government, but in order to preserve the cultural resources of the Caves, we rely on you.

Please share with us, if you will, something you remember about the Caves or Chateau — a time you stayed at the Chateau, your summer work experience at the Caves, anything that helps us “preserve the cultural resources of the Monument”.

You can share your story below, or if you need to mail photos or historical documents, you can send them to us at P.O. Box 2195, Grants Pass, OR 97528. We will be sure to handle everything with the utmost care, and if you’d like them back, we’ll return them to you unharmed.

This program is made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH’s grant program.

Your stories will be displayed on this page for others to share and respond to.

Thanks for your time!

Share with us!

  1. Jim Forst said:

    September 12, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Sure wish we could be there for the reunion…it would be great to catch up with old friends. But the timing is not good for us. The Caves reunion is the same weekend we have the big volunteer appreciation picnic put on by Fort Stevens State Park and the Friends of Old Fort Stevens nonprofit corporation with which we’re associated. Maybe the timing will work out better for the 2nd Annual Reunion Weekend in 2010.

    Diane worked for the Oregon Caves Company during the early 1980s until she gave Crater Lake Lodge a try in 1984, which is where we met. In May of 1985 we both began working at the Caves year-round into August 1987, when we left to get married.

    So… everyone have a great time at the reunion. We send our best wishes to all and hope we can make it next year.

    –Jim & Diane Forst

  2. Joan Walsh/ said:

    December 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    In 2009 our Oregon family celebrated my mother-in-law, Marta Walsh’s 100th birthday with a hot air balloon ride and a family reunion in CA. On the way back home, we stopped at the Chateau for a final celebratory fling for and by the birthday gal. During check-in, she heard the place was haunted. Later, during her nap time, with her diminished hearing, she thought either the ghosts or mice were in her closet…it was actually the noise made by the Ringtail Cats frolicking between the floors. The ‘haunted’ rumor, however, persisted and later before dinner she was talking to the front desk when a couple came in to check if there were any rooms still available. They overheard the talk of ghosts and decided to leave immediately…we all had a good laugh. Our whole family truly enjoyed a memorable visit to both the caves and the wonderful Chateau. Btw…three of us younger ones searched, with cameras ready, for the ghost on the designated floor…no luck. Marta is no longer with us but we will certainly be back!
    -The Walsh Famiiy
    Myrtle Point Oregon

  3. Peter Stout said:

    July 18, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Well, I’m pleased to have found the FOCAC! Way, way back in 1979, I was a guide here. Just out of college, I signed up with The Christian Ministry in the National Parks, and moved from Pennsylvania to Oregon Caves. I’d never been west of Harrisburg! During the week I would perform my guide duties, and on Sundays I led non-denominational services outside. My college outing club was actually a Grotto club, so I’d been caving for a while, and loved it! My god is the Great Out Doors, so it was a perfect fit for me. We explored the “Little Marble Halls” cave next to the 110 exit, and plenty of areas off the tour route. It was a great summer!
    I moved to Colorado that winter and have since been involved with the Cave Rescue Foundation, spending a week at Carlsbad helping to clean the formations, and exploring off the tour route. Also got into New Cave while there. There are caves in Colorado, and I used to lead a Boy Scout troop into Fulford cave, near Eagle, every year here. My time at Oregon Caves was indeed memorable, not just for the setting, but for the people – my co-workers, the locals, and yes, the tourists. If you’re ever in Colorado, and wish to get underground, drop me a line at [email protected].

  4. Dan Tackett said:

    July 26, 2013 at 10:30 am

    My daughter Angela and I stay at the Chateau every 4th Wednesday or Thursday of May. It started when she was 8 and we’ll be there this year and now she is 14. We’ve always stayed in Room 101. It’s her favorite place. I taught her to play chess in the lobby. She’s very good now and we always play during our visits.

  5. Louneil Nease said:

    July 26, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Some time ago, my husband and I, along with our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, visited the Caves – staying several days in the Chateau. Our GPS unit, “Wanda” we called her, directed us through the mountains on an old one lane road. We finally decided that “Wanda” made an error and we turned around and went back to the paved road, finally reaching your beautiful facility at the end of a winding road. Well worth the winding. The younger folks took the tour of the Caves and thoroughly enjoyed it – we peeked inside. The evening meals were real special and we loved the Marion berry jam and syrup at breakfast. In fact, we brought some back to Georgia with us and ordered more later. You folks are great !

  6. Candis Veale said:

    November 13, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    My grandfather Gustaf Adolf Lium designed & built the Chateau.
    I am 60 now but still remember those days at the caves with him
    Can’t even begin to tell you, what a quiet, gentle, amazingly smart (self taught) man he was.
    It makes me proud that people can walk into the chateau & enjoy “going back”, so many years in time.

  7. Cave Friend said:

    June 2, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Please get in touch with me. We would love to have more stories and know more of the family members. My email is [email protected]

  8. Sue Densmore said:

    August 10, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Bob Cox worked at the Oregon Caves as a Cave guide during the summer of 1948.  His future wife Joan Mannel/Cox was a waitress for two summers 1948 and 1949.  Bob and his daughter Cathy Rivers stayed overnight and gave their approval to the restoration of the Community Room – formerly Little D ( Little Diner) where Bob and 59 other college students had all their meals when they worked here.  An OSU grad – Bob remembered a special song they sang to the guests – and performed it for us here –  Listen Carefully! 

    Thanks so much Bob and Cathy for coming to visit!!