Friday, September 20, 2013

Recreating the Historic Columbia River Highway: Lancaster's Lodge and Retirement Cabin at Tanner Creek

This is the sort of post that will soon live on a new site dedicated to the Columbia River Highway Project...

Several of us were discussing Lancaster's retirement during the weekend of the Yeon to Moffett Creek HCRH Trail Dedication...  Apparently, I was combining these two stories.  I was saying that Lancaster retired on Bell's property, but it seems that these were two different locations.

"Samuel Lancaster built a private 72-acre campground at Bonneville that overlooked Bradford Island and the lower Cascade rapids. He constructed a log dining hall and tent 'cabins' at camping areas. Lancaster used facilities he had observed in Switzerland as a model for his development. The log structure burned in the late 1920s and was not replaced. In 1928, Sam Hill built a 22-room house on a 35-acre estate at Bonneville for his 'friend' Mona Bell. Because the property was required for the construction of Bonneville Dam, the government purchased the estate in 1934." - Clarence E. Mershon, The Columbia River Highway: From the Sea to the Wheat Fields of Eastern Oregon

"...while across the road Lancaster established a campground and recreational facility, Camp Get-A-Way." - Clarence E. Mershon, East of the Sandy: The Columbia River Highway

"In the 20s, Sam Hill built a large home on top of the large rock formation north of I-84, east of exit 40. The house was razed in the late 50s." - Clarence E. Mershon, East of the Sandy: The Columbia River Highway


Additional photos from Curious Gorge:

The long-gone Mona Bell mansion built by Sam Hill for his mistress Mona Bell:

Mona Bell's one-time mansion atop Bonneville Rock:

Remnant foundation of Mona Bell Hill's mansion:

Bell's mansion was on the hill on the east end of the screenshot above, between I-84 and the railroad tracks.  The relocation of the rail line to its current route when its former path was flooded by the dam apparently blasted away a large chunk of Mona's hill, and the construction of I-84 apparently took out another large chunk of it, leaving only a sliver of the land that once held her mansion and, consequently, only a small sliver remains of Bonneville State Park.

Recreating the Historic Columbia River Highway:

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