The incentive originated with a gentle complaint by a hotel guest in the mid 1970s who concluded the curtains in her room were “a bit shabby.” In reaction to that comment Richard Kohnstamm, Area Operator of Timberline Lodge, recruited civic leader John (Jack) Mills to help form a work group to look into restoration of the guest room and dining room textiles.
And we’ve been busy ever since. Just some of our significant people, events and projects:
1975 Friends of Timberline Established
Friends of Timberline was established by John (Jack) Mills and Richard L. Kohnstamm for the purpose of preservation of the history and restoration of the art, furnishings and craft work at Timberline Lodge. The newly formed Restoration Committee recorded their very first minutes in July 1975. The post office in Government Camp received all mail and phone calls for the group.
1975 –1978 Textile Renovation Project
The Textile Renovation Project (using CETA funds, a federal job training program) permitted ten employees to start work. Under the direction of Marlene Gabel, new draperies and upholstery fabrics were hand woven and new rugs were hand hooked. Gifts of wool from Pendleton Woolen Mills and burlap from the Goldsmith Company gave impetus and encouragement to the effort.
1979 Linny Adamson
Linda (Linny) Adamson becomes the first designated official full time Curator of Timberline Lodge. One of the first hired under CETA in 1975, she continues to hold this position.
1983-1984 Wy’East Day Lodge
The Wy’East Day Lodge is built to provide services to the growing number of skiers, hikers and day visitors. Wy’East (a local Native American name for Mt. Hood) furnishings and embellishment resulted from a combined effort that included FOT.
1986 Rachael Griffin Historic Exhibition Center
Named for Rachael Griffin, longtime Curator of the Portland Art Museum, the Rachael Griffin Historic Exhibition Center was opened as an onsite educational museum to showcase the art and artifacts at the Lodge as well as creating a space for craft demonstrations. Exhibits include a model guestroom and the Coyote Den offers media presentations.
1986-1993 Barlow Room Restoration
Significant restoration was made possible by a matching grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust. Decorated with original Doug Lynch “Calendar of Mountain Sports” linoleum panels, the space first served as the Ski Grill. Under the supervision of Marjorie Wintermute, the room was carefully taken apart and restored and the Lynch murals were cleaned and stabilized. Years later (2018-2020), FOT secured grant funds from Save America’s Treasures (administered by the National Park Service) to again clean and stabilize the murals along with other significant pieces.
1987-1990 The Landscape Project
Never implemented due to lack of funds, the original 1937 landscaping plan called for drifts of wildflowers, outcroppings of large boulders and plantings of native trees and shrubs. To find resolution, FOT commissioned nationally renowned landscape architect Barbara Fealy to create an updated design with native materials, blending the barren foundation of the Wy’East Lodge and Timberline to the mountain’s natural beauty.
1997-2010 Light Up The Lodge Project
Table lamps for guest rooms, hanging chandeliers for fireplace guest rooms, cast iron hallway ceiling lamps, large wrought iron ceiling fixtures for the Raven’s Nest and wall sconces throughout were a community and FOT gift to the Lodge for its 60th Anniversary. The project gained momentum after a significant fundraising auction and later a matching grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust.
2000 Archive Project
Board members Sarah Munro and Tom Johnson sought to create a complete text and photographic database along with collections of print materials and physical memorabilia items. Due to the sheer volume of items, this long term and ongoing project continues to this day.
2000-2005 Amphitheater Restoration Project
Don Owen’s father was a stone mason during Lodge construction so he had a special affinity with the Amphitheater. Upon Don’s death the Owen family asked that donations be made to the Amphitheater Restoration Project in his name. FOT rebuilt the outdoor gathering space and re-landscaped the surrounding area. To this day, FOT volunteer “work day” crews periodically clean and restain the long wooden benches.
2003-2009 Winter Entrance Project
The Winter Entrance Competition (2003-2004) sought to find a modern replacement for the time tested “Quonset Hut” utilitarian look of the 1950s. An intense international design competition with public viewing of the top entries yielded a seemingly timeless choice, one that is almost perfect in its simplicity. Resembling a new fallen snow drift, or perhaps an inhabited snow cave or igloo, especially when lit at night, a suggestion of intrigue and wonder makes for conversation.
Winter Entrance Project Fundraising and Construction (2004 – 2009) promptly followed. Serious fundraising and grant writing and corporate and individual donor appeals paved the way for activity. Necessary reconstruction of the Lodge front steps and landing (to make a solid foundation) proved to be more work than first thought. Designed to withstand snow loads of 720 pounds per square foot, this elegant and seemingly weightless structure inspired a coalition of carefully selected contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers to unveil the finished product by October 2009.
Three coinciding anniversaries for the three organizations responsible for preserving a National Historic Landmark and Oregon icon occurred in 2005.
Fifty years ago, in 1955, Richard L. Kohnstamm arrived from New York and realized Timberline’s potential and skillfully secured his first of three 30 year special use permits to serve as area operator. Thirty years ago, in 1975, FOT was conceived and project work by volunteers began. One hundred years ago, in 1905, the US Forest Service was created as a governmental agency charged with sustaining healthy, diverse and productive federal forests and grasslands.
2012-2016 Light Up The Art Project
Accomplished in two phases, the LUTA project brought an awakening to numerous Works Progress Administration (WPA) paintings and carvings which had been hidden for decades in the relative darkness of the Lodge interior. Originally regarded in 1937 as mere decoration, the main purpose of commissioning creation of the art pieces had been to provide income to the artists in those disastrous economic times. Today because of LUTA, the public can enjoy their work.
2016-2021 Naturalistic Pools Restoration Project
Work continues today to return an original (1938) landscape element back to operational status. Fundraising continues in earnest as construction is forecast for 2021.
Summer snow melt once trickled down into three cascading pools (located directly north of the Lodge) and for years when the water pump worked, the water was cleverly returned back up the slope to create a whimsical outdoor ornament.
Like three round river rocks stacked on top of each other, the smallest pool is located at a slightly higher elevation which drains into the lower two. When filled and flowing as designed, the largest pool reflects the image of Mt. Hood clearly on the surface.