Early Resort Lodge on Lower Metolius River

Carl T. Hubbard and his wife Annie homesteaded along the lower Metolius and patented a claim on July 2, 1915.

El Rancho

By Steve Lent, Crook County Historian

This former resort site was located along the Metolius River six miles northwest of Perry South Campground. Ideas for resorts along the Metolius River were numerous after the turn of the 20th century. Plans were made near the head of the Metolius near Camp Sherman for a few resorts that became popular for visitors.

Carl T. Hubbard and his wife Annie homesteaded along the lower Metolius and patented a claim on July 2, 1915. Access to the ranch was very limited and rugged. At first there was only a pack trail for several years that came down Fly Creek with a steep descent to the Metolius River. There were a few other homesteaders along the lower Metolius. The pack trail was later widened to accommodate horse drawn wagons. A road was built in the 20s but the lower Metolius remained an isolated region. Telephone service came much later.

The Hubbards wanted to take advantage of the beautiful serene scenery along the river at their homestead. They made plans to build a rustic lodge along the south bank of the river. They constructed a guest ranch in 1933 that included a lodge, cabins and out buildings. Mr. Hubbard built a small sawmill that was powered by a gasoline engine. They cut timber from their homestead property and used the lumber to build the lodge buildings. They also established a small orchard. Water from the Metolius was diverted into a ditch to provide irrigation.

Mr. Hubbard also used the diverted water to power an undershot water wheel made with paddles mounted between buggy wheels. Through a drive belt the water was used to power the family washing machine and grindstone. The resort was advertised in Portland and Salem newspapers as a ‘place to get away from it all”. It was mostly a summer resort as it was very difficult to reach in snow and rainy seasons. The resort attracted many visitors and became a popular recreation destination. The Hubbards operated the guest ranch for several years but they moved away to Culver and the site was not occupied after World War II. The site deteriorated from disuse and was eventually dismantled to prevent vandalism. Only the lodge chimney is still standing.