Lake of the Woods Resort - History
“Get away from it all – to leave automobiles, trains and other symbols of our restless civilization far behind in favor of the quiet restful beauty of unspoiled natures”.
- To quote the official 1962 Forest Service guide folder.
The Cascade Mountains are rich in history and lore. These mountains are particularly noted for the countless unspoiled lakes and trout streams, spectacular gorges, waterfalls, miles of hiking trails and vast deep forests within. Here lies the picturesque Lake of the Woods Resort nestled in a basin surrounded by towering peaks and timber covered ridges. Lake of the Woods, a large natural lake surrounded by spruce, fir and pine growing to the waters edge was discovered by Captain Applegate in 1870 when he was camping nearby with a band of Indians. Seduced by the singing of many birds he tried to locate them and stumbled onto the lake. Impressed by its serene beauty he named it Lake o’ the Woods.
As time passed on people started building forest camps and summer homes along the shores of this clear lake. The Lake of the Woods Resort was originally built as a fishing retreat. Great care was taken to situate each structure in such a fashion that the beauty of the lake was not disturbed. The oldest still existing buildings are the General Store dated 1924 and cabin # 3 dated 1922. The resort also had a main lodge with a restaurant and bar, sixteen cabins (now 26 cabins) and a marina to the waters edge.
Doug and Becky Neuman purchased the Resort in the fall of 1998, after an extensive clean up and a considerable amount of research, the remodel of the Resort began just as the winter snows began to fall. Doug and Becky put together a team of craftsmen, decorators and dedicated employees to help make their dream of restoring the Resort come true.
The marina complex was the most in need of attention and it received the lions share of the work that first winter. The building was completely rebuilt from the ground to the roof. The dockside tackle shop was reopened to supply first-timers with the “basics” and the experienced fishermen with state-of-the-art equipment.
A large wrap around deck was added with plenty of space for tables and chairs on the covered deck. It's one of the most popular spots to enjoy the view on a sunny summer afternoon. The Marina also features over 4000 square feet of docks and moorage for up to 25 boats.
The cabins were the next challenge. Each cabin was gutted and new floor plans were designed to meet the new codes and a handicapped accessible cabin was added.
It was necessary to completely rewire and replumb every single cabin. With very few exceptions only the exterior walls were left untouched and even those were repaired and painted. Candra Scott and Anderson of San Francisco helped the Neumans to recapture the charm of this historic rustic mountain retreat. Candra Scott and Richard Anderson provided the sources for all of the furnishings in our cabins. She, Richard and Becky Neuman went to great lengths to provide the right artwork and furnishings for each of the unique cabins. The attention to detail from the custom draperies, Pendleton blankets on the beds and the old Life magazines on the night stands still astounds the guests.
The Lodge received a partial make over to the exterior. The Lodge entrance and front of the building was made to look more reminiscent of the 1950's. While the exterior of the lodge was being redone a team of carpenters, electricians, plumbers and numerous other workers redesigned the kitchen and installed new and refurbished equipment, All the Refrigeration was replaced or rebuilt, and the Bar was separated from the Restaurant by a new wall and custom made double doors. The main lodge was surrounded by the spoils of the forest, walls covered in knotty pine, antlers and trophies commemorating hunting days gone by, and picture windows reflecting the beauty outside. A vintage WPA mural depicting Indians in canoes on the lake, ceiling fans and antler lighting were brought together to create a spirit of wilderness, casual elegance and comfort.
The historic General Store was made to resemble the general stores of years gone by with penny candy, old fashioned camp and cookware, plus the down home hospitality of a bye gone era. It now stocks up on old fashioned toys and games you probably haven't seen since your childhood.
The Campgrounds were painstakingly worked on to improve the lay out and restore the natural vegetation indigenous to the area. There are 23 full hook up RV sites. The goal was to provide our guests with Recreational Vehicles the best and most natural setting possible and yet provide full hook ups for their convenience. The RV park continues to be upgraded and improved every year.
The Resort reopened in the summer of 1999. The new Marina Grill was added in 2002. In 2004, new Park Model cabins were added to the resort giving it a total of 26 cabins.
In 2008 the resort was purchased by John Doherty who immediately built a new state of the art 36 slip dock system and began a 3 phase lodge remodel by adding a 1600 Sq. Ft. deck. The lodge redesign will include building out the second story of the lodge, moving the bar and lounge as well as meeting rooms upstairs, doubling the size of the existing dining room and hopefully adding a new bakery where the bar used to be.
It is Mr. Doherty's dream to continue the work of the previous owners and establish the Lake of the Woods Resort as the premiere vintage resort in Southern Oregon