Thursday, July 26, 2012

Timberline Lodge - A Very Brief History

The construction of Timberline Lodge on the south slope of Mount Hood in Oregon was an experiment, according to a spokesman for the Works Progress Administration – the government agency that employed millions of workers during the Great Depression. It was a chance for both skilled and unskilled workers to contribute to a project that went beyond the basic public works projects like building public housing and roads.

There is no other building in the nation quite like Timberline Lodge. It is the only twentieth-century public building of its size that was constructed and furnished entirely by hand. All the woodwork, wrought iron, weaving, painting, mosaic, and more were done by hand between 1936 and 1938. The lodge is not just an inn but a museum that permanently exhibits the finest design, painting, and craft work of the 1930s.

Materials for the construction were sourced locally: wood for construction and furniture, stone for exteriors and fireplaces, locally grown fibers for upholstery, bedspreads, and draperies.

Friends of Timberline at work
Image courtesy of Friends of Timberline Lodge
 The Friends of Timberline was founded in 1975 with the goal of replicating "in the spirit of the original" the 1930s era textiles that were handcrafted for Timberline Lodge. Pendleton Woolen Mills donated wool yarn and fabric scraps towards that effort -- read more about the relationship between the Bishop family and the Friends of Timberline here. Volunteers lovingly and painstakingly crafted more than one hundred hand hooked wool rugs for the guestrooms at Timberline Lodge.

These slightly worn rugs have been retired and donated to the Friends of Timberline to help fund their current restoration effort: Light Up the Art at Timberline. This project will provide energy efficient lighting for the historic artwork on all three levels of the Lodge; Phase One will relight the thirteen historic paintings on the mezzanine level.

The Woolen Mill Store will host a Timberline Lodge 75th Anniversary Showcase throughout the month of August, kicking off with a reception and trunk show on Thursday, August 2nd from 6-9pm. Please join us!

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