ASHLAND, OREGON — Callahan’s Siskiyou Lodge is a full service lodging and dining resort nestled in a sylvan canyon of Southern Oregon’s Siskiyou Mountains just off of Interstate 5! This enchanting high country restaurant and lodge is ten minutes south of Ashland, Oregon and offers 19 spacious hotel rooms with Jacuzzi tubs, wood-burning fireplaces and adjoining terraces.
A perfect romantic getaway, the hotel is open year-round for lodging, and includes banquet facilities for private dining, business meetings, and weddings. Some unique features of the lodge include an outdoor dining deck, serene landscaping, a game room with pool and shuffle board tables, horseshoe pit, two rock waterfall features, and of course unscheduled sideshows starring the native wildlife. The Pacific Crest Trail passes within 1/4 mile and the lodge is also a popular rest stop for cyclists.
Callahan’s historic restaurant serves enticing and delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner. While dining, listen and dance to Ken Hart and John Hollis, acoustic guitarists and vocalists, as they entertain from 6pm-9pm during dinner service.
Callahan’s is the perfect place to stay while exploring the wide variety of activities to do and see throughout Ashland and the Rogue Valley. Whether you are on your honeymoon or family vacation, attending the Oregon Shakespeare Festival or Jacksonville’s Britt Festival, or skiing and snowboarding the slopes of Mt. Ashland, you will find comfort and relaxation in the warm, friendly atmosphere of Callahan’s Lodge. Call Toll-free (800) 286-0507 or locally (541) 482-1299.
The Legend of the Broom-tailed Horse and other tales — From earliest times the major obstacle to travel between the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon and Shasta Valley of northern California has been the ridge of mountains called the “Siskiyous.” The name comes from the Indian word for “broom tailed horse.” Legend has it that the first white man the Indians met in this area was riding a horse with its tail cut off square like a broom. The white man asked the Indians for the name of the Mountains, but misunderstood their reply. He thought they were naming the mountains when actually they were talking about his horse’s tail. The name “Siskiyou” endured.
The lowest and shortest passage over these mountains is a few miles west of a 1,000-foot tall rock pillar protruding above the mid point of the ridge. Known as “Pilot Rock,” this landmark aided Indians and immigrants, as well as today’s travelers, to locate the best place to cross the mountains.
The discovery of gold in both Rogue and Shasta valleys in the 1840’s and 50’s brought more people over this crossing and soon there was a community known as the village of “Siskiyou.” The peak growth of this village occurred during the construction of Railroad Line 3 over the mountains in 1887.
A train tunnel, dug near the summit beginning at the southeast corner of the village, will be forever famous as the site of the last great train robbery. Three D’Atremont brothers jumped on the train as it was slowly ascending the steep grade north of the entrance to the tunnel. Four men were killed leading authorities to one of the most extensive manhunts in U.S. history. The brothers were ultimately captured, tried, and sentenced to life in prison. The Siskiyou population began to diminish and finally lost its post office status in 1920.
As a young man growing up in the Rogue Valley, Don Callahan dreamed of owning a lodge in the Siskiyou Mountains. Managing a flock of sheep and owning little else, that dream seemed far away. In 1944 a piece of property midway up the mountain on Highway 99 became available. Don sold the sheep and bought the land. After service in World War II, with the help of friends, a pick and shovel, he chiseled out a building site from the solid rock of the hillside. In 1947 he built a wood and stone building which he named “Callahan’s Siskiyou Lodge.”
The dining room, with eight stools and five tables, opened initially catering to local residents who enjoyed the rustic lodge and its alpine setting. Soon interstate travelers began to appreciate the lodge as well. Anyone who ever traveled “Old 99” can still recall that well known spot.
Don married Nilde Cervellin, an immigrant from Italy, in 1951. She brought the great Italian dishes to Callahan’s which are still famous today. Soon guests were standing in line! In April 1964, the original Callahan site was condemned for the new Interstate 5 right of way. Not wanting to be out of business, Don bought a larger piece of land a short distance up the highway below the summit of the Siskiyous and reopened in July of 1965. The site is actually a part of the old village of Siskiyou.
Callahan’s is known throughout the West as an exceptional place to stop for great food, good drinks and good company. It is now being patronized by the fourth generation of original customers. Few restaurants enjoy such extensive acclaim.
Ron Bergquist, who had remodeled Nilde’s kitchen in 1960, and his wife, Donna, purchased Callahan’s on January 2, 1996. Ron brings to the enterprise his extensive experience in developing restaurants and hotels. He was raised in the Rogue Valley. Donna, a native of Texas, brings many years of experience in marketing, promotion and advertising. They believe their combined skills will assure the future success and development of the “Callahan„ tradition.
The new “Callahan Family”—Ron and Donna along with daughter, Anna—welcome you and are happy to share the occasion that brings you to dine. (www.callahanslodge.com)