Welches, Oregon

Samuel Welch, an emigrant from Virginia, and his son William homesteaded in the valley in 1882 after Samuel’s wife died. They gradually added on to their holdings until they owned almost 1000 acres. Samuel died in 1898. Tourists used to come to the valley in the summer to camp. In 1909 Clinton Kern and a Mr. Wren leased the property and opened a hotel resort, which they operated until 1909. Billy retained use of the ranch. Billy’s first wife Mamie Kopper Welch died in 1902. In 1911 he married Jennie Faubion and together they ran the resort until 1917, at which time they closed the hotel, remodeled part of it for a home and built nine cottages, which were rented to tourists and summer visitors.

Samuel Welch, 1880

Billy Welch, 1910

In 1928, Mr. Ralph Waale leased the Welch pasture with an option to buy. They constructed a nine-hole golf course and operated it until 1939, when they relinquished it to the Welches. The Welches continued operation until 1942, when Billy Welch died. It went through several owners before it was sold to Mr. Eugene Bowman.

Photo Bill White, Brightwood, Or.
Welches Hotel 1908, and Oregon Auto Club
Henry Wemme's Oldsmobile "Old Scout"

Photo Bill White, Brightwood, Or.
The Old Welches Stage

Another mile down the road was Tawney’s Mountain Home, a very popular family resort. The site, consisting of about 100 acres, was a portion of the old Walkley homestead that had been purchased from the Walkley’s by Mr. And Mrs. John Maulding. The purchase included the original house, which was converted into a hotel. Mr. And Mrs. Francis H. Tawney leased the property from the Mauldings in 1909 and took over the operation of the resort. In 1910 the Tawneys bought the property. The building burned down in 1913. They immediately rebuilt it. The following year they built on to the structure and added the lobby and more bedrooms. In 1945 they closed the hotel but continued to live in part of it. Mr. Tawney died in 1947 and Mrs. Tawney moved into Portland to live with her daughter closing the building completely. It collapsed under snow in the late 50’s.

Photo - Gary Randall, Brightwood, Oregon
The First Tawneys Mountain Home

Photo - Gary Randall, Brightwood, Oregon
The Reconstructed Tawneys Mountain Home

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