Government Camp Oregon
The History of Government Camp Oregon, on the south side of Mount Hood.
Government Camp is located on the south face of Mount Hood at 4000 feet in elevation. By tradition Government Camp is a “ski town”. Even before the ski resorts people used to make their way to Mount Hood in the Winter to snowshoe and ski in the winter and hike in the Summer. Government Camp is home to the famous Timberline Lodge. Timberline Lodge was built during the Great Depression as a WPA Works Progress Administration project and is an Historic Monument and national treasure.
In May of 1845 the United States appropriated $75,500.000 to mount and equip an army regiment to establish posts along the Oregon Trail. It was later decided to divert the effort to the Mexican war. In 1849 Lieutenant William Frost brought an immense wagon train through from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 429 wagons, drawn by 1716 mules arrived at Fort Dalles with 250 tons of freight. A part of this contingent traveled by boat to Vancouver, as planned. While the rest were waiting for available boats, someone up high in command decided to send the remainder up and over the Barlow Road to Oregon City. Mules, in poor condition, were pulling heavily overloaded wagons. Many literally starved on the trek over the Barlow Road. As usual, it was late in the fall, with winter threatening. About 45 wagons had to be abandoned, before the train descended Laurel Hill. For many years the vicinity was known as “the government camp on Still Creek”. Later, capitalizing of the names indicated that the title Government Camp had gained full acceptance. An actual community was not developed until the advent of O.C. Yocum, Francis C. Little, and William G. Steel, all of whom filed for homestead rights. Some travelers used Summit Meadow.
Mount Hood, A Complete History, Jack Grauer
Yocum platted parts of his claim in blocks and named the North/South streets 1st, 2nd and 3rd. He spelled his name on the East/West streets, Yule, Olive, Church, Union and Montgomery. The plat was called Pompeii. He later called his town Government Camp and tried to establish a Post Office with that name but the government objected to the two-word name. So he changed it to Pompeii and was granted a post office with that name. But the name of Government Camp Oregon had stuck and the post office was eventually changed to Government Camp.
OC Yocum built the Mountain View House hotel in 1899, and Lige Coalman bought it in 1910. Lige built the Government Camp Hotel the next year. He sold his hotels and the both burned in 1933.
George Calverly built a café at the East end of town and his wife operated it. Everett Sickler and Albert Krieg built the Battle Axe Inn in 1924. It burned on November 7, 1950. Charlie Hill built and ran Hills Place across from the Battle Axe Inn from 1932 until it burned in 1969. The Rafferty’s built and ran a hotel next to the Battle Axe Inn. It changed hands and names, the Tyrolean Lodge and the Mountain View, several times before it burned down in 1954.