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Sunday, July 12, 2009 will mark the centennial of Oregon Caves National Monument. Oregon Caves invites the community to join the celebration. Commemorative festivities kick off on Saturday, July 11 with an ice cream social at 1 p.m. Ice cream will be served by Oregon First Lady Mary Oberst and her family. Attendees will get to view a newly renovated model room in the Chateau, the Monument’s historic hotel celebrating its 75th Anniversary. This model room is part of a multi-million dollar restoration and renovation of the property, slated to begin in 2012. Historic photos taken during the construction of the Chateau in the early 1930s will also be on display.
Then on Sunday, July 12 join us at noon for some festive singing and anniversary cake! Many special programs will be offered throughout the day. Hear Joan Momsen of the Josephine County Historical Society tell stories about her reign as an Oregon Caves’ Queen. Watch Park Ranger Tom Siewert portray Elijah Davidson, the first known explorer of Oregon Caves. Meet community partners and organizations featured at educational and informational tables, including Illinois Valley Fire Department, Siskiyou Field Institute, the Illinois Valley Arts Council, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and other area groups.
Superintendent Vicki Snitzler noted, “We are looking forward to celebrating this milestone weekend with the community. We are also happy to be sharing 2009 with the Oregon Caves Chateau’s 75th anniversary and the State of Oregon’s 150th Anniversary (Sesquicentennial).”
Guided trail hikes, tours of the cave and Chateau and ranger programs will be offered throughout the weekend. One may also picnic with friends at the Monument’s picnic grounds or dine in at the Chateau.
History of the caves in brief: Elijah Davidson discovered the caves in 1874 while on a hunting expedition near his home of Williams, Oregon. In 1907, after many explorations by adventurous travel parties and even a failed business venture to develop the cave as a resort, a proposal was submitted to the federal government to set aside the caves as a national monument. Two years later on July 12, 1909, President William Howard Taft established 480 acres within Siskiyou National Forest as Oregon Caves National Monument.
The United States Forest Service administered the Monument into 1933, when an Executive Order transferred the administration of the Monument to the National Park Service.
Lodging reservation and dining information for the Chateau at Oregon Caves can be found at: www.oregoncaveschateau.com or by calling: (541) 592-3400