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Prospect Historical Hotel, 391 Mill Creek Drive, Prospect, OR 97536
Ph. 1-800-944-6490 or (541) 560-3664   e-mail info@prospecthotel.com


Reprint from the Medford Mail Tribune
Story by Bill Kettler
March 28, 2004

The Prospect Historical Hotel, whose guests have included Herbert Hoover, Zane Grey, Jack London and John Muir, continues to entertain travelers on the road to Crater Lake.

A haven for travelers looking for an old era.

It's easy to miss the Prospect Hotel. For that matter, it's easy to miss Prospect.

Highway 62 bypasses the little timber town about 40 miles northeast of Medford. Most Crater Lake-bound travelers blast right past Prospect never knowing they've missed a chance to spend a night in a century-old hotel where Herbert Hoover, Zane Grey, Jack London and John Muir took their rest.

The big, white, frame building wasn't always a hotel. Albion and Jennie Boothby built it as their private residence in 1890 along the wagon road between the Rogue Valley and Klamath Falls.

When Crater Lake became a tourist attraction, Prospect became a natural place to lay over for the night on the two-day trip. Travelers began to ask the Boothbys if they had any spare rooms, and by 1892 they were taking in regular paying guests.

The Boothby House, as it was known when the 20th century was new, thrived as Crater Lake's fame grew. When Jim and Mary Grieve took over the hotel in 1912, they changed its name to Prospect Hotel and built a store nearby.

The Grieve family ran the hotel through the first half of the century and added the big veranda to the main house. After Mary's death in 1952, the hotel deteriorated, and tourists found other accommodations. By 1980, when the Grieves' general store burned to the ground, the hotel's roof leaked; all the windows were broken out and a large "KEEP OUT" sign blocked the wide front porch.

How to get there  

To visit the Prospect Hotel, take Highway 62 toward Crater Lake. Just past milepost 43, turn right at Mill Creek Drive, and drive .7 miles to the hotel. If you see the Prospect Ranger Station and lots of big trees alongside the road, you missed the turn.

John and Carol Record of Central Point bought the hotel in 1988 and began the long, expensive restoration process. To maintain its historic character, they bought specially milled siding that matched the original boards and wooden windows that matched the original sashes. They also added 14 motel units behind the original building. The Records both died before they could enjoy their dream. The hotel passed through several more owners before Mike & Jo Turner bought it in 1998. Fleeing Seattle traffic and sales jobs for a slower pace.

"We went from a town of 3 million people to a town of 200," Mike Turner says. 

Now they're doing what the Boothbys did 100 years ago - entertaining travelers on the road to Crater Lake. Lodging is available year-round, and they serve dinner during the summer months. Motel rooms cost $50 to $90 (depending on room size and season), and rooms in the hotel range from $80 to $150, with breakfast included.

While the hotel's period furnishings and high ceilings preserve the sense of another era, the Turner's run a thoroughly modern business. Mike Turner estimates that at least 30 percent of their bookings now come from Internet customers attracted by the hotel's Web site: www.prospecthotel.com.

I personally think the Internet will be the savior of out-of-the-way places like this," he says.

The hotel earned a blurb in Sunset magazine last summer, signaling how much things have changed since the '80s. But Turner says his best-selling postcard shows the hotel at its most derelict, with veranda roof sagging, black voids where windows and doors should be, and that decidedly hostile "KEEP OUT" sign.

"Vacation on a budget," the card says in part, "at the Prospect Hotel in Jackson County, Oregon.".


Mail Tribune
Front page

Reprinted with permission from:
The Mail Tribune
2004, Medford, Oregon USA

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