Southern Oregon was a great place for vacationing by auto in 1928. Auto camps abounded from the Siskiyou Mountains to Crater Lake.
Most provided camping space or cabins for one or two dollars a day, and many had stores and lunchrooms, gas stations, and auto repair shops. And each one seemed to have a specialty.
At Lay’s Campground just south of Ashland there were two sulfur springs. Lithia Park Auto Camp, in the heart of Ashland, offered free water, wood, and lights.
For the history buff, the Blue Flower Lodge in Phoenix was a former log fort dating from the 1850s. In downtown Medford, Merrick’s Camp had an indoor swimming pool, with swimsuit rentals, bowling alleys and a dance hall.
The outdoor recreation fans could choose from auto camps up and down the Rogue River. The Antlers north of Grants Pass, The Rogue Elk Hotel in Trail, Casey’s, McCleod’s, Cascade Gorge, and the Prospect Hotel all advertised great fishing and hunting.
And at Union Creek, Ed Beckelhymer promised “good old-fashioned home-cooked meals” at his Beckie’s Café.
So whether the auto tourist wanted indoor or outdoor entertainment, a campsite, or a cabin, Southern Oregon had auto courts to fill the bill.
Source: “Where Tourists Find Best Accommodations in Southern Oregon,” Ashland Daily Tidings, July 19, 1928, p. 2.
— As It Was is a co-production of Jefferson Public Radio and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. As It Was stories are broadcast weekdays on Jefferson Public Radio and are available online at asitwas.org.