The following is an excerpt from A History of Rocky Point, Oregon by Bill and LoEtta Cadman
Myron Cassius Kasson
Forest Service maps designate an area on Pelican Bay, between Harriman Lodge and Rocky Point Resort, as Point Comfort. The first owner of record of this land was a surveyor, teacher and speculator, named Myron ( Marion ) Cassius Kasson who arrived prior to 1890 and established headquarters where the Pelican Guard Station is now. He bought and sold many parcels of land in the Rocky Point area. He left for the Paris Exposition in 1900 and never returned. His two brothers, James Kasson and Therow J. Kasson, sold 40.80 acres to W.H. Holabird, Southern Pacific right-of-way agent, on April 22, 1907 . William Holabird and wife, Phebe D. Holabird, deeded Point Comfort to the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1910.
W.P. Johnson and Klamath Development Company
The year 1912 marked the sale of 562 acres which included Harriman Lodge and Point Comfort to W.P. Johnson of the KD Company. W. Paul and S.O. Johnson were Minnesota lumbermen brothers who headed the Klamath Development Company. They had lumber and materials hauled by team from Pokegama (before the railroad reached Klamath Falls ) to the lower end of the lake,then barged on up to Pelican Bay to build the Point Comfort Lodge and new cottages at Harriman. Point Comfort was planned to entertain their lumbermen friends as well as the public. When the work was finished in 1913, the KD Company hosted a party at Point Comfort that is still talked about. The Bohemia Club of San Francisco was invited for a weekend of festivities—–and festivities there were!
The Buena Vista boat
The Klamath Development Company purchased the Buena Vista, which had been built by Pete Perry in 1907, and had Curly McDonald cut it in half through the middle and splice in a section so that there would be more room for passengers and luggage and even a bar. It was christened the White Pelican and used by parties going up to the lodges on Pelican Bay . On July 4, 1912 , The Evening Herald reported that “The White Pelican launch has been remodeled and painted, and hereafter will be used as the private launch of W. Paul Johnson of the KD Company.”
Colonel Holabird, agent for the Southern Pacific Railroad, bought Point Comfort from the KD Co. in 1915 and then deeded 13.29 acres to Herbert Fleishhacker a wealthy businessman from San Francisco. It was agreed that the water supply pipeline between the water tower at Harriman Lodge and Point Comfort would be maintained. Point Comfort became the summer home of S.O. Johnson and Herbert Fleishhacker and their families and guests, and remained so until May 1926 when an article appeared in the Evening Herald, announcing :
White Pelican Hotel
“White Pelican Lodge, resort on Pelican Bay, will open its doors for the first time this year on Sunday, June 13, 1926, was announced by Mrs. Weston Kilbourne, manager of the White Pelican Hotel.
Known formerly as Point Comfort, the lodge is located on the Rock Creek Road ( Rocky Point Road ), halfway between Harriman Lodge and Rocky Point (Resort).
The lodge will be conducted in conjunction with the White Pelican Hotel. Fourteen can be housed, and when week-end crowds gather, the overflow will be taken care of at Harriman Lodge, but a short distance from White Pelican Lodge.
The summer playground will be conducted much along the same lines as Eagle Ridge Tavern, which Mrs. Kilbourne made famous with visiting tourists during the time she managed it. Five new row boats are being built and the lodge will also have the use of a large launch. Boats will be in charge of Lester Wishard, now caretaker at Harriman Lodge. During Mrs. Kilbourne’s absence, Mrs. Clora Earle will be in charge of the lodge.
From the point of view of spectacular scenic attractions, and out-door sport, the lodge is particularly benefitted. To the west lies Mount Pitt (McLoughlin), mantled in pure white. Just a few steps away is Harriman Creek, which at Harriman Lodge gushes forth from the ground in a monster spring. To the east is Pelican Bay , and beyond, Klamath Lake . Surrounding all is a beautiful sky line with jagged peaks looming up as sentinels over the Klamath Basin .
During the summer and early Fall, fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, and riding will be popular, while in the Fall months, hunting will be popular, particularly early is the duck season.
Mrs. Kilbourne plans to have her Sunday dinners at the lodge to fit with the Sunday itinerary of Klamath residents.”
But prices had to be high as the investment was big, and after a few years of losing money on the venture, the KD Company closed the resort to the public and hired caretakers for many years.
Civilian Conservation Corps
The lodge was leased out to the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930’s to house persons engaged in Public Works Projects. Their major projects included the building of a road passable by car to the top of Pelican Butte, elevation 8,036 feet, once known as “ Lost Peak ,” and a wooden fire tower on Pelican Butte.
Fleet, Rodgers, Klinger, Glidewell
In 1941 the Point Comfort property became a part of the Fleishhacker bankruptcy proceedings and was purchased by Fred E. Fleet. Fleet platted Arrowhead Village on the west side of Rocky Point Road . He sold the two waterfront acres and the lodge to Jane and Floyd Rogers who then sold to Walter and Irene Klinger in 1949. The Klingers added a large cabin for their summer use, drilled a very prolific well, and subdivided the land into two parcels. Their daughter, Barbara Glidewell, and family lived in the front cottage from 1955 to 1970. This remodeled building had originally been built as the carriage house.
Cadman, Cossey, Vonder Ahe, Brady
The lodge remained empty and idle during all these years until 1975 when Bill and LoEtta Cadman purchased the property, and refurbished the lodge and the three cabins inside and out. They were successful in placing the lodge on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cadmans operated the entire facility as a resort and restaurant until 1987 under the business name of White Pelican Inn.
The next owners, Charles Cossey and Ann Vonder Ahe, removed all of the interior downstairs of the lodge and poured a new foundation. They also changed light fixtures, floor coverings and landscaping. It was their home.
William Brady enjoys preparing a meal in Point Comfort Lodge’s kitchen.
The present owner, William Brady, a business man from Soquel , California , purchased the property in 1994 and contracted craftsman and caretaker, David Rice, to complete extensive restoration of the buildings and grounds. This 5,000 sq. ft. lodge has seven bedrooms and five bathrooms. There are two two-bedroom renovated cabins. All are available as vacation rentals.
Point Comfort Lodge is once again the Grand Dame of Upper Klamath Lake.
The above is from a book, History of Rocky Point, Oregon. The authors, William & LoEtta Cadman, resided in Rocky Point for 34 years, following their purchase of the Point Comfort property on Pelican Bay in 1975. After extensive renovation, this 1912 lodge was opened to the public and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This personal experience, along with their in-depth research and comprehensive interviews, formed the basis for this compendium of ownership and historical events that contributed to the development and growth of this unique rural community in the “Switzerland of America” – Klamath County, Oregon.
©2014 William and Loetta Cadman, all rights reserved.