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About Applegater. (Jacksonville, OR) 2008-current | View Entire Issue (May 1, 2021)
1 Spring 2021 Applegater
Photo by Suzie Savoie • applegater.org
Applegate Valley Community Newsmagazine
Volume 14, No. 1
Serving Jackson and Josephine Counties — Circulation: 13,000
The Applegate River Lodge is
for sale — to the right person
BY DIANA COOGLE
For 29 years the Applegate River Lodge
has been iconic to the Applegate: beautiful
log-trimmed buildings, green lawns to the
river, music nights, dinner on the deck. For
29 years it has been a community partner:
providing a venue for Applegater events,
donations of overnight stays to nonprofits’
auctions, free meals during the pandemic.
Now it’s for sale.
“This was a way of life, a sanctuary for
the community,” co-owner Joanna Davis
says. “I’ll only sell to someone who will
continue that legacy.”
On January 21, 1992, Joanna, her then
husband, Richard, and their sons, six-
year-old Dusty and seven-year-old Duke,
moved here from California and opened
But it’s hard to make a restaurant
profitable. After five years they decided to
run a lodge as well.
Eight local banks refused them a loan,
thinking it crazy to build a lodge “way out
there.” (Valley View was the Applegate’s
only winery at the time.)
“We started literally on a wing and
a prayer,” Joanna says. “We hawked
everything— savings, jewelry, a stamp
collection. I sold everything but my body.”
That got them a foundation.
Joanna’s motto is posted on a wall of
the lodge: “Where there’s a will there’s
a way.” The will to build the Applegate
Lodge was strong.
The way opened when Applegaters Jack
and Margaret Kramer loaned the family
$250,000, paid task by task as the lodge
Another way opened when Jacksonville
Lumber fronted $200,000 in materials.
For decorating the rooms, Joanna joined
the Applegate Historical Society to learn
about the early settlers: Native Americans,
miners, cattlemen, sportsmen, loggers.
Each room honors an Applegate group.
People in the Applegate donated bear
rugs, old tables, and other historic items.
Delbert Kaufman from Kaufman Woods
traded furniture for meals at the restaurant.
“ Trade was my middle name,”
The family created Applegate Bucks to
raise money, a scheme that also benefited
the community: buy a booklet of Applegate
Bucks for $100 and get
$110 worth of Applegate
merchandise or services.
Taxes were enormous,
and the family didn’t
know how they were
going to pay off their
debts, but from a wing
and a prayer and out of the
blue, Pacific Continental
from Eugene offered a
buyout loan for $300,000.
Joanna and Richard paid
Each member of the
family contributed to
the success of the lodge.
Richard designed it. They
Joanna Davis on the balcony of the Applegate River Lodge.
all peeled logs. Dusty
Photo: Diana Coogle.
and Duke both ran the
restaurant. Dusty did the
landscaping and rock walls. Duke, who
Until four years ago, Joanna also
at 12 years old played the saxophone and coordinated weddings at the lodge,
started the Applegation music group to sometimes three in a single weekend.
play for Wednesday night dinners, runs “I loved helping my brides make their
the music scene. Joanna runs the lodge weddings special,” she says, but she is
and the business.
See APPLEGATE LODGE, page 2
BY SANDY SHAFFER
during race week to be certain public
health and safety are not compromised.
We will be upholding any orders given
by the governor, in addition to following
Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
These seemingly change by the minute
and hour, but some of the precautions we
already plan to have in place include the
requirement for registering pilots to be
fully vaccinated prior to the race. In other
I’ve been a member of our Applegate
Valley Rural Fire District’s (AVRFD)
Board of Directors for more than five
years, and lately I’ve had several folks ask
me about the multitude of “Volunteers
Needed” signs that we are again seeing
along most of the roads in the valley.
“Why do they always need volunteers?”
“We see these signs every year!”
There are many reasons the AVRFD
needs volunteers, but first—a little bit of
history from an interview with former Fire
Chief Brett Fillis.
Brett explained that, early on, the west
side of the Applegate Valley was protected
by a private company, the Grants Pass
Rural Fire Department (GPRFD). A
private resident had to sign a contract with
GPRFD for protection; but Applegaters
soon realized that residents of Grants Pass
were receiving better responses than they
See PARAGLIDING, page 2
See VOLUNTEERS, page 12
BY TERRI STEWART
Nearly one year after a massive US
shutdown, we all recognize that life is
a little bit different in the Applegate
Valley and beyond. We greet each other
with smiles in our eyes because the
ones across our cheeks are covered; we
forgo the handshake and instead give
an elbow bump; but, most importantly,
we recognize that we have all struggled
tremendously in the past year and offer a
little more kindness towards one another
as a result.
Planning a national championship
paragliding event during a pandemic
makes you appreciate the simple things in
life. When COVID-19 emerged in 2020,
it was apparent that the annual paragliding
race had to be canceled due to public
health concerns and travel restrictions. Fast
Paragliders take flight during an event at Woodrat Mountain. Photo: Terri Stewart.
forward to 2021. With the understanding
that those face coverings really do make a
difference, and crossing our fingers that
vaccinations worldwide will bring this bad
dream to a halt, the new year offers us a
glimmer of hope that we will be able to
hold our traditional event in a safe manner.
The Rogue Valley Hang Gliding
and Paragliding Association (RVHPA)
wants local businesses and residents to
know that every precaution will be taken
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