Most of the former ground floor level of the Head House is now taken up by the Rachel Griffin Historic Exhibition Center, a free museum. There are additional exhibits in the adjacent hallways so be sure to walk around.
The chairs in this photo are wrought iron and wood, with rawhide straps for seats. The rawhide has been replaced, but otherwise they are the original furniture hand-made for the Lodge. A non-profit group called Friends of Timberline supports the Lodge and provides funding (and sometimes the labor) to restore, replace and preserve the Lodge and its treasures.
The ground floor museum contains several exhibits on the lodge, including this mock up of one of the original rooms furnished as it would have been when the Lodge opened. The museum also has original drawings of the lodge, exhibits about the men and women who built the Lodge, tools used to build the lodge (including a loom used to make fabrics) and a small library. A short video on the Builders of Timberline plays in the library. Sorry for the dark photo and reflection, it is a dimly lit room and I took the photo through a window.
Does the lady sitting on the chair lift look strangely familiar? Chances
are you've seen her before, maybe you even scribbled on her picture!
Yes, she is the lady on the back cover of the famous Pee-Chee folders
that were standard school supplies for almost every student for decades.
She is sitting on the original Magic Mile Chair Lift that ran up Mt.
Hood behind Timberline Lodge. The Magic Mile opened at Timberline in
1939, not long after the Lodge opened (remember the lodge was built to
be a ski lodge in winter.) At the time it was built it was the longest
ski lift in the world, was the second chair lift ever built anywhere,
and was the first ski lift to use metal towers. The Silcox Hut on the
mountain above the Lodge was originally the upper terminal for the Magic
Mile lift. A double-chair lift replaced the original one in 1962, and
the current Magic Mile lift is a detachable quad that was built in 1992.
Oh, yes, Timberline Lodge is a movie star. It's been in many movies, but its most famous role is in the 1980 classic horror movie The Shining, with Jack Nicholson. But the truth is that while Timberline provided the hotel exterior for the movie, most of the movie was filmed on a studio set. Only a few outdoor scenes were shot at the lodge. Fortunately, this lodge has more to offer the visitor than a famous film location! Don't worry about being booked into room 237, which is prominently featured in the movie. It does not actually exist.
The Barlow Room was formerly a coffee shop called the Ski Grill, and later called the Ski Deli. It is now used as a multi-purpose room. When not being used by a group it is open as a game room. Again you can see the Timberline Arch in the doorway. The carved wood gates were made by the WPA workers.