Sunday, July 6, 2014

Camp 18: History, Logging Lore and Great Food on Oregon Hwy 26

The beautiful Camp 18 dining room is supportive by massive logs,
cut and milled locally.
Going to the coast from the Portland, Oregon area? Camp 18 is a traditional stop for many. You'll see massive log beams, chainsaw carvings, old logging equipment and, inside, a spacious yet warm dining room where you'll enjoy a meal (no small plates there!).

Camp 18 represents the logging past of Oregon. In the 1920s and 1930s large logging operations such as Clark & Wilson, Big Creek Timber Company and others numbered all their camps. The restaurant and logging museum is called Camp 18 because it’s located at milepost 18 on Highway 26. It was not an actual logging camp but I can't think of any place better to learn about Oregon's logging history.

You'll be in awe of the massive logs that make up the entrance and the restaurant building. According to the Camp 18 website ... All of the timber used in the building has come from the general area and logged by Smith. It has been hauled in, hand peeled and draw knifed with the help of his family and friends.
Chainsaw Carvings

Most dominating is the huge 85-foot ridge pole in the main room, the largest such structural member known in the United States. It weighed approximately 25 tons when cut and has 5,600 board feet of lumber in it.

Another spectacular feature of the building is the hand-carved main doors. They are cut from an old-growth Fir log. Each door is 4-1/2 inches thick and weighs 500 pounds. The doors open with authentic logging axes.

The two fireplaces are built with approximately 50 tons of rock found locally. The mantle of the fireplace in the main dining room is solid black walnut.

Most all the lumber used in the building was cut in Smith’s mill which was set up on the property across Humbug Creek. Smith is still doing some logging in the area, but his oldest son Mark has been helping him run things now. His youngest son Clay is a faller and lives and works in the area.

Old Logging Truck
Camp 18 is most cozy on a winter day. You can sit by the rock fireplace and play a board game. Or be seated at one of the massive tables and enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. If I had guests from out of the country, I would bring them to Camp 18 for an all American meal. Portions are pretty much lumberjack sized. They have an extensive menu that includes burgers and fish, salads and the mouth-watering Marionberry cobbler.

For me, Camp 18 is a mid-way stop between central Portland and Seaside or Cannon Beach. While you are there, be sure and look at the logging equipment and read the signs to learn more about area logging. It's a good way to stretch your legs!

More Information
Camp 18 Restaurant, 42362 Highway 26, Elsie, Oregon 97138
Phone: (800) 874-1810 or (503) 755-1818

Photography copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose

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