Prospect Historic Hotel, P.O. Box 50, Prospect OR 97536
Ph. 1-800-944-6490 or (541) 560-3664 fax (541) 560-3825
The History of Prospect HotelAlbion Howard Boothby and his wife Jennie moved to Prospect (then called Deskins) from Maine in the early 1870s. In the mid 1880s they moved their young family to Ashland, but after six years they returned to their home on Mill Creek and to the town now known as Prospect.
By this time Crater Lake was a popular attraction, and tourists from Medford spent two full days reaching the lake by wagons and carriages. The Prospect area made an excellent halfway point for these travelers, and many of them stayed with Albion and Jennie. The Boothbys soon realized their house was not large enough to serve all the travelers who came, and they decided to build a "roadhouse," or hotel. The hotel was named the Boothby House, and welcomed not only travelers but also locals who knew of Jennie's talents as a cook. The Boothby House became a center of the community, hosting dances, parties and town events.
In 1897 the Boothbys moved to Klamath Falls and sold the hotel. It was run by Mrs. George Hollenbeak and her daughter Pearl, under the ownership of Ray Electrical Company. In 1912, Jim Grieve bought the hotel and added a gas station and store, and built cabins behind the hotel. Boothby House was rechristened Grieve's Prospect Hotel. Under Jim's direction (and thanks to his wife Mary's cooking) the hotel thrived once again.
In 1909 President Theodore Roosevelt had declared Crater Lake to be one of the wonders of the world, and the hotel's guest books of the time show travelers from as far away as Italy, France, Germany, Hungary and Russia. Many of the United States' most prominent citizens also stayed at the hotel, including William Jennings Bryan, Zane Grey, John Muir, Jack London, Gifford Pinchot, President Roosevelt and President Herbert Hoover.
Jim Grieve died in 1932, and Mary continued to run the hotel with the help of Dewey Hill. As road conditions improved and automobiles replaced wagons, fewer guests needed to stop in Prospect on their way to Crater Lake. The Depression and the second World War also took their toll on the hotel and the community.
Mary Grieve died in 1952. Ownership went to the Grieves' son but Dewey Hill continued to run the hotel. During the next twenty years the hotel began to deteriorate. After Dewey's death in 1978, the Grieves' grandson James learned that it would cost nearly a million dollars to bring the hotel "up to code." He had no funds for restoration, and after sixty-seven years of Grieve ownership, the hotel was put on the market.
Audrey Aieta and her daughter Barbara Osterberg bought the hotel with the dream of restoring it and adding a dinner theater and gift shop. Their attempts to restore the hotel were unsuccessful, but they did get the hotel listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.
In 1985 the hotel was bought by John and Carol Record, who committed over a million dollars to restore the building that had fallen so badly into disrepair. They replaced the cabins behind the hotel with 14 motel-style units and added their own log house on the grounds. The restoration of the hotel was extremely complex, and included replacing the foundation, all plumbing and electrical fixtures, and every window. The guest rooms were meticulously restored using antiques and handmade quilts, with vintage photos for reference.
Just as their dream was being realized, John Record was killed in a plane crash in 1989. Carol completed the restoration and opened the hotel later that year, exactly one hundred years after the Boothbys first opened their home to guests in 1889. Carole Record died in April 1991.
In January 1998 the hotel was bought by Mike and Jo Turner. Like Jennie Boothby and Mary Grieve, Jo has made the Dinner House a favorite of guests and locals alike. Prospect is once again a popular stop for travelers enjoying the natural wonders of the area. The Prospect Hotel and Dinner House again has the facilities and location to be one of the Pacific Coast's best.
From "Prospect Historical Hotel, Past to Present" by Sheri Boothby, great-great-granddaughter of Albion & Jennie Boothby.
Addendum: In March 2005 Fred and Karen Wickman bought the hotel. Karen took over the Dinner House and has continued the legacy that Jennie Boothby started by creating delectable delicacies and robust new menu items. Fred is involved in the upkeep, maintenance, and marketing and dabbles with the breakfast recipes. Fred and Karen have marketed the hotel to travelers worldwide. The hotel is back in the limelight that Jim Grieve had envisioned. It is not uncommon to sit in the Dinner House and be surrounded by guests from all over the world. The Hotel's ambiance is being revitalized and the grounds are bursting with new growth.
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