Castaway by the Sea, Oceanfront Lodging in Port Orford, Oregon

Rooms | The Lodge | Reservations | History | Attractions | Home

Castaway by the Sea 545 W. 5th St., PO Box 844, Port Orford OR 97465
ph 541-332-4502 . email stay@castawaybythesea.com

Our History

Castaway History ~ Lodge History ~ Port Orford History ~ Finding Us
(Click on an image to see a larger version it its own window)

The Story behind Castaway by the Sea
A souvenir Mailer and Menu from the old Lodge
old souvenir old menu

Castaway by the Sea was first established in the mid 1940's offering accommodations to the timber and fishing industries. In 1952, the Castaway by the Sea Motel was established next door overlooking the Port of Port Orford. In 1974 the Motel grew in size and now offers thirteen oceanfront rooms ranging in size from two-story condo suites to standard guest rooms. The original Castaway by the Sea Lodge, located on 7.5 parklike, private acres, is now operated as a vacation rental and comfortably sleeps 10 people. The Castaway is known for its spectacular, unobstructed panoramic ocean views, large, clean rooms and quiet surroundings. The Castaway staff strives every day to make your experience one you'll never forget. And as many guests can tell you, once you stay you'll be back year after year.
History of the Castaway Lodge (AKA) Old Port Authority Lodge
Photo of the Lodge circa 1949
The old Port Authority Lodge

The grounds around the house are part of the southern portion of Captain William Tichenor’s Donation Land Claim. Captain Tichenor of
San Francisco left nine men on Battle Rock in 1851 as an advance party to found a town. The men made a gallant stand on Battle Rock before being routed by Native Americans in the historic “Battle of Battle Rock.” This property sits on the grounds of Fort Orford, established in 1851 to facilitate settlement of the Southern Oregon Coast and serve as a U.S. Army garrison during the Rogue Indian War. Five officers stationed at the Fort became generals and gained notoriety in the Civil War.

In 1935, The Trans-Pacific and Port Orford Dock and Terminal Company erected the lodge as their main office. The lodge was built by Gilbert Gable, a promoter who came to Curry County in 1933 after a varied career in publicity, motion pictures, exploration and radio broadcasting. The building served as the headquarters for Gable’s “Gold Coast” empire, a commercial lumber milling and shipping operation. Mr. Gable purchased the wharf site from the Port Commission and built a dock facility, that rapidly disintegrated under the brunt of winter storms.

During World War II, the U.S. Coast Guard took over the building for communications. Dog Kennels were constructed to house “war dogs” for beach surveillance. In 1948, Colonel Preston Rohner, a retired army officer, purchased the building and operated it as the “Castaway Lodge” and dinner house. The chimneys to the west surround the main reception area of the original lodge and the east wing was converted to his private residence. Colonel Rohner’s private residence is once again operated as the “Castaway Lodge” and is used as a Vacation Home.
An Historic Glimpse of Port Orford
Historic Battle Rock
Battle Rock in Port Orford

Port Orford is the oldest townsite on the Oregon coast and the western most city in the contiguous United States. Port Orford was first settled in 1851 and soon became a booming logging town. Port Orford was known for its beautiful native wood, Port Orford Cedar. This world famous wood was transported via ships to rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 fire. Today, Port Orford is a sleepy coastal town filled with local artisans, fisherman, farmers and nature enthusiasts.

Port Orford's historical attractions include:
These links will open in a new window. Close the window to return to this page. Please visit our Local attractions page for more.
  • Cape Blanco Lighthouse - Built in 1870, Cape Blanco Lighthouse is located on the most westerly point in the contiguous United States. Seasonal tours are available.
  • Hughes House - Near the lighthouse, Hughes house is a Victorian family home, built in 1898, it offers a glimpse of how families lived during the mid to late 1800's. Seasonal Tours available.
  • Battle Rock Park - the site of a famous fight between local Native Americans and white settlers, there is a memorial plaque there, and you can hike up it's face.
  • Port Orford Lifeboat Station - No longer operational, the lifeboat station served as a Coast Guard post and training facility. It is now a State Park with hiking trials, interpretive signs, and a fascinating museum.
Directions to Castaway by the Sea
Map to Castaway
Port orford map

From Highway 101 Southbound in Port Orford:
Look for the Port of Port Orford signs on Washington St. Take a right on Washington St. Go to 5th St. and take a right.

From Highway 101 Northbound in Port Orford:
Look for the Port of Port Orford signs on Washington St. Take a left on Washington St. Go to 5th St. and take a right.

(Click the map image for a larger version.)

Copyright © 2004 Castaway by the Sea. All rights reserved.