BLACK BAR LODGE
PO Box 510
Merlin, OR 97532
Located 10 miles downriver from Grave Creek across the river from the Rogue River Trail on forested privately owned property. They have 16 guest rooms/rustic cabins with two twin bed, or one twin and a full, for a capacity of up to 30 guests. All cabins have their own bathroom with shower. They serve family style American cuisine for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, included in your stay. The lodge will ferry you from the trail upon request.
Back Bar Lodge will accommodate anyone in May; limited spaces after June 1.
Black Bar Lodge was named after gold miner William Black. Black was murdered near this property, put into his boat and shoved off down the river.
The mining claim dates back to the late 1800’s and was actively mined until the early 1930’s when Tom Orderman from Portland, Oregon, purchased the claim. He hired miners to build the lodge in 1932. The lodge was primarily used to entertain friends and business associates as they packed down the Rogue River trail to visit their good friend, the famous western writer, Zane Gray, at Winkle Bar. Tom Orderman hired Hal and Bea Witherwox as his caretakers. They hosted Tom’s friends until Hal and Bea purchased the lodge around 1950. They patented the claim making it deeded land. And in the early 1950’s they began operating as a commercial fishing lodge, similar to today’s operation.
In 1960, Bill and Sally Hull purchased the lodge from Hal and Bea Witherwox. The Hulls guided fishing groups until the late 1960’s when rafting became popular on the Lower Rogue. The Hull’s children, Zach and Vanessa, were raised seven months of the year at the lodge. Zach went off to become a river guide at the age of 16. Eventually, Zach became the head guide for Rogue River Raft Trips Inc. Later, Zach was to meet with untimely death from a construction accident. Vanessa, Zach’s sister, and her husband John James purchased a partnership in the lodge in 1992. After being managing partners for 16 seasons, they purchased Black Bar fully from Sally Hull in 2007. John and Vanessa are enjoying the continued operation of Black Bar Lodge and hope to pass it on to their daughter Rheanna someday.