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History talk to focus on Oregon Caves and Chateau

October’s Windows in Time lecture will focus on the history of the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve, including efforts to restore the iconic Chateau.

Sue Densmore, executive director of the Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau, will give the talk through the videoconference service Zoom from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday.

To register for the free event, visit jcls.libcal.com/event/6809351.

The program will be recorded and posted later on the Jackson County Library Services YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/JCLSN2K.

The Chateau is in the process of being restored, including the reconstruction of three balconies removed in the 1950s.

The Chateau’s collection of Monterey furniture is being restored as well.

Most dining room chairs were carried away by a 1964 flood, but new chairs are being made to replace those that were washed down a canyon.

Densmore’s talk will be sprinkled with photos of the restoration process.

For over 100 years, visitors from around the world have been visiting the Oregon Caves, which were created by eons of acidic water seeping through marble. The Chateau has been welcoming guests for 85 years.

This year, cave tours have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

People had been able to enjoy outdoor features of the monument this summer, including hiking trails.

However, the monument is now closed until further notice due to threats from the 155,096-acre Slater fire, which started Sept. 7 in Northern California and burned into Southern Oregon 1.5 miles from the monument boundary and 2.5 miles from the Oregon Caves National Historic District.

Pumps and outdoor sprinkler systems have been in place to protect the wooden Chateau against flames and embers.

For updates on monument access, call the Illinois Valley Visitor Center in Cave Junction at 541-592-4076 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Windows in Time lunchtime lectures, normally held in local libraries, have gone online during the pandemic. Jointly sponsored by Jackson County Library Services and the Southern Oregon Historical Society, the monthly talks feature historians and writers offering detailed insights into local history.

On Nov. 4, Jeff LaLande will present “History of Bear Creek: From Salmon Stream to Open Sewer and Back Again.”

The last lecture of the year is Dec. 2, when Larry Mullaly will present “Persistence: Chinese Labor and the Southern Oregon Railroads.”

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

Courtesy photoA project to refurbish the Oregon Caves Chateau includes restoring three balconies removed in the 1950s. Photo from 1938