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Since You Asked: Savage Creek lodge an OK place

Yesterday's question from Kurt R. about whether a "Take It Easy" lodge on Savage Creek Road hosted women of uncertain repute prompted Don Lehrmann of Jacksonville to call us and share what he knows, which is quite a bit, since he grew up on Savage Creek. He's a descendant of the original Savage family that homesteaded the area in 1853.

Anyway, Lehrmann says there was in fact a lodge by that name on Savage Creek, just a bit upstream from Old Highway 99. Lehrmann says the lodge was originally the dining hall of a camp built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.

The dining hall was situated between Savage Creek Road and the creek itself. The CCC crews, which were based in Wimer, built the roads up Savage Creek, Evans Creek and other then-remote areas. They also set telephone poles.

The McBee family eventually converted the dining hall into a place for locals to kick up their heels on Saturday nights, Lehrmann recalls.

"In the years after World War II, it was really going good," he says.

There is a reference to the lodge in the Mail Tribune in January 1948, when owner Earl McBee acquired a movie projector so guests could dance "to moving pictures of famous name bands."

The log building has long since disappeared.

Lehrmann's family's home was near the McBees' place, and he says he's pretty sure the kind of female "companionship" that Kurt R. wrote about in his original question wasn't available anywhere near the McBees' dance hall.

"I don't think my mother would have allowed me to go down there along the creek if they were," he says.

"If there was any of that kind of thing going on, it would have been in one of those old motels along the river," he says.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.