A Remarkable History Family-Owned Since 1947
Oregon has a rich history of family owned and operated businesses. Callahan’s Mountain Lodge is a part of that tradition. As a young man growing up in the Rogue Valley, Don Callahan dreamed of owning a lodge in the Siskiyou Mountains. After service in World War II, he chiseled out a building site from the solid rock of the hillside. In 1947, he built a wood and stone building for a dining room furnished with eight stools and five tables. On March 23, 1947, “Callahan’s Café” opened for business. Don’s wife, Nilde, introduced the hearty menu inspired by her Italian heritage. Later, their residence above the restaurant was turned into the first “lodge” with five guest rooms and a “community” bathroom. In 1963, the State of Oregon removed the original “motor lodge” to provide width for Interstate 5. Encouraged by previous success, in 1965, Callahan’s reopened in its current location, just below the Pacific Crest Trail, the Mount Ashland Ski Resort and the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains, the highest point on Interstate 5.
Ron and Donna Bergquist purchased the Southern Oregon landmark from the Callahan family on January 2,
1996, to carry on a rock solid continuously family-owned and operated Southern Oregon business. With a career in architectural design and the management of hospitality facilities, Ron Bergquist is well suited to the task of seeing Callahan’s into a new generation. He designed and founded the Shari’s Restaurant Corporation, and developed the Rogue Regency Inn in Medford where he and Donna met in 1992. From Austin, Texas, Donna established a talent agency in 1976, and represented clients for feature film, commercial, fashion and voiceover contracts until 1994.
After years of transforming the restaurant into a destination resort, a devastating fire occurred in 2006, resulting in a significant loss for the community. The fire did not deter Ron and Donna from their vision and commitment to a future for Callahan’s. The Bergquists were inspired by the resounding support and encouragement from guests near and far to continue the Callahan’s legacy. Ron designed and directed the building of the new lodge and most all of its furnishings. Donna managed business logistics and selected decor. Consistent with the primary objective, the new design incorporated as much of the ambience and the charm of the old lodge as possible.
The lodge reopened on August 15, 2008. The new four-floor facility now offers twenty-three generously furnished guest rooms, two fully handicapped accessible. In-room features include Jacuzzi tubs, wood-burning fireplaces, pillow-top beds, kitchenettes and outdoor terraces with rocking chairs. A fourth, “penthouse” floor offers two executive/honeymoon suites. A banquet room, designed to accommodate 150 guests, three private dining rooms, a spacious outdoor deck and grass sod lawn offer wonderful facilities for weddings and receptions, meetings and other events. Moreover, the building is made to withstand a 100 mph wind, a 90-pound snow load and a seismic level 8 earthquake, all at the same time!
With a dedicated staff and the ongoing support of Southern Oregon, Northern California, and countless loyal patrons who travel the “5”, Callahan’s Mountain Lodge will continue to be “Ashland’s Mountain Experience” for many more years to come.
Callahan’s goal is to provide perfect food and perfect service to every guest, every time. It is each employee’s individual dedication to high standards in a respectful, humble and team-oriented environment that allows us to succeed. Our success depends upon the quality of the memories that our guests take with them.
Thank you for your patronage!