Tag Archives: La Grande

Where Ghosts Go to Lounge

Hot Lake Hotel before renovationI shouldn’t write about this while I’m still here. It’s creepy enough in these hallways at night, but right now the sun is still up and I can pretend I won’t be a nervous nellie after dark.

We’ve driven out to the Hot Lake Hotel in La Grande, Oregon, former resort and when that didn’t pan out, sanitorium. Now former sanitorium, as that didn’t last, either. Three hundred plus windows in a blocky brick frame, at one point all blown out, the wind and rain assaulting the structure for decades, folks round these parts had given up on the building as part of a bygone era when the train stopped here and let off hundreds of passengers. La Grande, like Walla Walla, was a destination in the pioneering West, until the population centers crystallized along the coast and sucked the life out these inland cities. Portland and Seattle became economic black holes for the likes of places at the edge of smaller mountain ranges, and to this day, there is much grumbling about people here getting the short end of the stick. Read More…

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