History of the Lodge

Mt Rainier at Mineral Lake Lodge was known in the past as the Mineral Lake Inn, and the Mineral Log Lodge.  It was first named as a historical landmark by the Lewis County Historical Society and then by the Washington State Historical Society.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. 

The three story cedar log lodge was constructed in 1906 by Scandinavian residents of the Mineral area who were experienced old world craftsmen. The log workmanship is outstanding. Herman and August Ahstrand and Johann Carlson built the Inn for a wealthy young investor from the east by the name of Gilfellin. He was the son of an Englishman who manufactured one of the earliest radios made, Gilfellin radios.

The Inn was constructed as a high-brow wilderness retreat for the fiscal elite of Seattle and Tacoma. Guests such as hunters and other sportsmen stayed in the winter, while stressed out executives lounged in the lake’s mineral waters each summer. The Tacoma and Eastern railroads made two stops daily to the town of Elbe, where horse and rig hauled the vacationing guests to the final destination of their rural retreat. In the 1920’s the Inn was used as a sanatorium for the alcoholic, epileptic, and mildly insane. It was also used by local loggers and mill workers for consuming liquor, gambling, and “other vices”. The Weyerhaeuser Timber Company owned the lodge for a time and in the 1930’s it was purchased by L.T. Murray and the West Fork Logging Co as a political/business retreat.
Many dignitaries from Washington State such as former Governor Arthur Langley, State Land Commissioner Jack Taylor, and various Congressmen signed their names in the Mineral Lodge guest book. United States Senator Harry Cain as well as businessmen throughout the United States stayed at the lodge during the turbulent 1940’s. Since the 1970’s the lodge has been a private residence and for a short time it was also a restaurant. Today we continue the search for all the history of this magnificent and impressive log structure, while greeting guests for lodging.

Learn More

Books on the history of Mt Rainier at Mineral Lake Lodge
Rails To Paradise
The Enterprising Mister Murray
 by Margaret Elley Felt
Nowhere To Look But Up ISBN: 0-89288-177-1


Click on the images below to see the full size picture.
Lumber mills on Mineral Lake in the 1930's Motley crew that built the lodge with the lodge in the back ground, circa 1905. The third man from the left in the front row is thought to be Mr. Gilfellin. Neisheim family 1936, they lived in the lodge in the 30's.
1908 postcard of "Mt Tacoma from the Inn on Mineral Lake", which is now Mt. Rainier and the Mineral Lake Lodge. Gathering Room, circa 1910 Original Paradise Lodge at Mt. Rainier. It burned down in the early 1900's. Architectural style is very similar to the Mineral Lake Lodge.

New Innkeeper: C.J. McKelvie
Phone: 360-492-LAKE (5253)
Address: 195 Mineral Hill Rd.
P.O. Box 247
Mineral, WA 98355

Email us at:

Home ~ History ~ Pictures ~ Rooms ~ Weddings ~ Adventures ~ Directions