Since You Asked: Log cabins were built as motel in late '20s

Can you tell me anything about the history of the log cabins near the corner of Stewart Avenue and Thomas Road. They have been there ever since I can remember.

It looks like they could have been a motel originally. The building in the center looks like maybe it was a bathhouse. I also remember the remnants of a gas station that was on the corner. Was there a store there at one time, too?

For some reason I am fascinated by the old buildings.

— Ellie P., Medford

Rose Mary Butler, a Rogue River resident who owns the complex with her husband Gerald, believes the complex of seven apartments was built as a motel in about 1928. One of the units, No. 7, now a studio apartment, was originally a washroom for the rest, she said.

The cabins, which county property records indicate each have 320 square feet of space, are built of logs and have fireplaces.

"They look like they should be at Lake of the Woods, or Crater Lake or something," said Butler, who agrees with you that they are rather fascinating with their rustic construction and unlikely location.

The Butlers have owned the apartment complex since 1997. Rose Mary Butler said she didn't have any other history about the property, which is still a bit off the beaten path right outside the Medford city limits, and seems like an odd place for travelers' accommodations.

The little cabins have been apartments since at least the early 1960s, when they first are listed in Medford's city directory.

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

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