The Balch Hotel was built in 1907 by Charles P. Balch, a local rancher and druggist owning approximately 1,600 acres adjoining Dufur. The bricks used were made on his ranch. It opened January 17, 1908. Rooms cost $0.50 to $1.25, touting “hot and cold water in every room, electric lights and steam heat.” 18-inch-thick brick walls keep the building cool during the hot Dufur summers.
The Balch family is from Beverly, Massachusetts, and their family home is the oldest surviving house in the New World, having been built in 1638.
In 1914 the Ingels family, Frank B. and Ethel, purchased the property and operated it until the 1940′s. The hotel was sold and used as an apartment and rooming house, and private residence until being purchased by Howard and Patricia Green of Portland in 1988.
The Greens worked many years restoring and repairing the hotel – from the brick work to adding individual bathrooms in South facing rooms.
Jeff and Samantha Irwin purchased the hotel from the Greens in the summer of 2006. They are currently continuing the Green’s restoration process restoring the grandeur of the hotel.
The three story brick building has 18 bedrooms including a suite on the third floor boasting a Mount Hood view and private bath with whirlpool tub. Each room will have an individual style with furnishings and décor. Rooms on the South have private baths; rooms on the North share common baths.
Even though there are modern amenities, guests come to the Balch to disconnect. There are no TV’s or phones in the rooms. (However, there is wireless Internet access for those who want a get-away work space.) Original fire hoses hang in the hallway and an old electric meter is in its original location on the second floor. When electricity came to Dufur Valley, the two places that had it were the Balch Hotel and the lumber yard. They each shared it for 12 hours. The lumber mill had electricity during 12 hours of daylight, the Balch during the second 12 hours!
The Great Southern Railroad used to drop off salesmen and deliver supplies to Dufur. The salesmen would set up their wares in the parlor and traipse through town announcing their arrival. You can announce your arrival time too. Come up for a visit!
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