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Upriver bed and breakfast sold, closes doors

Chetco River Inn, pictured from the opposite bank of the Chetco River, has been sold.
After 22 years the Chetco River Inn closed its doors to guests Monday morning when the sale of the property was complete.

Sandra and Clayton Brugger built and operated the inn for more than two decades before deciding it was time to concentrate on another part of their lives.

“It was time for us to do something else,” Sandra said.

The inn was a popular spot for weddings and anniversary getaways, as well as for fishermen.

Sandra did not reveal the  purchase price or the identity of the new owners, but did say the buyers were former guests at the inn.

“They love Southern Oregon,” she said.

According to the Curry County Assessor’s office, the market value of the 40 acre property, located at 21202 High Prairie Road, is $759,930.

The sale was handled by Four Star Reality, a Eureka, Calif. agency that specializes in unusual properties such as the Chetco River Inn.

The new owner will not continue operating the six-bedroom home as a bed and breakfast, Sandra said.

The inn stopped taking reservations as soon as it became clear that a sale might be imminent, she said. The few reservations already on the books were cancelled and the guests notified.

The Bruggers purchased the property, located 12 miles east of Brookings, in 1984. They completed the first building in 1987 and opened as a bed and breakfast.

When they purchased the property there was a stone chimney, the only remaining part of a house that survived the 1964 flood but didn’t survive a fire.

That chimney was a local hang-out and party location for many years, Sandra said.

The inn also survived the Biscuit Fire in 2002. For more than two weeks there were no guests because the road from Brookings to Wilderness Retreat, a community near the inn, was closed due to the fire.

The inn and about 50 Wilderness Retreat homes were protected by firefighters who ran hoses from the river to the homes, dousing each building daily to prevent cinders from the nearby fire from spreading.

Eventually the fire came within a few miles of the inn and stopped, sparing both the inn and Wilderness Retreat.

More than two decades of running the Chetco River Inn have provided a treasury of memories, she said, from the foibles of some annual guests to the stories they bring  back to the Bruggers.

One guest, Sandra said, was on a trip in South America when he spotted someone wearing a Chetco River Inn hat. The unexpectedly familiar sight brought two strangers together for a short time while far from home.

The Bruggers intend to remain in the area as seasonal residents at another property they own.

It won’t be the same as the inn, she said.

“We’ll miss this forever. It’s been good to us.”

 ---

The Chetco River Inn guest books is already packed away, but the inn’s electronic guest book at tripadvisor.com is full of guests’ memories.

“Sitting at work today my mind wanders over to the Chetco River Inn, wishing I was sitting in their lovely living room reading a good book or playing board games, or walking out to the river to enjoy the wildness of the place, or watching the starry night sky, or enjoying a delicious treat from our hosts.”
— BeagleHound,
Redmond

“I have to mention another favorite memory - Molly & Max, the 2 Scottish Terriers that watch over the Inn and it's guests. So much personality in such small packages, they were our willing & energetic companions on our trip along the river shore.”
— JFAdventure,
Washington state

“A rocking chair on a sunny deck. A hammock in the glade. Gourmet cuisine. Pillow-top king-size beds with luxury linens. Untrammeled natural beauty. A river to swim or fish in. Congenial hosts. Reasonable prices. It doesn't get any better than the Chetco River Inn.
— Anonymous,
Arcata, Calif.

“My only complaint is that i wasn't forced to stay the rest of my life there.”
— Oregone,
Portland

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