Make the McKenzie Connection!

Remembering Seymour’s Chateau

From the May 5, 2000 edition of McKenzie River Reflections

Seymour's ChateauBy Margaret Estenson

While building our home in Vida in the spring and summer of 1944, we lived next door to Seymour’s Chateau on Leaburg Lake. There were three houses just west of the Chateau. Martha Goodrich had the house next door. The Goodrichs had some connection with running the First National Bank on the corner of Broadway and Willamette Streets in Eugene. She had a caretaker’s house that sat back in the trees and brush. We lived here. There was a third house right along the highway on the curve. These two houses were destroyed long ago, but the Goodrich house was burned as a fire department practice burn not too many years ago.

The Chateau was along the highway, and the driveway to the old fish hatchery. It was run by Mrs. Sherman, who was a Seymour, of Seymour’s Restaurant on the corner of 10th and Willamette. It is now the Cabaret.

Her husband was in a wheelchair and did what he could at the Chateau.

The Chateau’s specialty was fried chicken with biscuits and honey served in a basket. Yummy!

They had a boat dock on the lake in front of the Chateau and rented row boats to Eugeaneans out to enjoy a day on the Lake. EWEB Park was not there at this time.

There was a grocery store where Ike’s Pizza now stands. They had cabins to rent and a boat dock for renting row boats beside the store.

The summer I lived on the lake next to the Chateau I would occasionally use one of Sherman’s boats to row up to the store for bread and groceries. What fun! How great were those years when one had much energy and muscles!

Image above: Photo Courtesy Lane County Historical Society. Homemade food, family atmosphere and location, location, location, made Seymour’s Food and Fountain a must-stop spot for McKenzie Valley visitors in the 30s and 40s. It featured a center counter surrounded by steel stools in the soda fountain, with tables circling the room. Closed and boarded up in 1960, it burned to the ground on Christmas Day, 1961.

This article is part of a series from the NewsArk, a project to preserve the history of the McKenzie River area. It involves the creation of a digitized collection of back issues of McKenzie River Reflections as well as the preservation of historical documents, photos and diaries. Contributions to help support the NewsArk can be sent to: McKenzie River Publishing, POB 172, Blue River, OR 97413.


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