Bates was a once booming company-owned sawmill town that was founded in 1917 by the Oregon Lumber Company, with a population of about 300 in its heyday. In the late 1950's the Edward Hines Lumber Company owned the operation. Mr. Hines approached the owners of the nearby 'Y' tavern and service station, Lawrence & Aggie Immoos, with a new business idea.... build a new store, restaurant, and bar to serve the Bates mill town patrons and surrounding community.
The USFS issued a “Special Use Permit” which enabled the business to be built and established within the boundary of the National Forest. Construction was started and completed in 1959, The current Austin House was named after the inn at the stagecoach stop in Austin where Linda Austin served weary travelers with her incredible hospitality from the late 1880's to early 1900's. The Austin House was a great asset to the community then, and continues to be an excellent stopover for weary travelers and hungry tourists.
The café has an authentic, natural beauty and rustic charm. The beautiful two-piece mahogany bar was built in Chicago in 1864, travelled around the horn and made its trek north up the Pacific coast. It was moved here from the "Y" at Austin Junction in 1959 when the building was constructed.
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Seating in the café takes you back to a simpler time, complete with an old stone hearth fireplace, warm wood accents, and rustic décor.
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