Homeowner’s Family Memories of Black Butte Ranch

We have been visiting since 1981 and have lived here since 1998.

There were seven of us cousins who grew up in Southern Oregon,  We scattered, but returned every year for a family reunion, renting adjacent houses, making precious memories.

William Benson

2010 Quilt Ladies

These images are  from when my dad picked his lot  (GH212) and our first years at the Ranch.

These include:

* The original lot marker

* Paulina Springs when it had a cup holder and ladles to drink out of

* An early view from the top of Black Buttet

* An early view of the Country House Condos

* My Great Grandfather standing where the bike path alongside the Big Meadow would be

* Black Butte Gymnastics Camp, with the famous “Packy” in the background. He was the first Rec Barn Director

* Our cabin with the homemade bike stand in front.

Thanks for all the great memories! My parents had their cabin for about 45 years.

Karen Blecha

Along with our best friends, we began visiting Black Butte in the early ’70s staying in a very nice homesite. Our interest was tennis and the other husband and I played nearly every day. I usually won our matches and that always frustrated my friend. In those days we still had wooden racquets and my friend had bought a  new – and expensive one – in the hope it would increase the odds of beating me. We played one morning and I continued my winning ways regardless of my friend’s new racquet. His frustration was particularly evident after the match but our friendship was far greater than tennis and we soon forgot what had happened that morning – or so I thought. The next day, since he had declined a re-match, I decided to walk the trail that began at the golf club. I soon passed one of the small ponds that are close to the pathway and saw something that caught my eye floating in the pond. Clearly It was what was left of a wooden tennis racquet that had been smashed and crumbled and thrown far into the pond. I could only imagine the frustration of the person it once belonged to. While I was certain it belonged to my friend, it was too far away for me to be absolutely sure. Given our wonderful friendship I never brought the matter up, never inquired about what had happened to his new racquet. But I was certain what happened to it. Our families visited Black Butte for many years and loved every minute. Your slogan – There’s a Place – is perfect.

Jack Kiley

My Black Butte story started 44 years ago in 1976 when I visited the ranch for the first time. I was only ten years old, but I knew it was special. My family started our annual summer vacation in 1979 and spent the next few decades visiting every August. We loaded the big green station wagon (see photo) with bikes, clubs, coolers, and the dog for week of recreation and relaxation in the sun.

My folks were part of the original target group in Portland to receive the marketing postcards stating ‘There is a place’. Although my dad fell in love with the ranch, it seemed expensive to buy a lot at the time (we laugh about that now). In 2016 my wife, Mary, and I finally became homeowners during my 40th year visiting the ranch. It’s very satisfying to see our teenage kids enjoying all the things I love about this place and it takes me back to my youth.

I have an explosion of memories when I drive into the ranch from those pine scent summers so long ago. I still have a few of the brass tokens (see photo) that allowed the station wagon through the gates on Hawksbeard. My dad insisted that we get a few tokens every day at the lodge to ensure we did not get ‘stuck at the darn gate’.

I remember spending almost as much time at the Rec Barn as I did on the golf course. Playing pool for a dollar while they blasted 70’s rock from the old stereo in the corner. Playing basketball, ping pong, video games, and eating a lot of bad pizza. We would end up back at the lodge pool for a few more flips off the diving board or a swim across the lake. We always signed into the pools as a golf pro (I was Fuzzy Zoeller).

One of my favorite memories was ice blocking at night on the 14th tee on Big Meadow. We purchased the ice blocks in Sisters and would place a golf towel on top of each block (for comfort of course). We would wait until dark and then slide down the steep tee boxes into the fairway. When the sprinklers came on, we would sneak into Paulina Pool for a quick night swim. Those were good times!

I enjoy the ranch as much as I did when I was a kid. It still looks and feels like it did decades ago. It’s more than the scenic beauty and recreation….it’s heaven on earth. We are so thankful to be a part of it and look forward to living at the ranch full time.

Jim Milne




Owners Of EM 23

Mike Allen, Sr. with daughter Melinda, 3 years and son, Michael Jr.

1 1/2 years old at the Stables at BBR.

Melinda, the daughter, went on to win the World Appaloosa Championship and son is teaching his 11 year old daughter to ride.

And it all started at the Ranch.

Judy Allen, EM 23

Doeneka Family Memories

This photo is of my extended family at our Glaze Meadow house construction site in summer 1990, in what would become the great room. I and my wife and my four sisters and their husbands pooled our resources, bought a golf course lot with Dick Howell’s help, and built a wonderful lodge that could and still does accommodate us all.

The ranch was 20 years young then.

Our family of five couples and 10 children, all adults now, have for thirty years shared this house equally and time together at the wonderful place called Black Butte Ranch. The stories of the fun we have all had are endless.

The champagne toast in the photo was just the beginning….. Cheers to another thirty years at Black Butte Ranch!

Gene Doeneka

Robertson Family Memories

Nick and I have been home owners for 40 years!  We love coming to BBR and enjoying everything it has to offer!

Here is a “poem” I wrote followed by a few photos over the years!

Wow! The Ranch is turning 50 it seems….there will be many stories from friends!


We Robertsons began coming to the land of the gods in 1980 how could that be?

We came with friends and family to share in the glee…

We bought a home on the 17th Big Meadow Green ….40 years ago and it has been our Happy Place and more than a dream!

We have watched the the deer and played golf with the best, we have dined in the restaurants and have had numerous family and guests!

For 40 years now we have shared in the memories…. kids, grandkids:  hiking, biking, tennis, golf and slippy sliding!

What a marvelous place to bring people to play, rest or say “hey”!

Hats off to Black Butte….may it keep going strong…the Nick Robertson Family salute you …. we hear voices in song!

Katy Robertson

(152 Meadow Grass circle)

Here is our story…

We learned of central Oregon when we were living on Mercer Island in Washington, so we rented a week at Sunriver in 1974. We had a great vacation and were so happy that we booked the next year before we left Sunriver.

Later, two of our friends who did not know each other, independently, suggested we try out BBR, after all it was an hour less driving time which was appealing.

So, we canceled Sunriver and booked BBR, and stayed in 1975 at the Country House Condos(see photo), We never looked back to Sunriver. We have come to BBR yearly since 1975. In 1977, we bought a lot on Glaze Meadow as an “investment”. By 1979 our dream got bigger and we built a vacation home in ‘79- ‘80.

Our sons, Chip, Tom, and Dan have spent many summer and winter days in this paradise; skiing at Bachelor, hiking up South Sisters, Black Crater and BB Mt, biking everywhere, tennis lessons and the junior golf clinics by golf pro, Bunny Mason.

We moved here permanently in 2015 and rebuilt our home. Our 8 grandchildren so enjoy coming here.

300 days of sunshine a year, no mosquitoes, low humidity and 18 miles of paved bike trails are very appealing.

Dick and Faye McCollum

Photo Notes

  • The chipmunk photo was on the top of Black Butte
  • The rainbow with bird house is on the Glaze Meadow
  • The eclipse collage was put together from a series of images taken over an hour during the eclipse on 8/17/2017 and taken on the Glaze Meadow with my D7100.
  • The red wing black birds were nesting in the reeds along the bike trail as one enters the Glaze Meadow
  • The lupine and Black Butte mountain scene is just in front of our home here in Glaze Meadow.
  • This was our first year at BBR in 1975 at Country House Condos: Dan Faye Chip Tom Dick McCollum
  • Faye and Dan, 1976
  • Faye and Tom canoeing Phalarope Lake BBR, July 1977
  • Tom Dan and Chip atop Black Butte Mt, 1977
  • July the hike we made it, 1977
  • July Faye and Tom canoeing Phalarope Lake BBR, 1977
  • Dee Wright Observatory:Chip Faye Tom Dick and Dan, 1978
  • Tom Dan Chip at BM 14th tee, August 1979
  • Tom Dan Chip at BM 14th tee. alternative, August 1979
  • Original walking trail across the meadow, 2008

Dick McCollum

Wolverine CAMERA

Wolverine CAMERA