Waldheim Resort

My maternal grandparents Leif Henry and Ruth Odell Erickson owned and operated the Waldheim Resort on Orcas Island, Washington in the 1940’s.

Waldheim, which means “forest home” in German opened on the hill overlooking East Sound Bay and Eastsound Village. Started by Frank and Mia Opperman, Waldheim eventually grew to 22 buildings, including a dining room that seated 75. The teachers at the Eastsound schools boarded there for many years, and Mrs. Opperman’s chicken dinners were popular with island residents. All the guest cottages had fireplaces and for many years, Mr. Opperman cut and delivered kindling wood to each cottage every morning. Guest could play croquet, tennis, or ping-pong a the resort. The village at Eastsound was close for shopping or beach excursions. Images of America – Orcas Island. The Orcas Island Historical Society and Museum. Published by Arcadia Publishing, 2006.

I came by Images of America – Orcas Island and this rare Waldheim brochure through the online research of my husband and daughter. Such gifts! Either this winter or this coming spring, I plan to return to Orcas to retrace my steps as a child who enjoyed ┬ásummer vacations on the island with family and revisit the Waldheim property. Some of the original cabins remain, but the resort is long gone… a story about my grandparents and family, Waldheim and Orcas Island I look forward to telling you after my return.

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