Kamiah will soon have an elegant two- story European style lodge.
“We felt God wanted us to come here to help raise the economy” said Marjorie Schmaehl. Marjorie and her husband, Harty, left southern California after selling the Seal Beach Inn, which Marjorie operated for 30 years. They bought a 65-acre riverfront property near Kamiah and built the current seven-room Hearthstone Lodge 20 years ago. The couple also owns the Hearthstone Bakery on Main Street, Kamiah, which opened in 2002.
When asked why they decided to build the new lodge, Schmaehl said, “We have been here for 20 years and we want to leave a legacy behind for the town.”
Kooskia area contractor, Timothy Hicks, has directed the construction of the two-story lodge for the past two years, providing many local jobs according to Schmaehl. The spacious 11,000-square-foot lodge features 16 guest rooms with 10-foot ceilings, and includes an elevator (which Schmaehl believes is the only elevator in Lewis County.)
Schmaehl said the lodge includes “all the amenities of a world class hotel.” Of Hicks, she said, “He does the best buildings around!”
She is pleased with the construction, which incorporates iron work, solid wood doors and other elements saved from the Seal Beach Inn when it was torn down. The Schmaehls have stored four or five semi loads of iron fencing, antique furnishings and artwork for the past 20 years, including an iron fountain from France, which she is glad to incorporate into the new lodge. They supplemented the stored furniture with thrift store pieces. She is glad to have the construction nearly completed.
“We are both 79 years old, but we are working like we’re in our 40s,” said Schmaehl.
Schmaehl envisions travelers from all over the world. The entire building can be rented for family reunions or other groups. She hopes to open for guests sometime in October. The Schmaehls also plan a community open house so local people can see the lodge. Schmaehl hopes the addition of the lodge will help other businesses in Kamiah by drawing more people to visit the area.
Schmaehl said of the lodge, “I view the project as a Christian work. God ordained us to do this.”