Press Release
Unoccupied, Historic Building Burns at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge
Media Contacts

CORVALLIS, OR – Earlier today, an unoccupied, historic building known as Cabell Lodge burned down at the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Corvallis. Fire crews from Adair, Corvallis, Monroe and Philomath responded with engines and were able to contain the fire to the structure structure
Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish cleaning table, satellite dish/mount, or well head.

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and its immediate area. The refuge remains open to visitors during regular hours, although the area around the historic building will remain closed for some time. 

“We are thankful for the quick response and professionalism of the responding fire crews,” said Damien Miller, project leader, Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “They kept folks safe and prevented the fire from spreading any further.” 

The structure was completely destroyed. The cause of the fire is not yet determined. “For your safety, we are asking visitors to please mind any posted area closed signs and to stay clear of the lodge area when visiting the refuge,” said Miller. “We know folks will miss seeing this piece of history when they visit the refuge and are thankful for the responding fire crews who insured we did not lose any other resources.” 

A refuge visitor was taking pictures on a nearby trail when they noticed smoke from the fire and called 911. In addition to the area fire crews that responded, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildland firefighters stationed in the Willamette Valley provided support and water from the refuge’s fire tender. The lodge is visible to visitors from the Cabell Marsh Trail, from the parking lot and trailhead of the Cabell Marsh Overlook Trail.   

Built in 1912 as a hunting lodge and cabin, Cabell Lodge was a two-story, wood frame building overlooking Cabell Marsh. It is one of several properties on the northern half of the refuge left behind when the land was purchased from the Failing-Cabell Estate. The large-scale ranching operation spanned the first decades of the 20th century and structural remains, field patterns and surviving buildings are from the period between 1906 and 1964. The lodge provided headquarters for the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex from 1979-2009. It is listed in the Oregon Inventory of Historic Properties and the Benton County Register of Historic Resources. The only historical building open to the public on the refuge is the Fiechter House, which is open during special open houses run by refuge volunteers in the summer months.

William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1964 to protect wintering habitat for dusky Canada geese. The refuge is open every day from dawn to dusk and is always free. Visiting the 5,325 aces of William L. Finley NWR is a great way to see what the Willamette Valley once looked like, when the Kalapuya were stewards of the land. With over 12 miles of trails, you can see the rare and historic Valley habitat types: Oak savanna, wetland prairie, mixed forest,  riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
 , upland prairie and both permanent and seasonal wetlands. Learn more about the refuge:


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit and connect with us on social media: FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedInFlickr, and YouTube.

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