The Lavender Lady & Her List of Books

Hello from the History Department.

It’s October, the time of year when everyone wants to hear about the McMenamins ghosts. So here’s one “ghost” story, penned by a certain someone at the top of our company, that explains why we named the 3rd floor attic rooms at the Grand Lodge the way we did.

Make sense? No? Good, because it doesn’t have to. Just enjoy.

Rumor has it that a kind-looking, older woman wearing a print dress and sporting a scent of lavender used to patrol the hallways at the Grand Lodge and leave books for some of the residents. Maybe this “Lavender Lady” still does. Tony from the construction crew certainly believes it to be true. During our original renovation of the old building, he watched her casually walk down the first floor hallway wearing the rumored dress and leaving a trademark aroma of lavender in her wake.

It’s kind of like when famous basketball coach, Phil Jackson, would give his players books to help them develop, except the Lavender Lady is said to be a ghost and we don’t believe that he smelled of lavender, although we can’t confirm either.

According to some former Grand Lodge residents, if a book was given to you, it was to fill a specific need and that you should read it, if you may, carefully and with an open mind. Needless to say this did not happen often but there were some spectacular success stories.

Remarkably, and perhaps by design, a list of 22 books was uncovered during a recent reconstruction of the central part of the building’s main entry; the tattered piece of paper on which it was written still held a faint but unmistakable scent of lavender. So it is fitting, we thought, to name our cozy attic rooms after the 22 books because it seems clear that without the efforts of the Lavender Lady the Grand Lodge as you know it would not exist. . . .


You Can’t Win by Jack Black
A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Electric Eden by Rob Young
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi & Ron Barrett
Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan
A Long Strange Trip by Dennis McNally
The Twelfth & After by JK Stanford
The Mysticism of Sound & Music by Inayat Khan
Jacob Atabet by Michael Murphy
Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
The Wet & The Dry: A Drinker’s Journey by Lawrence Osborne
Tamalpais Walking by Gary Snyder & Tom Killion
The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr.
This Is All a Dream We Dreamed by Blair Jackson & David Gans
Paris Journal 1963 by Janet Flanner
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell
Chronicles by Bob Dylan
Coltrane: The Story of Sound by Ben Ratliff


  1. hi on June 20, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    Is she friendly?

  2. hi on June 20, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    Is she friendly? I hope she is.

Leave a Comment