The Ashland Mountain House - 1852

photo by Peter Britt 1882

The Mountain House, located 8 miles south of Ashland, Oregon, was built in 1852 with the first lumber from the first sawmill in the Rogue Valley, making it the oldest framed building in Southern Oregon (earlier homes were log cabins). Built by John Gibbs, James Russell, and Major Hugh F. Barron at the intersection of their Donation Land Claims (DLC) the Mt. House was their residence, and proved their claims. Within two years Gibbs had been killed in an Indian uprising, Russell had left to establish  a butcher shop 50 miles to the south in Yreka, California, and Barron had married and become the sole owner of the property and three land claims. 

Between 1858 and 1885 the Mt. House served as an Oregon-California Trail stage coach stop and travelers rest. In 1887 an 1800 sqft two story addition was built and the house served succeeding generations of Barrons until 1960 when the home and 700 acres were sold to Adrian Barrats. The Barrats family lived in the home for six years before selling it and 6.5 acres to Monty Hall. The Halls lived in the house until we purchased it in November of 2002.

 

The Ashland Mountain House - January 2003

The rear portion of the house (center left) is the original timber framed stage coach stop. The porch has been closed up and the three upstairs windows boarded over. The front portion of the house (right) was added in 1887 and is classic balloon framing. 

As it stood in early 2003 the 3800 square foot (excluding porches) nine bedroom house was heated by a single oil stove and had one bathroom located down stairs in the rear. There are three fireplaces and evidence for multiple wood stoves in the upper front bedrooms, none functioning.

Along the way, yellow aluminum siding had been added and through out the downstairs the 10 foot ceilings had been dropped to 8 feet and the rooms sheet rocked. This had been the solution to making the leaky wood walled un-insulated house habitable during the winter.

 

 

May 2003

The yellow aluminum siding has been removed.

 

 

June 2003

All the porches must be rebuilt and the windows rebuilt. Each window will be disassembled and rebuilt using the original glazing. A few of  the windows in the old rear portion of the house are either missing or so badly deteriorated that new windows will be installed.

 

October 2003

 

November 2003

Winter is coming on and we're making the envelope water tight. We'll turn our attention to the interior until next spring.

 

April 2004

The weather is still pretty cold. Inside work continues. There have been a few good days for working on the porches.

 

July 17 2004

 

 

August 29, 2004

We had our final inspection five days ago and moved in the following day! There are still lots of little things to do, including the brick building in the rear, but it sure feels good to be here.

Ashland Mountain House B&B website

Mountain House restoration photos                     Workshop construction photos