Dr Pierce's Barn Cottage Grove

Dr. Pierce’s Barn, Cottage Grove


pieces of Dr. Pierce's Barn in Cottage Grove

pieces of Dr. Pierce’s Barn in Cottage Grove (photo courtesy of Cathy Bellavita)

Dr. Pierce's Barn deconstruction

Disassembly of Dr. Pierce’s Barn in Cottage Grove. (photo courtesy of Cathy Bellavita)

Painting of Dr. Pierce's Barn

Painting of Dr. Pierce’s Barn




  • Built: c. 1900, advertising added around 1912
  • Architect: Unknown
  • Designation: National Register of Historic Places
  • Significance: Agriculture, commerce, roadside advertising
  • Current Status: DEMOLISHED!

News and Updates

April 8, 2013:

Cottage Grove City Council passes demolition code to prevent the unnecessary razing of historic properties in future.

September 18, 2012

Dr. Pierce’s Barn Demolished
Restore Oregon working with local preservationists to strengthen local regulations to avoid future demolitions.

September 14, 2012

Century-old Dr. Pierce’s ad on Cottage Grove barn is coming down

July 7, 2012

Owner places barn on market for $135,000

May 15, 2012:

Looming barn demolition spurs code changes in Cottage Grove

March 22, 2011:

Barn still standing despite active demolition permit.

November 1, 2011:

Cottage Grove citizens exploring strengthening local preservation ordinance
Demolition permit issued, Restore Oregon and community still looking for civic-minded buyer

October 3, 2011:

Reckoning day nears for landmark barn
Outlet: Register Guard

October 1 Update:

Restore Oregon calls for civic-minded buyer

September 13, 2011:

Cottage Grove Historical Society ends efforts to purchase Dr. Pierce Barn
Outlet: The Cottage Grove Sentinel
To get in touch with the Friends of Dr. Pierce’s Barn or if you know a prospective buyer, please contact Brandon at the Restore Oregon offices.

August 22, 2011:

Cottage Grove City Council votes to delay issuing demolition permit until mid-October.

June 28, 2011:

The Friends of Dr. Pierce’s Barn
now has a Facebook page!

June 1, 2011:

Cottage Grove Historical Society forms Friends of Dr. Pierce Barn committee.


In the 1850s, John Cochran received a nice piece of property—643 acres to be precise—in what is now Cottage Grove to operate his farm. But it wasn’t until the 1900s that the property, by then subdivided and whittled down to a more manageable size, became something special. After a barn was built on the property around the turn-of-the century, an unlikely character decided that this barn shouldn’t just be a barn. It should be an advertising barn!

Dr. Ray Vaughn Pierce, a prominent manufacturer of medicines during the late 1880s and early 1900s found success in selling questionable remedies and advertising them around the countryside. About 1912 the owner of the barn in Cottage Grove allowed Dr. Pierce’s company to paint the side of their barn with the ad. Although it is unknown what compensation was received, a free coat of paint was a customary payment.

When the barn was threatened with demolition in 1989, negotiations resulted in an easement agreement between the Cottage Grove Historical Society and the property owner. The easement expired in 2010 and negotiations to extend it were unsuccessful.

After discussing the possibility of demolition for several months, the property owner submitted a complete demolition application in March 2011.

Some buildings are icons; landmarks in the traditional sense; places that embody an entire community’s identity in brick, stone, and wood. Cottage Grove, Oregon, had such a building.

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