Get your member tickets here for the Willamette Valley Pioneer Home Tour presented by Restore Oregon. Scheduled for the afternoon, it will be a self-driving tour of three homes, one in Aurora, Gervais, and the Salem-area.
As you may recall, Willamette Valley pioneer homesteads were a major focus of Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places list back in 2013. Two years ago, we published a study to determine how we might best preserve and reuse our state’s 255 surviving pioneer properties. One of the homes profiled prominently in that study was the Sam Brown House, which will be featured on this tour.
The Sam Brown House is located in the town of Gervais. It was the first “architect-designed’ home in Oregon, and is considered one of the most important pioneer structures in our state. Currently in the early stages of the restoration process, the Sam Brown House will serve as the “Before” structure on our tour, giving visitors insight into the challenges and opportunities facing a pre-renovation pioneer structure. It is also Restore Oregon’s flagship project as we embark on a new initiative of direct intervention to save selected historic properties that are urgently at risk.
The Delaney House, located slightly southeast of Salem, is an excellent example of the early form of farmhouse construction employed by settlers in the Willamette Valley. The Delaney House has been documented as one of the three oldest existing homes in Oregon.
Recently refurbished by Restore Oregon member Karla Pearlstein, the Delaney House serves as the “After” structure on our tour, providing many lovely examples of pioneer farmhouse renovation possibilities.
The third home featured on our tour is located in Aurora. Although built in 1870, the Frederick Keil House recalls the 18th century in both spirit and style. With its Classical Revival detailing and exceptional porches, the house is revered for the quality of its construction. It is also quite historically significant given its association with Frederick and Elias Keil, the son and grandson of Dr. William Keil – founder and leader of the utopian Aurora Colony.
The Frederick Keil House is included in this tour to offer an example of Restore Oregon’s commitment to direct preservation, as the organization holds a historic conservation easement on the home, protecting its historic features in perpetuity.
We are recruiting volunteers for this tour, so if you are interested in helping out, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.