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Named for Aaron Rose who took up a Donation Land claim here in 1851. First called Deer Creek until July 16, 1857, then Roseburgh until March 1894. Named County Seat in 1854. Incorporated as a city in 1872.
Grab a cup of something delightful and remember what once was ... and dream of what could be.
The Umpqua Hotel
This was built in 1912 as a six-story structure (including the basement) with 116 rooms and 12 apartments. It was originally a wood frame clad in light-colored brick. Its construction, financed by the Provident Trust of Portland, cost $100,000. Shortly after construction was completed, 20 local businessman bought the property, headed by Dr. B Sether as chairman.
The radio station KRNR was housed in the basement, and had an antennae on the roof. Also in the basement were popular nightlife spots the Indian Room and the Umpqua Lounge. Later, it was home to the Gold Room, which was a banquet room and a ballroom that hosted grand affairs, high school proms, election headquarters and visiting entertainers. Various businesses operated in the lobby until the 1959 blast destroyed much of the building. Damages cost upwards of $45,000 (learn more about the Roseburg Blast at 1959RoseburgBlastTour.com.)
In 1974 an exhaust fan fire destroyed much of the building. After two years, the building was renovated as a one-story building with the original off-white brick topped by a metal cornice.
What's there now? The Umpqua Hotel is now called the Umpqua Hotel Mall and is home to various business offices. It will soon house the Roseburg Town Center, a place to learn about what Douglas County has to offer locals and visitors alike.
A colorful character called "China Sam" had two Japanese Bazaars downtown, one located at 412 E Jackson. He was very popular around town, and especially with children. Both of his legs had to be amputated after accidentally soaking them in quicklime (he had misunderstood when someone told him to soak them in lye). He came to Roseburg in 1866 at the age of 29, and died in 1931.
Originally built in 1885, this building has been extensively remodeled. Originally a restaurant, it was then a gas stove store, followed by the office for the Oregon Gas and Electric Company from 1910-1921. In the 1950s, it was a shoe repair shop.
What's there now? Give your furry pal a soak at Stinky Dog Grooming.
The Caro building, constructed in 1900, was originally a two-story building. The Metropolitan Hotel was on this corner from 1856-1884. From the balcony of this hotel in 1880, President Hayes and General Sherman addressed the people of Roseburg while the streets were lit with bonfires.
What's there now? This spot is now home to the Douglas County Republican Headquarters.
Bethenia Owens-Adair had a millinery shop (women's hats) at 400 SE Jackson. She later became one of Oregon's pioneer doctors.
What's there now? This spot now houses a computer repair shop. From this corner you can see City Hall. This was the site of Roseburg's first hotel, build in 1853 by Aaron Rose. It was later called the American Hotel. Adjoining it on the north was the McClallen House, a three-story structure built in 1887; it was the only 3-story building in Roseburg at that time.
Judd's Furniture Store
This building was constructed in 1915, and was a large family-run furniture store from 1919 up until 1982. The Judd family had moved to Dixonville, Oregon, from Minnesota in 1913 to become farmers. They then moved into town and purchased Darby's Furniture Store, and renamed it. When Mr. Judd died in 1943, Mrs. Judd and her son J.E. continued to run the store for another 40 years, making it one of the longest family-run stores in town.
What's there now? Try a cold one at North Forty Beer Company, which also offers food and often, live music.
The Valley Hotel
The Valley Hotel was completed in 1885 as a two-story building. IN 1916, a third story was added. Next door, at 465 Jackson Street, was the Taylor building, a brick structure constructed by the Taylor family in 1890. Formerly, it was a popular drinking spot called The Red Front. Later, it would be turned into a saloon called The Office. Into the 1920s, the Rose Cafe served as a restaurant to locals and visitors. Starting around 1915, it served as a bus depot and hotel called The Terminal.
What's there now? Pop in and see if you can find something fun at Roseburg Collectibles.
AF & AF Laurel Lodge #13 was established on December 22, 1855 under the sponsorship of Salem Lodge #4 AF AM and was chartered two years later. It met in various buildings until the present temple was built in 1909. IN 1952 the lodge also purchased the two-story storefront to the north of the temple. Many prominent Roseburg citizens of the past century were members of this lodge. This 40 by 100 four-story brick building exhibits Italianate style elements. In 1909, it was furnished with solid oak furniture "in the golden oak style", manufactured by J.T. Flook Co. of Roseburg.
What's there now? This Masonic lodge is still in operation under the name Laurel Lodge. It is Douglas County's oldest operating fraternal organization. You can visit their Facebook page by clicking here.
Bell Sisters Building
This two story brick building was constructed in 1909 to serve as millinery shop (ladies' hats) for the Bell Sisters, Minnie and Mineta. The sisters' shop was downstairs, and their apartment was upstairs. This space has now been refurbished and is being run as an AirBnB called The Bell Sister Flats, which pays homage to the sisters and offers a glimpse into history with historic photographs and stories hung on the walls. An office space on the second floor was also occupied by the notorious Dr. Brumfield, who was convicted of murder in 1921 (hear the full story by signing up for the Roseburg in the Dark tour!).
The Bell's hat shop operated until 1921; it was followed by the Ladies Shop (1927); the Smart Shop (1931); and the Style Shop (1937). It was Howard's Mens' Wear throughout the 1960s.
What's there now? Learn more about the Bell Sisters and book a stay by clicking here.
Roseburg Elks Lodge
The Roseburg Lodge #326 B.P.O.E. was organized in 1896 with 57 members; by 1905 it counted 300 members. Construction began in 1905 with lumber from the Cottage Grove area and was finished at a cost of over $14,000; the oaken chairs and tables inside cost an additional $22,000. The ground floor was used for the Oregon National Guard Armory until 1912. It was connected to the Antlers Theater, which opened in 1913, by an open balcony. The Antlers was renamed Hunt's Indian Theater in the 1930s, and then Indian Theater by 1950. This was an extremely popular place to see a show and see and be seen until it burned down in a 1969 fire.
What's there now? The Elks Lodge is still in operation and frequently hosts events. You can learn more about them by clicking here.
The Opera House
This was originally a two-story brick building with neo-Gothic elements; large towers adorned the northeast and northwest corners. This Opera House gave its first production in 1893 and hosted shows such as Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, along with musical performances and wrestling matches. In 1924, the towers and other decorations were removed and a third story was added.
The International Order of the Odd Fellows Hall Philetarian Lodge #8 was chartered March 9, 1859. It is considered the "mother lodge" of many throughout Douglas County. The building is in quite good condition and still retains much of its historical elements. Many prominent Douglas County citizens were members of this order.
What's there now? The second floor is home to Umpqua Nexus, which is developing a coworking and creative space in conjunction with Buzz Collective, a social media marketing company which has residence on the third floor.
First Presbyterian Church
This building was constructed in 1909 in the Gothic style and is the oldest church in Roseburg.
Thank you to the passionate keepers of our stories.
This project was made possible by the hard work of Britton Weaver, who created the original Historic Roseburg Walking Tour in the 1980s. His widow, Mary Weaver, has been very helpful in supplying information to get an updated version to the public.
An extended version is now in the works.
You can read about the life of Britton Weaver, who was a beloved teacher at Hucrest Elementary and a lifelong Oregon historian, by clicking here.
Special thanks also goes to the Douglas County Historical Society, who were so kind to grant me access to the original tour, which is housed at the Floed-Lane House (well worth a visit!).
Thank you also to the Douglas County Museum for being willing to help source photographs for the upcoming extended version.