Historic Hood River
Van Horn House
Notes indicate this was the 1906 house built by Willis Van Horn atop Van Horn Butte. Notes add, “Later owned by E. L. McLain. Bought by Bill Miller and raised because of severe water damage.”
Tags: Van Horn, Van Horn Butte
Tags: Van Horn, Van Horn Butte
Yes, this is the house that Willis Van Horn built on Van Horn Butte. Van Horn was from Newfane, New York. He, along with his father and brother were in the apple growing business there. Married, he started an affair with the local druggists wife. His wife naturally divorced him. He wasas given what would be his inheritance and told to “hit the road” by his family. Why he came to Hood River I don't know, but a lot of other New Yorkers involved in various aspects of apple growing came here. He brought his “lady friend” and not known if they ever married. She eventually brought her two children here.
I did find out later that my own grandfather, an expert carpenter did all the staircase railings and finish work in that house.
About the 1959 era Ed and Lois Neufeldt that owned the Pine Grove store at the time rented that big house. After that I think it sat empty until it was torn down. What a loss of a lovely home…..
This house is a replica on a smaller scale of the Van Horn mansion in Newfane, New York. One can find it on the web.
It was sold to McLain. McLain completely furnished it. May have lived there a brief time, but his wife didn't like the rural life. It sat there for many years with furnishings. Finally it was sold to Miller and just sat there for a very long time vacant. There was a care taker that lived in the house on the corner by Pine Grove School.
As we grew up in Pine Grove we were told that was a “no-no” to even think about going up there. I vowed I was going to get to the top of that butte and when I was in high school I sought out permission and not only was allowed to wander around on top, but actually given the key to the house for a self guided tour. It was beautiful to say the least. In the main entrance one looked up three stories to a massive panels of glass, which created a huge skylight. The dormer windows were in small rooms, servant quarters. You can see the larger version in the Newfane house.
I can't totally remember, but think there was an addition on the north side of a drive through area. That would have happened after this photo was taken, which must have been not too long after it was constructed.
I met the grand-daughter of M. M. Hill who lived on what is now Hwy. 35. She said when she was a child and visited, she would sometimes walk up with Mrs. Pooley and visit Mrs. Van Horn, or at least that is what she knew her as. She said she had gold teeth.
Did they mean to say “razed”?
Good point Harold. I transcribed it without thinking. Since the usage error is in the original notes I will leave it.
A while back I came across a news item about Willis Van Horn in court. The February 17, 1907 Oregonian has an article about Edward Philpott taking Willis Van Horn to court for eloping with his wife and taking his two children the summer of 1905 and coming to Oregon. The children were ages 10 and 12. Van Horn claims that when Mary obtained her divorce from Philpott, he married her in 1906 and that he has given her and her two children a good home.
I would say this photo show a pretty good home.
It seems like I read that Mr. Philpott, from New York, gained custody of the two children but they eventually returned to Hood River. I remember thinking of those two children waking up every morning to a view of the Hood River Valley and Mt Hood and then leaving it. They must have missed it terribly. Edward (Ned) and Marion are in the 1910 census living with Willis Van Horn and his wife Mary.
The odd thing is, in the 1920 census Willis and Mary, Ned and his wife and Marion and her husband are living at the Mt Hood Hotel on Cascade.
I am left wondering what kind of severe water damage they could have had considering they were atop the butte. Don't think they needed to worry about flooding or high water table. Maybe an interior plumbing problem or leaky roof? From google maps, looks like a nice home site that must have a great view. The home there today looks pretty nice, perhaps multi-million dollar class.
I took “severe water damage” to mean a pipe burst during the winter when no one was monitoring the house.
It sure is a shame Charlott didn't take a camera with her when she had special access to the house! Of course it is so much easier now– I got a special tour of the closed upstairs at the “Hotel Waucoma” building and was able to document it reasonably well.
It is funny how even way back then the gossipers were sooo busy!! LOL
It looks like it was a nice home.
Yes Philpott had custody of their two children. Way back when, I read that they were to supposedly to be sent to an aunt for the summer. However, their mother and Van Horn got involved and instead of them going to the aunts, they ended up in Hood River. It is also my understanding that eventually Mary Philpott got tired or fed up with Van Horn and left him for some man in The Dalles.
I do not understand the water damage issue. I would assume or think that with no one living in that house there would have been water running in pipes. I have heard also that the people who owned it simply did not want the house, so it was destroyed and used that as their excuse.
This style is similar to the one on State, about 10th St or so. And then another similar one is at the end of Hazel street going east. It turns into a gravel road that accesses a similar style barely visible from the road.
Is this called Greek or Romanesque? Wondering if all these similar house styles was brought from the east coast by the citizens that migrated here.
Judy, I don't know that you would call them gossipers. The court case took place in Portland and that is what the Oregonian was reporting on.
But I suppose newspapers have always been gossipers.
Arlen L Sheldrake
I continue to be blow away with the amount of history that this site's postings generate…..WOW…..
also, thank you Arthur for re-enforcing my process of not correcting errors in historical documents or for that matter current documents generated by others. I subscribe to the rule that the original is the original….not my option to change it.
When I first started working for a daily paper, one of my daily tasks was to go to the courthouse and copy down all the divorces that been filed that day. Some were embarrassingly explicit as to grounds for divorce and division of property and minor children.