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[graphic] Chappell-Swedenburg house
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[photo] The Chappell-Swedenburg House was the foremost formal residence in Ashland at the time of its construction
Photograph by Terry Skibby

The Chappell-Swedenburg House was constructed in 1904 to 1905 as a private residence for stockbroker Charles Chappell and his family. Chappell had served as a city councilman for only a short time when he died suddenly in 1905. His widow and young daughters lived in the house until 1919. At that time it was purchased by a leading Ashland physician, Francis C. Swedenburg, and his wife. The family occupied the property until 1966.

The Chappell-Swedenburg House was designed by architect Frank Chamberlain Clark shortly after his arrival in the Rogue River Valley in 1902. Born in Green, New York, in 1872, Clark's prolific output encompassed some 250 projects throughout the Rogue Valley, including at least 78 residences ranging in style from the Queen Anne and Colonial Bungalow, to Arts and Crafts and Prairie Style. The Chappell-Swedenburg House displays a high quality of craftsmanship and detail throughout, including columns and pilasters of the Greek Ionic order used in the portico, the upper story fašade, and in the entry stairhall.

[photo] Historic photo, c.1905, of the Chappell-Swedenburg House
Courtesy of The Terry Skibby Collection

This formal residence in Colonial Revival style was placed in a prominent location along Siskiyou Boulevard, Ashland's important new thoroughfare. The foremost formal residence in Ashland at the time of its construction, the house retains its historic exterior architectural integrity and interior detail. It was long an Ashland cultural and social center where frequent gracious and lavish entertaining drew Ashland citizens. The house has continued such associations. After it was purchased by Oregon's State Higher Education Board; it became associated with the campus of Southern Oregon University and its educational mission. From 1975 to 1980 the house served as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's exhibit center of historical memorabilia. Later it housed the Southern Oregon Historical Society's Cultural Resource Center. Today it is used by the University for the Foundation and Alumni Office and for receptions.

The Chappell-Swedenburg House is located on the Southern Oregon University campus at 990 Siskiyou Blvd. The house is open to the public during University and Alumni receptions. Call 541-552-7672 for further information.

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