Streetview of the W. H. Atkinson
Photograph by Terry Skibby
The W. H. Atkinson House, is one of Ashland's outstanding examples
of the Italian Bracketed or Italianate Style and is among the most
elaborately decorated and best preserved of its type. Atkinson was
born in England in 1844 and came to Ashland in 1874, where he was
active in the town's principal industrial and banking enterprises;
he was one of the founders of the Bank of Ashland. On his arrival
he purchased a one-third share in the Ashland Flour Mill, entering
into partnership with J. M. McCall . In 1879
he became a partner and business manager of the Ashland Woolen Manufacturing
Company. That same year he helped organize the Ashland Library and
Reading Room Association. The following year he helped found the
Presbyterian Church (he was its first clerk and treasurer), which
was built across the street from his future home.
When it came time to build a suitable residence for his family,
it was natural for him to admire the site of the Coolidge
and Woolen mansions, and in 1880 Atkinson
bought the southerly half of Woolen's lot. Construction began in
August, when he was 36 years old. After his early death at the age
of 50 in 1894, his widow Eugenia remained in the house for 24 years.
She too was active in the community, donating funds for the construction
of the Atkinson Memorial Bridge over Ashland Creek in Lithia
Historic photographs of the W.
H. Atkinson House, close-up c. 1894 and streetview c.1901
Courtesy of National Register collection and The Terry Skibby
The W. H. Atkinson House is located at 125 North Main St.
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