Front entrance of G. M. and Kate
Photograph by Terry Skibby
The G. M. and Kate Grainger House is an eclectic style residence
with Italianate, Stick, and Eastlake elements built in 1890 for
G. M. and Kate Grainger. Mr. Grainger was a prominent Ashland mayor
who presided over the city government during construction of Ashland's
City Hall in 1891. Designed by local builder W. J. Schmidt, the
residence embodies distinct characteristics of these styles--steeped,
hipped roofs, a two-story projecting bay, stick paneling under and
above windows, curved brackets, and perforated panel and bargeboards.
Of approximately 500 19th-century houses in Ashland's local and
National Register historic districts, the Grainger House is one
of the best representatives of this style. When the Graingers' purchased
the house in the early spring of 1890 the Ashland Daily Tidings
reported: "Mr. G. M. Grainger, who had purchased the Fountain property
on the corner of Granite and High Street will make a great improvement
in the place beginning as soon as he obtains title and possession.
He will build a new front addition to the house and will have one
of the neatest and prettiest residences in town."
On its completion in 1890, the building was a modified L-shaped volume,
two stories in height on a high basement. A verandah with rounded
corner filling the southwest angle was offset by the two-story polygonal
bay on the principle fašade. This configuration was later enlarged
by two single-story rear additions, the first in 1940. The latest
addition, a garage at right angles to the long axis of the house,
was built in 1989. While these additions are relatively extensive
in area, they are decidedly subordinate to the original 1890 home.
During Grainger's mayoral terms many improvements were made to the
city-sidewalks, streetlights, and additions to the city park. After
he left office, the family continued to be active in city affairs.
When their daughter was married in 1903, the ceremony took place at
the bay window in the front parlor. During their tenancy in the house,
the Graingers occasionally boarded individuals or small families to
supplement their income, a tradition continuing today at the many
Ashland bed and breakfast establishments catering to theater patrons.
Historic photograph of the G.
M. and Kate Grainger House,
Courtesy of The Terry Skibby Collection
The G. M. and Kate Grainger House, located at 35 Granite St.,
is a private residence that is not open to the public.