The Chappell-Swedenburg House
was the foremost formal residence in Ashland at the time
of its construction
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.
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
Historic photo, c.1905, of the
Courtesy of The Terry Skibby Collection
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.