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[graphic] Isaac Woolen House
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Exterior of the Italianate Isaac Woolen House
Photograph by Terry Skibby
The Isaac Woolen House was built in 1876 by architect-builder L. S. P. Marsh, a local lumberman whose planing mill supplied the materials for a number of late 19th-century homes. The design continued the strong Italianate residential character of the neighboring Orlando Coolidge House, with a bracketed cornice at the eaves and smaller versions of the roof detail above windows and porches on the lower portions of the facade, as well as two ornate bay windows. Like Coolidge, Isaac Woolen came to Jackson County before 1860 and farmed in the Bear Creek Valley before building this home in Ashland. In 1878 he became one of the first Ashland townspeople to bring water directly to the house when a water pipe from the West Ashland Ditch was installed.

Historic image of the Woolen House, c.1901
Courtesy of The Terry Skibby Collection

Woolen was a charter member of the Ashland Masonic Lodge (organized in 1875). Another prominent Ashlander to live in the house was Captain Thomas Smith, a longtime Jackson County farmer who bought the house in 1884 when he moved into town from his ranch property. Smith had been active politically, serving in the territorial legislature from 1855 to 1856. Twice elected to the State Legislature (1868 and 1880), he was a founder of the Bank of Ashland. The times that these prominent men occupied the Woolen House spanned the years that Ashland changed from a small farming supply center to a functioning business and cultural community, supporting churches, a bank, and a newspaper.

The Isaac Woolen House, located at 131 North Main St., is a private residence not open to the public.

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