Last updated: August 8, 2020
The Fordyce Roper House-Southern Oregon Hospital was constructed on East Main Street in 1886--the most expensive of the 12 fine residences erected that year. Built for Fordyce and Julia Roper, the house is a two-story balloon-framed residence in the Eastlake style. Fordyce Roper, a miller from Kern County, California, came to Ashland and bought the Ashland Flour Mill in 1884. One of Ashland's wealthiest citizens, he was a member of the State Normal School Board of Regents. Roper sold the property in 1899 to Jane Sather from San Francisco, who lived there only a short time and then donated it to the University of California. H. G. Enders, a prominent Ashland developer, bought the house and leased it to serve as Southern Oregon Hospital and later as Ashland's sanitarium.
In 1910 the house was moved up the hill to its current location to allow for the then-revolutionary idea of developing a commercial district on Main Street so far from the Plaza. Despite its use as a medical facility and then as a rooming house and apartment building, and suffering several disastrous fires, the building still retains its historic appearance. A careful restoration was undertaken by the present owners, who purchased the building in 1983 to refurbish it as The Winchester Inn, a bed and breakfast establishment popular with Ashland theatergoers because of its proximity to Festival theaters.
The Fordyce Roper House-Southern Oregon Hospital is located at 35 S. Second St. and is currently operating as The Winchester Country Inn bed & breakfast. Visit the inn's website for further information.
Discover more Oregon history by visiting the Ashland, OR travel itinerary.