Constructed in 1898 for a pioneer dairy farmer, the Hughes House is an ornate, authentically restored Victorian home that allows visitors a chance to see what life was like at the turn of the last century.
The 3,000-square-foot, 11-rom ranch home, constructed of oldgrowth Port Orford Cedar at a cost of $3,800, is a fine example of late 19th century architecture, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The house stands on a terrace on the north side of Cape Blanco, with vistas of the distant hills, the Pacific Ocean, the Sixes River and the fields above and below.
The home back then
Guests would enter the front hall where soft light from a rose colored gaslight is reflected in the polished dark wood spindles and shiny balusters of the central stairway. The sharp odor of homemade furniture polish—probably equal parts turpentine, linseed oil and vinegar—lingers in the air.
Visitors would be seated in the formal guest parlor, decorated in shades of rose. The front parlor was the most public and significant room of a Victorian house. Reflecting the wealthy status of the Hughes family, the fireplace in this room has a shallow firebox designed to burn coal rather than cheaper and easily obtained wood.
The men's parlor was well-used. Simply furnished, it was here the men retired at day's end to catch up on bookwork and reading. The central focus of the room is a massive wood-burning fireplace, making it one of the warmest rooms in the house.
For the most part, it was the men who gathered around the large table in the dining room. Jane, and later Annie, spent a great deal of time in the spacious kitchen fixing meals for the men. A cheery place to work, it was warmed by a great cast iron wood cook stove. Adjoining the kitchen and dining room is a pass-thru-pantry with storage bins for the large quantities of staples they purchased.
Also on the first floor is the master bedroom and bath. While electricity was late in coming (1942), the house was built with indoor plumbing. Water heated by the kitchen stove provided the enjoyment of a warm bath. The room still has the original wood trimmed claw-footed tub. Origin of the hand-painted ceiling is unknown.
A beautiful mahogany banister leads the way to the second floor where the most interesting feature is the chapel. John Hughes was a Roman Catholic priest serving a parish in Portland. The altar is believed to be original. The worn rug on the floor probably came from another room. Origin of the hand-painted ceiling is unknown.
Edward, Thomas and Francis each had a room on this floor. When Francis married, he and Annie used the oddly-shaped room for their only child Joseph. The largest room was set aside for guests. It was the fanciest of all the bedrooms and well-used by friends of the Hughes family.