“About the Moyer House The elegant old Moyer House has spent more than 100 years overseeing the life and development of one of Oregon’s oldest pioneer communities.
John M. Moyer, born in 1829, came west with his friend, George F. Colbert, in 1852. The two young men, both carpenters by trade, began building houses in the area around Brownsville, and Moyer soon had a job building a house on Blakely Avenue for Hugh L. Brown, after whom Brownsville was later named. In 1857 John Moyer married Mr. Brown’s daughter, Elizabeth, and in time the two bought a farm and some lots in Brownsville. Later, Moyer owned, or had interests in, a sash and door factory, the Brownsville Woolen Mills and the Bank of Brownsville. He was also the town’s first mayor, and served on the school committee.
Because of their business and civic involvements, the Moyers entertained frequently, so eventually felt the need for a new house. The property they selected covered seven acres, extending toward the Calapooia River and Brownsville’s present City Park.
Using plans he had drawn himself, lumber milled in his sash and door factory, and with the help of his longtime friend, George Colbert, J.M. Moyer built his elaborate new house in 1881, with extreme attention to detail.
The Italianate style house replaced the Moyers’ smaller home nearby. Moyer did much of the work himself, and is said to have handpicked all the lumber for its construction. The house also boasted wooden Venetian blinds, with the slats produced in Moyer’s sawmill.
Twelve-foot ceilings, a while Italian marble fireplace and carved walnut banisters decorated the inside, while elaborate trims and heavily bracketed cornices adorned the Italianate exterior. Landscapes and scenes in oil were painted on walls and window transoms. On the ceilings of several rooms were floral designs, said to have been painted by an itinerant Italian artist, while great medallions made of wood were constructed to hold the light fixtures.
John and Elizabeth Moyer lived together in the house until his death in 1900. Elizabeth Moyer continued to live there after her husband died until her death about 1920, when the house and furniture were sold to Harry Thompson, the local banker.
Mrs. Thompson had the house remodeled, and when the Thompsons solid it some years later, the furniture was sold separately.
During the 1930s and 1940s the house was converted to apartments, and much of the original work was covered with paint and wallpaper.
In 1963 the Linn County Historical Society acquired the house with a grant of $7500 from the Hill Foundation and donations from others. Restoration began immediately, and continues to this day. The house now belongs to Linn County and is designated as a museum, under the care of the Parks Department and a devoted group of volunteers.”
|Street address: 204 N Main St Brownsville, OR USA 97327 http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM5YDM_Moyer_John_M_House__Brownsville_OR|