Address: 452 E. California Street, Jacksonville, OR 97530
Cornelius C. Beekman built this 1 1/2 story Gothic Revival style home for his wife and two children between 1870 and
1876. When the family moved in,
Beekman was already well established in his downtown bank where he bought,
sold, and shipped gold; served as a Wells Fargo Express agent; sold school
supplies; and dealt in real estate.
Beekman became a wealthy and influential man in Jacksonville, serving as school board member and as mayor, running a close race for Governor of Oregon, and serving on the University of Oregon Board of Regents. In 1950 he was listed as one of Oregon’s 100 outstanding leaders of the past century in the centennial edition of the Oregonian newspaper.
The house was part of Jacksonville’s
late 1800s’ “millionaires’ row.” Its
lack of pretension reflects the modesty that was a hallmark of the
mid-Victorian era when ostentation was frowned upon.
The Beekmans were the only family who occupied the house, accumulating objects and furnishings over a period that spanned the mid-Victorian era to post World War II. When the last family member died, the house became the property of the University of Oregon, which put both the property and its contents up for auction. The Siskiyou Pioneer Sites Foundation stopped the sale, and in 1966, Jackson County purchased the house, the furnishings, and two acres of the Beekman’s land holdings.
The Beekman House and grounds were then turned over to the Southern Oregon Historical Society (SOHS) to operate as a living history site. When SOHS encountered financial difficulties, regular Beekman House operations ceased. In 2011, management of the Beekman House was turned over to the Jacksonville Heritage Society.
Today the house is furnished much as it was around 1911 as the country entered the second decade of the 20th Century. It is currently Jacksonville’s only museum. The Jacksonville Heritage Society periodically opens the House for special events and programs (see Events listings).
For information on private tours, upcoming events, and rental availability of the Beekman House grounds, contact the Jacksonville Heritage Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.