Address: 210 North 4th Street, Jacksonville, OR 97530
The simple Classic Revival house known as St. Joseph’s Catholic Rectory was built around 1868 for either Nathaniel Langell or John Bigham, who jointly owned the lot. In 1875, Reverend Francis Xavier Blanchet, who served as parish priest of nearby St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for 25 years, purchased the property.
The house served as Blanchet’s residence as well as the site of a Catholic boys’ school for a number of years. Father Blanchet was the driving force behind the establishment of St. Mary’s Academy, which was initially housed in Jacksonville. During the small pox epidemic of 1869, it was Blanchet and the Sisters of St. Mary who cared for the victims of that dreaded disease.
Blanchet went on to become Chaplain of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Portland, was named Vicar General in 1900, and was created a Roman Prelate in 1903. Subsequent parish priests are believed to have lived in the house after Blanchet’s departure.
The buildings and grounds were purchased and restored in 1967 by the St. Joseph’s Rectory Acquisition Committee. In 1968, they were turned over to the Southern Oregon Historical Society to manage. In 2002, this historical landmark was conveyed to Jackson County although the property continued under SOHS management. In 2010, management was transferred to the Jacksonville Heritage Society.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Rectory is currently being rented by a newly formed non-profit organization, Friends of St. Joseph’s. The organization was formed for the purpose of honoring, celebrating, and sharing the heritage of the historic St. Joseph’s Rectory. They plan to open the Rectory at regular intervals.
For additional information about rental opportunities, events and opening hours, contact Terri Gieg, (541) 899-8283.