County puts a piece of history on sale

Earning a chapter in Hood River’s history books could be as easy as buying the house that has become a local celebrity.

The vintage Roe-Parker home has drawn a lot of public attention in past months and is now on the market for a minimum bid price of $220,000. The Hood River County Library Foundation has suggested that the profit from the sale of the “green lady” be dedicated toward the current expansion and renovation of the lending institution.

“The person who buys this house is also buying a community landmark,” said Hood River County Director of Parks and Buildings Dean Guess.

In late July, the 94-year-old residence was moved from its original site next to the State Street library to a double lot on Sherman Avenue with a southern deck that overlooks downtown Hood River and the Columbia River. The Queen Anne-style cottage, formerly listed on the National Register of Historic Places, had to be moved to make way for the $4 million library upgrade. In 1999 the dwelling was purchased for $215,000 from funds raised by the library foundation and a $90,000 loan from the county. Since that date, the county has assumed complete ownership of the house and undertaken the responsibility for its resettlement and the accompanying costs.

The two-bedroom house now enjoys another aesthetic setting on the hillside above Horsefeathers Restaurant and adjacent to Stratton Gardens, a new city park. The original 1,000 square feet had been upped by an additional 1,000 feet of unfinished daylight basement space. Guess said the purchaser will need to complete an access from the main floor to the basement.

He said county employees have tried to retain as many of the original features as possible, including the turned posts on the rear porch, sunburst gable ornamentation, decorative jig saw brackets and wide frieze board that extends around the perimeter of the top story.

Final construction work is now underway on a two-tiered retaining wall, front porch and sidewalk. The house will be sold in a public auction on the courthouse steps at 11 a.m. on Jan. 23.

The Roe-Parker house is believed to have been built by, or for, the George Roe family around the turn of the century for a reported $800. The residence is also known as the Collinson House and was listed as a historic site in 1987. It was originally part of the donation land claim of the Coe family, the founders of Hood River. The residence was one of six existing cottages of its style that were common from 1900-05, a period that found the population of the town tripling.

Queen Annes, first popular with the wealthy upper class, were adapted quickly and easily by the working middle class and are believed to have been modeled from the English manor houses designated by architect Richard Norman Shaw. Historians believe the new style quickly captured the hearts and imagination of a citizenry that was trying to break away from restrictive Renaissance designs but, at the same time, wanting nostalgic reminders of the past.

Guess is available to provide a tour of the Roe-Parker house and grounds until the auction and can be reached for more information at 387-6889.

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