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A veritable Painted Lady, “The Honeymoon Cottage” is a stunning example of Queen Anne architecture replete with sun burst details, dentil, three distinct shingle patterns, finials, scroll brackets, and pendants. The magnificent garland spindle/ball design was executed for the staircases, balcony, and the perimeter fencing.
At the time, the house was quite a novel place. It was a wedding gift from Frank Chambers, a wealthy business man, to his wife Ida. A newspaper article from the social pages described the house as “Very elegant with six finished rooms, two fully plumbed bathrooms, and two telephones!” In fact, the Chambers had the first telephone in the city of Eugene, connecting their home with the family owned hardware store.
A daughter, Mary, was born in the house on February 7, 1893 and lived there for nine years. Returning many times to visit and to describe happy stories about growing up in the Chambers house, Mary lived to be over 100 years old. Her mother was not so blessed with good health as she contracted tuberculosis and died in 1901. A few years later, Frank Chambers sold the house.
To escape the urban sprawl, the house was moved around 1921 by its new owner one mile west to its present location, an area surrounded by pea farmers. Unfortunately, the original fence and gates were left behind.
From 1922 to 1928, the house was operated as a sanitarium and health retreat. The doctors used the new “Actinic Ray” treatment utilizing ultraviolet light to “cure” their patients of everything, from tuberculosis to rheumatism.
In the 1930s, the house was purchased by Harold Mcshatko who tried to “modernize” the house by removing the architectural elements, moving walls, and lowering the roof lines. The city interrupted his work, thus prohibiting him from causing further damage. In revenge, he sold the house to a madam from Springfield. Consequently, the house became a popular overnight destination for loggers and later, during World War II, for soldiers too. Anecdotal accounts tell of drunken brawls in the front yard and promiscuous ladies parading on the tower balcony.
Over the next four decades, several owners have labored to restore the home to its original ambience. In 1987, the Frank and Ida Chambers house was named to the National Register of Historic Places.
When Anne-Marie Lizet and Jack Feldman, the current owners, purchased the house in 2004, it underwent an extensive two year rehabilitation process. During this period, the barren landscape was transformed into a garden worthy of its Victorian heritage.
In August 2007, the architecturally distinctive garland fence and gates with their spindles and balls, were finally all fabricated and painted. This milestone event marked the first time in nearly 90 years that this grand home was seen with its majestic perimeter fencing.