The Old Wood House: The History and Conservation of a Regional Icon (Windows in Time)


Marvin Sylvester Wood (born in New York in 1836) was a wounded Civil War Veteran; he settled in the Rogue Valley in 1868 and filed a land patent in 1870 to establish a homestead, the Wood House, just north of Eagle Point. Skip Geear and his wife Charlotte have been involved with the Wood House since 2000 when they belonged to the Eagle Point Historical Society. While at the Society, Skip was Wood House Chairman in charge of refurbishing and preserving the Wood House. When the Eagle Point Historical Society was dissolved in 2008, Skip and Charlotte, along with their daughter Becky, formed the Woodhouse Preservation Group, a non-profit organization. The Wood House was conveyed to the Woodhouse Preservation Group by the Eagle Point Historical Society when the Society was officially dissolved.

Since then, the Geear family and volunteers have spent thousands of hours working at the Wood House, adding local historical artifacts inside the house and out for the public to view and enjoy. Join us as Skip Geear and Becky Chong share the history and conservation of this regional icon.

The monthly Windows In Time lunchtime lectures feature well-known writers and historians and bring alive the people, values, and events that shaped our Southern Oregon heritage. Lectures are jointly sponsored by the Southern Oregon Historical Society (SOHS) and Jackson County Library Services.

Volunteers at Work

The Old Wood House Featured on Restore Oregon

Persevering Year After Year  – by Kathy Tucker

Located along Highway 62 in Southern Oregon, travelers will find a beautiful and arresting sight that has attracted photographers and artists for generations – the rustic Old Wood House, which has survived being moved, abandonment, and continual vandalism. With the help of some dedicated Eagle Point community members, this 19thcentury house has also endured challenges posed by development and financial pressures. Today, the house is stewarded by a preservation-oriented nonprofit.

Read More on Restore Oregon Click Here! 

“Past and Present” Old Wood House KMED Radio Appearance

The Wood House made an appearance on KMED this month. If you weren’t able to listen in live, listen in below:

The Wood House Ghost: Fact or Fiction?

Three-quarter front view of the Wood House. Note the ghost-like image in the large window just to the left of the front door of the house. Is it, by chance, a Wood family member that lived in the house years ago?

In the past we have heard many stories about the previous history of the Wood House.  Some of the stories were true but most were probably not.  And, one rumor abounds that the old Wood House is haunted!    Whatever the case, it is always interesting to hear new tales or to receive documented information regarding the past history of the Wood House.  One such interesting and documented story came to light recently…….

Being the most photographed house in thePacific Northwest, and as thousands have done in the past, a couple stopped at the Wood House to take several photographs of the historic structure.   Since the front gate was locked at the time and no one was at the Wood House, the people photographed the house from the front fence as many have done previously.   As the story goes, at some later date when the film was finally developed, the couple discovered that in the left front window of the house was an image that was not there when the photograph was originally taken…..and the image appeared to be that of a ghost!

Some say that this is a ghost of a woman (possibly Susan Griffeth Wood Hart) while others that view the photo believe it to be an image of the Grim Reaper.

Through some other visitors to the Wood House who relayed the story we were able to obtain a copy of the photo in question.  Sure enough, there is an image that is obvious in the front window of the house and it does appear to be a ghost image….. more specifically, an image of the Grim Reaper.   The window area on the photograph was enlarged and there is definitely a ghost-like reflection in the large glass window.  Is the ghost image really that of the Grim Reaper, or could it possibly be the ghost of Susan Griffeth Wood Hart (Walter Wood’s mother) that died in the house back in 1929?   Or, it might be the ghost of Walter Wood himself who was born in the house in 1881 and lived there for 93 years until he passed away in 1974.

Whatever the image is or might be, definitely adds to the mystic and the mystery of the historic Wood House!   What really is the image shown in the photo?  You be the judge!