Press Release: Woodhouse Preservation Group Awarded $1,500

PremierWest Bank Awards Skip Geear the Community Star Award, Veterans’ Edition and has donated $1,500 to the Wood House Preservation Group.

photo credit: Gary Wilkinson

Eagle Point, OR – The Woodhouse Preservation Group announced today that it was presented a $1,500 check from PremierWest Bank.  PremierWest Bank sponsored a Facebook Contest looking for a Veteran in their Community that deserved recognition for their work in the community, a Community Star!  The First Place Winner received $1,500 to their winner’s favorite charity.

Skip Geear was nominated by his daughter Becky Geear Chong, for his work with the Woodhouse Preservation Group, and today Geear was presented with the winning check in the amount of $1,500 for the Wood House Preservation Group.

photo credit: Gary Wilkinson

Geear said, “The Wood House has been through so much from 2001 through 2008.  We didn’t know what the future would hold for this treasured and historical landmark.  Even though it is probably the most photographed house in the Northwest, its destiny was still not certain until recently.  The chance that it desperately needed — to live on rather than fade into history — finally came with the birth of the Woodhouse Preservation Group.  In the past four years the Wood House has thrived thanks to the efforts of many dedicated people:  the volunteers with their unselfish donations of time, labor and a web site; the folks that donated money to keep the house open along with their artifacts to furnish the interior of the house; and Diana Gardener and Judson Parsons for making this endeavor possible with their purchase of the land that the Wood House sits on.  Also, big thanks to the community for their undying support of the Wood House via their interest and their votes for myself and the Wood House during the Community Star Award contest sponsored by PremierWest Bank.  And a very special thanks to my daughter Becky for nominating me as a contestant for the Community Star Award and for making this wonderful gift from PremierWest Bank possible.  Her support of me has always been relentless and devoted.

Since 100% of all money goes directly to the Wood House, the $1,500 check from PremierWest Bank will keep the Wood House open to greet the public for another year.  Due to the present economic situation, the money is definitely appreciated and it is a precious gift that is much needed for the continued future of the Wood House.

photo credit: Gary Wilkinson
L->R Sandra Erskine, PremierWest Bank, Skip Geear, Becky Geear Chong, Vera Jones (granddaughter of Walter Wood)

In closing, I would like to thank PremierWest Bank for making this all possible, and also a deep thanks to our dedicated volunteers and to the community for their support in the past and for their continued support in the future.  A special tip of the hat to PremierWest Bank for the $500 gift to each of the other four veterans that were finalists in the contest.  Each veteran is definitely deserving of the money that they received!”

Since the beginning in 1870, the Wood House has fought heavy rains, snow, the Columbus Day Storm, hail, fire, vandalism and county politics, and through all of this, the most photographed house in Southern Oregon still remains to welcome you to come and visit. See how western primitive living really was in the late 1800’s!

Woodhouse Preservation Group mission is to preserve, protect and cultivate local history at the Wood House through activities, tours, and educational events, thereby creating awareness and prolonging Rogue Valley history.

The Woodhouse Preservation Group is a registered non-profit 501 c3 charitable organization.

For additional information or to set up an appointment to tour the Wood House call: (541) 826-2177 or visit


Rogue Valley Photography Club Meet Up

Last Saturday a group of photographers from the Rogue Valley Photography Club came to the Wood House for several hours and took lots of photos.   Click on the links below to view some of the photos of the Wood House.   Some are way cool…

Marvin Sylvester Wood After the Civil War

After the close of the war, Marvin continued to live in Medina, Lenawee County, Michigan from 1864 to 1868, then apparently he and his brother Dennis migrated west by way of Cape Horn and settled Santa Clara County, California 1 for a short time, then continued on to Oregon.

In 1869, Marvin filed a homestead claim and built a small cabin on land just out of Eagle Point, Oregon.  That year, two tragedies occurred, Dennis died, and the cabin burned on Oct. 16, 1869.   With determination and perseverance, Marvin built a large house strong enough to last a lifetime.  The wood for the house was cut from trees above Prospect, Oregon

Susan (Griffith) (Wood) Hart, Photo courtesy of Loretta Wood-Corbett

Photo courtesy of Loretta Wood-Corbett

In early 1876, Marvin met Susan Carolina Griffeth, a local girl.  They married on May 21, 1876 by the JP in Eagle Point, Oregon at the home of the bride’s father, Charles Griffeth.  Marvin and Susan reared three children at the homestead, they were Ora, Mayme (Mamie), and Walter Wood.

The 1880 U.S. Census by Little Butte, Jackson, Oregon listed Marvin S. Woods age 43, Race W, Birthplace NY, Occupation as Farmer, and Father & Mother birthplaces as NY.  Married to Susan C., age 24, with children of Ora (age 3) and Maimey (age 1).  Included in the household was George Doney, Male, Race W, Age 26, Birthplace California, Occupation as Horse Breaker, Fathers birthplace Ohio, and Mothers birthplace Indiana.

After Susan and Marvin reared their three children at the homestead, Marvin separated from Susan in 1898 and he moved into Eagle Point.  Susan’s divorce from Marvin was apparently final in 1900.  In the 1900 U.S. Census, Marvin was listed as a widower, living in Eagle Point with his daughter, Ora Henderson, her husband Thomas and their daughter Veta, age 10 months.

Marvin, over the years, had suffered from his gun shot wounds he received in the Civil War.  He had applied and re-applied for pension increases, and he was examined and re-examined by doctors over the years to justify his pension increases. His left arm became so disabled that he could do very little manual labor, besides his left jaw and face being badly disfigured from his wounds. . 2

Sometime after 1913, Marvin married again, to a widow by the name of Rachel (Gilpin) Wolary.  She had been previously married to Nathaniel Wolary, also a Civil War veteran, who died Jan. 29, 1913 in Eagle Point.  According to the 1920 Census, Rachel was listed as the spouse to Marvin.

Rachel Wood died Feb. 2, 1924 at the home of Dick Johnson, in Eagle Point, OR.  She is buried at the Central Point Cemetery.  Marvin died nearly a month and a half after Rachel, on March 16, 1924 at 3:30 a.m.  Marvin had suffered his last years from senility, and eventually died from Prostatitis and Cystitis during his last month of life.  He died in his son’s home, the one he had built several years before. According to his death certificate, Marvin’s mother was Elizabeth Cawson (Clawson), and father was Sylvester Wood.  Marvin is buried at the Central Point Cemetery.

Obituary for Marvin S. Wood:

“Marvin Sylvester Wood 87 resident of Eagle Point for 55 years, Veteran of Civil War and was wounded, died Sunday (Mar. 16, 1924) at is son’s home.  Mr. Wood was born in Erie Co. New York on 10-8-1836 and came west in 1868.  Married Miss Susan Griffith 1876.  Survivors are Ora, Mayme Hawes and Walter Wood.  He was a Methodist and member of the G. A. R.” (Grand Army of the Republic). 3

  1. Source: Marvin S. Wood Pension Records.
  2. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions document dated 12/2/1899, signed by Marvin S. Wood.
  3. Source: Medford Mail Tribune Obituary).