Category Archives: Weiss House

Weiss House

July 16, 2019
The Weiss House at 650 Sterling Street in Jacksonville has multiple “back stories.” In 1866, the City deeded a large parcel of land between S. Oregon and South 3rd streets to John Weiss, an immigrant from Alsace-Lorraine. He and his wife Elizabeth had arrived in Jacksonville in 1852 and had constructed the original farmhouse no later than 1873. The property was divided following Weiss’ death in 1895 and passed through multiple hands. The portion containing the original farmhouse was usually referred to as “the house near the end of South Oregon Street” since Sterling Street was not yet in existence. In 1943, the property was bought by A.L. and Olive Pearl Kitchen. They made the farmhouse their home while again dividing the property into what became known as “the Kitchen Subdivision,” creating Sterling Street in the process. The “Kitchen House” was sold to Alvin and Florence Minshall in 1948. Minshall was a building contractor and avid post-war recycler. In 1951, Minshall and his friends loaded two barracks buildings and a maintenance shed from Camp White onto a flatbed truck and brought them home. They are now the long great room and garage of the current residence. Camp White, now White City, had been deactivated in April 1946, but following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress had appropriated $27 million to transform the Agate Desert into Camp White as an Army training base. At its peak, the camp occupied nearly 50,000 acres and contained nearly 40,000 people, making it the second-largest city in Oregon at the time.