The Moses Parrott House


photo credit: Bobbie Shots Photography

The Queen Anne Style house completed for successful shoemaker Moses Parrott in 1891 is significant to Roseburg and to Douglas County as an intact example of adaptation of the octagon mode in domestic architecture; At its northwest corner is a bowed, two-story piazza surmounted by octagonal tower with bracketed conical roof, the total configuration of which is unique in the state. Exterior finish details in the Eastlake tradition combine with its most prominent feature to make it a house of exceptional richness and grandeur in its setting on Parrott Creek at the southern edge of the agricultural community and county seat of Roseburg. The house is significant also for its association with pioneer tradesman Moses Parrott and his daughter, Rosa, who had a distinguished career in education and who, upon her retirement from teaching, continued to occupy the house through the 1950s. Moses Parrott was born in Wales in 1825. He came with his wife, Tennessee, to Oregon in the early 1850s and settled a claim of 640 acres south of the new Umpqua River Valley settlement of Roseburg. The holding extended south of the two-acre parcel proposed for nomination, across Parrott Creek.

The 1860 census listed Parrott as a shoemaker, and thereafter Parrott concentrated on the shoemaking trade, building it into one of the community’s most prosperous enterprises. Parrott and his wife raised ten children, and, being responsible for their education, Parrott became involved in the founding of Roseburg Academy, an incorporated private school which provided instruction at the secondary level. He served on the school’s board of directors. Upon the formation of a public high school in Roseburg in 1900, Parrott’s tenth child, Rosa, then in her early teens, began a life-long career in education which included administration at local and state levels. While teaching English at Roseburg High School, Rosa Parrott started the school paper, The Orange R, and she became its first advisor. She was the first president of the Roseburg Business and Professional Women’s Club. She was the last member of the Parrott family to occupy the house on Parrott Creek.