The home of Isham and Malinda Morton Saling is an unusual and important Oregon example of the Italian Villa style. Belvedered structures were never common, and brick structures of this period are practically unknown.
The Saling House, a fine brick home is a long-term historic preservation project of the Umatilla County Pioneer Association. The empty house was purchased in 1976 by the committee for restoration with money raised throughout the community and matching grants from the State Parks Division and the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Oregon.
The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Initial restoration efforts have focused on repairing the house’s exterior to protect its interior from weather damage. Work has been done on the front porch, wall structure and grounds.
The house is important to Weston because it was the most pretentious house in town and known to contain fine furniture. Prior to the death of Mrs. Isham Saling in 1938, the fine house contained its original square grand piano, marble-topped parlor set, upholstery of crimson satin tuftin and brocaded gold, two huge walnut-framed mirrors, three-ply gold window cornices with green gold-braided lambrequins and white lace curtains, and five walnut and marble bedroom sets.
The woodwork included a large bracketed cornice and smaller porch detail, double-hung windows two lights over two, molded raised paneled doors, ornamented window and door casings, and a handsome staircase with a heavy turned newel and delicately turned spindles connected by a solid oak banister. These items were probably factory made. Other more common ornament such as the beaded stair stringer and corresponding flat cove moldings, the molded baseboard and the chamfered detail in the downstairs windows were more likely formed by the carpenters.
The heavy four-paneled front door is surrounded by a transom and sidelights which originally contained etched glass. The tall sliding double doors separating the double parlor are six panel, three panels over three.
The interior surfaces are plaster over brick except the north-south interior divisions. The major rooms of the house have a ceiling rosettes and a plaster cove molding.
What HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED
- Building purchased for $8,000 in 1978. $4,000.00 raised through donations, a grant from the American
- Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Oregon, matched with $4,000.00 from the State Historic Preservation Office.
- Isham Saling House placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
- House cleaned up, trash hauled away. Grounds cleaned up and yard re-seeded. Trees cut down and replaced.
- Historic Preservation architect hired.
- Front porch foundation and floor completed.
- Replaced most of the damaged windows and securing the house from further damage and vandalism.
- Equipped one room as a meeting room for our committee. This involved cleaning out a huge two-story chimney of pounds of dirt and soot along with pounds of bees wax and wasp nests.
- Restored and reconstructed the tall front porch posts.
- Placed “thru-rods” between floors in the attic to stabilize building.
- Shingled roof of the root cellar.
- Acquired original East Lake-style furniture from relative of Salings; shipped from California. (settee, marble-topped table, chandelier, two chairs, walnut-framed mirror, and more).
- Other donations for Saling House includes a bedroom coal stove as well as items on loan with the Frazier Farmstead Museum in Milton-Freewater.
- City of Weston has provided water for the yard at no charge.
- Repair of some of the floor joists.
- Architect engineer hired to survey house and provide engineering study.
- Mothballing of the house to protect the windows and house from further damage pending complete restoration.
- Tuckpointing of bottom 6 feet of house in 2008.
What Needs to be Completed
While the list may seem overwhelming, the major expense and the most important component is
stabilizing the foundation. Once that is done, the remaining pieces that remain to complete the restoration
of the house to its original status will be much easier to accomplish. If items can be accomplished
through volunteer labor or even donated materials, it will greatly reduce the costs.
Work to be done Fall 2011:
- Clean up of interior this fall and cleaning and painting of the front porch and front door.
- Working on the grant money for architectural updating for the plans from 2003 for tying the building together and stabilizing the foundation.
Projects that Still Need to Be Completed:
- Cover Cupola area and Repair Shingle Roof: to keep water from entering the building.
- Rainwater Disposal: To drain rainwater away from the foundation. (Temporary)
- Structural Stabilization: Plumb exterior walls, foundation work, work on lower floor joists.
- Repointing: Repair and repoint masonry on exterior walls
- Replace exterior doors: Replace doors that have been removed or boarded over.
- Complete Porches: There were porches on the east and west side of the house.
- Restore Windows: Examine all windows, replace/repair as needed.
- Restore Cornice and Brackets: Reinstall Italianate detailing which distinguished the building in its heyday and include the original rainwater drains.
- Restore Historic Cupola: Replicate the cupola from portions that is left and from photographs.
- Install electricity throughout the house.
- Placing of through rods between the first and second floors. We have the rods and plates, and need volunteer labor to complete the process. The new engineer’s study/update will tell us when that should be done.
Your donation is tax deductible to the extent of the law.
The Umatilla County Pioneer Association is a 501(3) (c) non-profit organization.
The Isham Saling House Restoration Committee is a sub-committee of the
Umatilla County Pioneers Association.
For more information: Sheldon Delph PO Box 248, Weston, 97886 541-566-3327 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org