The Railroad Brings a New Era to Oregon
In 1887 railroad tracks were laid across the Siskiyou Pass, the high, steep opening through the mountains that separate California from Oregon. This was the final link in the railroad line, which now ran continuously along the whole West Coast. A Golden Spike was driven into place in Ashland to symbolize the significance of this event. With the route of the iron horse complete, the stagecoach chapter ended.
That same year, 1887, Hugh and Martha Barron converted the Mountain House from an inn into a residence. Along with two grown sons (the full family is shown in this photograph from the 1890's) they came to the Mountain House to live, expanding the building into the simple but sizable farmhouse shown in this 1887 photograph, looking much as it does today.
Hugh Barron was still hard at work when he died in 1904, thrown from a wagon at the age of 77. His descendants carried on the family’s ranching tradition for two more generations. The last was Austie Barron, a no-nonsense, cigar-smoking woman who held her own for years in the very masculine world of Oregon ranching.
After over 100 years of ownership by the Barron family, the Mountain House changed hands. In 1960 the property was sold to newcomers from California. Some years later the house was sold again, minus most of the land, to Monte and Shirley Hall, who lived there for 30 years, pursuing their passion for rebuilding and racing antique cars. And now we count ourselves fortunate to be connected with this remarkable place.