Schmidt House Museum
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Schmidt House tours are available Tuesday through Friday from 10:00am to 3:00pm. $10 each. 10% discount with membership card.
Anna and Flora Schmidt were the daughters of Claus and Hannchen Schmidt who homesteaded in early Grants Pass. Claus opened a grocery store on 6th Street in the late 1890s, and as he prospered, he purchased property in the neighborhood of his store. Within walking distance to the store, he had a modest family home constructed in 1901 from locally made bricks. To accomodate the needs of his growing family, two additions were built onto the original four-room house. By 1910, the home was a stately, two-story, craftsman-style house which was later inherited by Anna and Flora. Very few changes have been made to the Schmidt House since 1910, and it was home to Anna and Flora until they graciously donated the house to the Josephine County Historical Society in 1978.
Today, the rooms contain many original furnishings spanning the lifetimes of Anna and Flora. Guided tours are given to visitors during which the guide relates the growth of the family to the growth of the community and interprets the growth through historical themes of colonization such as homesteading, farming, business, gold mining, transportation and homemaking. Each room in the Schmidt House has its own special focus. A collection of antique toys in the children's room is a delight to visiting youngsters. The sewing room features needlework done by the Schmidt women, a treadle-foot sewing machine, examples of early quilts and other handicrafts. Claus Schmidt's Grocery Store is depicted with photos and artifacts from the store, and the kitchen contains the original family wood-burning cooking stove. One of the largest rooms serves as an exhibition room where the Society changes displays of community interest.
After Anna and Flora donated their home to the Historical Society, the Board decided to continue the Schmidt's tradition of hospitality by developing the house as a museum to benefit the community. The Schmidt House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 2004, confirming the historic significance of the house. Historic buildings are a community's tangible link with the past in a world in which rapid technological change is occurring. Today, and in future generations, visitors can tour the Schmidt House Museum and get the feeling that all is as the Schmidt family might have left it in the early 1900s. These tours help give guests a sense of community identity and an orientation to their heritage.