Cape Blanco Lighthouse
First Lit: December 20, 1870
Oregon’s Highest and Most Westerly
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

he Hughes ranch house is a fine example of Late Victorian architecture, constructed in 1898, it is a two story, eleven room house solidly framed of 2×8 old growth Port Orford cedar. The rectangular structure features cross-axial wings with over 3,000 square feet of living space. It is believed to have cost Patrick $3,800.

Guests step back in time as they enter the front hall where soft light from a rose colored oil-burning (now electric) lamp is reflected in the polished dark wood spindles and shiny balusters of the staircase entry halls. The pungent smell of homemade furniture polish (probably equal parts turpentine, linseed oil and vinegar) still permeates the air.

Visitors would be seated in the formal guest parlor, decorated in shades of rose. The front parlor was the most public and significant room of a Victorian house. Reflecting the wealthy status of the Hughes family, the fireplace in this room has a shallow firebox designed to burn coal rather than cheaper and easily obtained wood.

The men’s parlor was well used. Simply furnished, it was here the men retired at day’s end to catch up on bookwork and reading. The central focus of the room is a massive wood-burning fireplace, making it one of the warmest rooms in the house.

For the most part, it was the men who gathered around the large table in the dining room. Jane, and later Annie, spent a great deal of time in the spacious kitchen fixing meals for the men. 

A cheery place to work, it was warmed by a great cast iron wood cook stove. Adjoining the kitchen and dining room is a pass-thru-pantry with storage bins for the large quantities of staples they purchased.

Also on the first floor is the master bedroom and bath. While electricity was late in coming (1942), the house was built with indoor plumbing. Water heated by the kitchen stove provided the enjoyment of a warm bath. The room still has the original wood trimmed claw-footed tub, from which one could enjoy the beautifully painted ceiling.

A beautiful mahogany banister leads the way to the second floor where the most interesting feature is the chapel. John Hughes was a Roman Catholic priest serving a parish in Portland. The chapel was for Fr. John’s convenience on his visits home and features some original carpet, which may have been recycled from another area of the home during a restoration or preservation project. Clouds are featured on the hand-painted ceiling; original date of painting is unknown.

Edward, Thomas and Francis each had a room on this floor. Francis married, and brought his bride Annie home to live on the ranch. Their only child Joseph used the smallest room with the dormer window. The largest room was set-aside for guests. It was the fanciest of all the bedrooms and well used by friends of the Hughes family.