After living and teaching on the Southern Oregon Coast for more than 35 years, Mel and Mary Wallace were ready for a new adventure.
The couple fell in love with the historic Stayton House, and in 2005, bought the Third Avenue home. Four years later, they turned it into a thriving business, The Stayton House Antiques and Curiosities.
“We love being the ‘custodians’ of this beautifully restored piece of Stayton history and sharing it with our customers,” Mary Wallace said.
During this year’s SummerFest, the Wallaces will host a Vintage Fashion Show at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 30 to support another historic Stayton structure, the Charles and Martha Brown House on the corner of First Avenue and High Street.
A full day of activities
Saturday, July 30,
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
& Pioneer Park
Highlights include a car show and
firefighters breakfast at Pioneer Park,
activities downtown including a parade,
dog show, live music, bed races,
quilt show, 3-0n-3 basketball tournament,
Kids Zone and more than 100 business,
craft and food booths along Third Avenue.
For information, call the Chamber at
Renovations for the Brown House continued when more than a dozen orange-shirt-clad volunteers participated in the 2011 Oregon State University Day of Community Service, sprucing up inside and outside the historic Queen Anne structure on May 21.
Volunteers either wielded rakes, shovels and brooms to weed, mulch and fill trenches or scrapers and elbow grease to strip layers of well-worn wallpaper from the front hall and parlor.
“We have a lot more to do, especially on the inside,” said Carol Zolkoske, a Santiam Historic Society member who provided lunch for the workers.
Zolkoske commends the efforts of people who have put in hours of sweat equity to save the 1903 home, just south of the Stayton Public Library. Donations such as the Wallaces, she said, are key to its renovation.
“We chose the Brown House as our beneficiary this year as we would like to see a renewed interest from the public in helping to get the restoration completed,” Mary said.
Admission to the fashion show is $5, with the proceeds going to the Santiam Historical Foundation, benefitting the Brown House. Light refreshments will be served, she added.
“In addition to the fashion show, we will again be having Larry Fast display part of his collection of vintage bicycles on our front lawn,” she said. The bicycles will be on display 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. “This is a wonderful opportunity to stroll down memory lane, as many of us recognize the bike we loved as a child.”
Over the years, the Wallaces have gotten much more interested in history, especially as it relates to their home.
The Stayton House was built in 1905 by Charles and Ethel Stayton after her father, A.D. Gardner, gave them the property as a wedding present. The home stayed in the Stayton family for 90 years, until daughter Mary Elizabeth passed away. Dick Jungwirth and George Susbauer were the next owners, remodeling the house into a popular restaurant and bed and breakfast. In 1999, they sold it to Kevin and Ankana Doerfler, who initially turned it into an antique shop, using part of it as their home.
“The Stayton House is 106 years old and since 1995 has been a restaurant, antique shop, real estate office and now an antique shop again,” Mary said. “Our favorite part of owning The Stayton House Antiques and Curiosities is that we meet the most interesting people! We have had visitors from Canada, Peru, South Africa, Germany, Sweden, China, England and over 20 states. We have also enjoyed making friends with our local customers. Often they are people we would never have met if we didn’t have the shop.”
The Vintage Fashion Show idea came about after the Wallaces attended their first SummerFest two years ago. Thinking it could be fun to participate in the activities, they held their first show last year to benefit Friends of the Stayton Pool.
“When a customer came in and told me about a group of ladies who had vintage outfits and went out to lunch each month all dressed up, I thought a Victorian fashion show would be the perfect activity,” Mary said.
The ladies, who call themselves “Parlor Pastimes,” agreed to do the show then and now, she added.
“They choose their own outfits and do their own narration,” she said. “Most people have commented to me that they enjoyed all the historical information that the ladies shared as they described their outfits.”
For information on the Vintage Fashion Show, call Mary Wallace at 503-767-3263.