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Harry & David co-founder's Medford home named to the National Register of Historic Places

The Harry and Eleanor Holmes House is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service.

Posted: Aug 5, 2021 11:55 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. — An artifact of the family that founded Rogue Valley-based company Harry & David has now been designated as a national historic site. The Harry and Eleanor Holmes House is one of Oregon's latest entries in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places.

The Harry & Eleanor Holmes House was built on a landscaped 1.98 acre lot on Modoc Avenue in Medford and completed in 1939. The eponymous owners commissioned Los Angeles-based architect Paul Revere Williams to design the home.

"Williams’ designs for industrialists, movie stars and other celebrities during the 1930s-1960s were broadly published and widely recognized for their elegant character, especially his trademark helical stairways," the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said in a statement.

Harry Holmes owned Bear Creek Orchards in the Rogue Valley with his brother, David. The name of their company was later changed to Harry & David, gaining prominence nationally through their popular mail-order "Fruit-of-the-Month club," particularly with the locally grown pears and other fruits. The company's operation became one of the largest of its kind in the U.S.

The Harry and Eleanor Holmes House is now the 45th property in Medford to be listed in the National Register, and the first since October 2012. The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

The historic home is now the site of Celia's House in Holmes Park, a non-profit hospice care facility.

Properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places are:

  • Recognized as significant to the nation, state, or community;
  • Considered in the planning of federal or federally assisted projects;
  • Eligible for federal and state tax benefits;
  • Qualify for historic preservation grants when funds are available;
  • Eligible for leniency in meeting certain building code requirements;
  • Subject to local laws pertaining to the conservation and protection of historic resources.

National Register listings do not automatically place any restrictions on a property at the state or federal level, unless the property owners choose to participate in a tax benefit or grant program.

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