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As It Was: Taverner Purchases House Designed by Architect Frank Clark

In 1907, George Taverner and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, moved to Ashland, Ore., and bought a home designed by Frank Clark, Southern Oregon’s leading architect at the time.

Taverner, born in 1841 in Devonshire England, had first settled and started a family with his wife, Mary Elizabeth, on a thousand acres in Sacramento County, Calif.  Mary Elizabeth didn’t like California’s heat, so they returned to England for a time, but Taverner’s businesses in the United States brought them back to America. 

The residence had several architectural styles, including Corinthian columns and a round turret with a conical roof. The family loved to entertain, and were known for their English teas, often hosted by friend Olive Swedenborg, who lived in another Clark-built residence down the street. 

Taverner was an active community booster and a member of the planning committee for a newly planned Lithia Park in 1909.  He served as president of the Park Board and worked with landscape architect John McLaren, who also designed San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. 

The Taverner home, at 912 Siskiyou Boulevard, remains a private residence and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sources: Robinett Romano, Ethel E. "George Taverner." Table Tock Sentinel, May 1986; "Ashland, Oregon: From Stage Coach to Center Stage." NPS.gov, National Park Service, 2017, https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/ashland/tav.htm. Accessed 27 Apr. 2017.

Maryann Mason has taught history and English in the U.S. Midwest and Northwest, and Bolivia. She has written history spots for local public radio, interviewed mystery writers for RVTV Noir, and edited personal and family histories.  Her poetry has appeared in Sweet Annie & Sweet Pea Review (1999), Rain Magazine (2007), and The Third Reader, an online Journal of Literary Fiction and Poetry. In 2008 she published her first chapbook, Ravelings.  She organized a History Day for Southern Oregon.