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As It Was-German-trained Barber Opens Pioneer Jacksonville Spa

An early barber in Jacksonville, Ore., George Schumpf, cut hair for 24 years from the time he opened his shop in a wooden building on California Street in 1873 until his death in 1897.

He trained as a barber in his native Germany.  He offered Jacksonville residents the pioneer equivalent of a present-day spa. His ad in the Democratic Times newspaper offered “haircutting, shaving, shampooing, and ladies’ haircutting done to first class style.”  He also sold “Dandruff Lotion,” for $1 a bottle. 

Six months after opening for business, the barber shop and other tinder-dry wooden buildings on the same block and other streets burned down.  Undaunted, Schumpf purchased a lot and built a one-story brick building that remains standing today.

Together with its neighbors, the Italianate building formed an arcade of eight bays.  Schumpf’s shop had bathing rooms and a shoeshine stand.  His customers, both men and women, could have their shoes buffed while relaxing in a hot bath, and then enjoy a shampoo and haircut, and for men, a shave. 


Sources: Evans, Gail E. "State of Oregon Inventory of Historic Properties." Heritage Data, Nov. 1979, heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/index.cfm?do=main.loadFile&load=39549.pdf. Accessed 24 Jan. 2020. Path: Oregon State Parks Historic Preservation Office Schumpf's Barber Shop. Kingsnorth, Carolyn. "George Francis Schumpf - Jacksonville Town Barber." Jacksonville Review, Jacksonville Review, jacksonvillereview.com/george-francis-schumpf-jacksonville-town-barber-carolyn-kingsnorth/. Accessed 24 Jan. 2020.   

Sharon Bywater of Ashland, Oregon grew up in Southern California. She taught English literature and writing at Syracuse University in New York, where she also wrote and edited adult literacy books and published freelance articles in local media. Later, she lived in Washington, D.C., where she worked as an international telecommunications policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She has Master’s degrees in English and Communications Management.