The historic Hughes House in Cape Blanco State Park in northern Curry County has decorated to the theme “The Sounds of Christmas.”

Various community organizations decorated the 3,000 square-foot, 11-room Victorian farmhouse with Christmas trees, garlands and musical instruments.

Cookies, baked treats and hot-spiced cider will be available. Entry is free, but donations are welcome.

The house is 3 miles from U.S. 101 on Cape Blanco Highway, which is 4 miles north of Port Orford.

The house was built in 1898 with old-growth Port Orford Cedar by pioneers Jane and Patrick Hughes.

According to the Cape Blanco Heritage Society, the couple moved to he Sixes River Valley in the early 1860s from Tyrone County, Ireland. Between 1860 and 1876, the couple had nine children.

The family produced butter that was shipped to a distributor in San Francisco. As the business grew, they built a bunkhouse, carriage house, smokehouse, chicken house and a slaughterhouse. They steadily amassed nearly 2,000 acres, which included an orchard and a large garden.

After more than 30 years of ranching and running the dairy, the Hugheses saved up enough money to build the house.

The house was state-of-the-art for its time with acetylene lighting, hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing and a chapel.

Unfortunately, Patrick lived in the home only three years before he was killed in a horseback-riding accident in 1901.

The matriarch Jane Hughes and sons Edward, Thomas and Francis continued to operate the ranch. Francis’ wife, Annie, helped with cooking and housekeeping. Jane lived there until she died in 1923 at the age of 90.

Edward, Thomas and Francis lived their entire lives on the ranch. Son James was a life-long keeper of the nearby Cape Blanco Lighthouse. Son John was the second person born in Oregon to be ordained a Roman Catholic priest. Daughters Alice and Mary married local men and left the ranch. Two other boys died as youngsters.

Electricity came to the ranch in 1942. Annie was the last member of the family to live in the house.

The land and house was purchased by Oregon State Parks in 1971. By this time, the building had fallen into disrepair. Those who did the refurbishing and refurnishing took great care to retain the style of the 1890s. Central heat, a modern water heater and alarm system were concessions to modern needs.

In 1980, the Hughes House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Cape Blanco Heritage Society provides interpretive and educational services in the Port Orford area. It also operates the lighthouse, also in Cape Blanco State Park, and the Port Orford Lifeboat Station.

The three sites are open April through October. Admission is free to all sites except the lighthouse tower which charges a fee.

For more information, visit www.capeblancoheritagesociety.com or call 541-332-0521

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