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Patrick Hughes House

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1898, P. J. Lindberg. 91816 Cape Blanco Rd.
  • (Photograph by Tim Cannan)

Perhaps the best preserved house by local builder Peter John (Pehr Johan) Lindberg of Port Orford, the Hughes House is a significant survivor of a once large and prosperous ranch and dairy business operated by Patrick Hughes and his descendants. The largely unaltered house remains one of the most significant late-nineteenth-century residences in Curry County.

Patrick Hughes was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1830, and immigrated to the United States in 1855 during the Irish potato famine; in Boston, he met and married Jane O’Neil, also from Ireland. In 1856, they sailed for California, where Hughes engaged in gold mining before they traveled up the coast to Curry County in Oregon, where Hughes developed a sand gold mining operation along the Sixes River. In 1860, Hughes also began a dairy and livestock business, eventually acquiring a thousand acres around Cape Blanco (later expanded by his sons to 1,800 acres). Dairying proved very successful in Curry County; reportedly, butter from the Hughes dairy operation was shipped as far south as San Francisco.

Hughes built this residence in 1898. Located just north of the headland of Cape Blanco, the imposing house is on an elevated terrace immediately south of the Sixes River, with a view out to the ocean. The two-story residence is an excellent vernacular example of the Queen Anne and Eastlake styles. The abundant use of patterned cedar shingles, a characteristic of nearly all surviving Lindberg houses, is typical of the Queen Anne style. Here, Lindberg employs diamond-shaped patterns in the gables and semicircular fish-scale and reverse-fish-scale patterns on the lower walls. Eastlake elements include triangle brackets attached to a wide frieze board at the gable ends and above second-story openings.

While Patrick himself occupied the house for only about three years, his widow, Jane, lived there until 1923. Lindberg had built another house for Patrick’s son, James, and his wife, Laura McMullen, on the north side of the Sixes River, within sight of the homestead. Several of Patrick’s sons continued to operate the dairy business into the 1940s. The last of the Hughes descendants occupied the ranch house in 1971, after which the State of Oregon acquired the house and incorporated it into Cape Blanco State Park. The Hughes House was carefully restored in 1979, with later additional restorative work that included repainting the cedar shingles in chocolate brown and a bright mustard yellow, which were determined by paint analysis. The property’s many outbuildings, including a large washhouse and bunkhouse, a small chicken house, a slaughter house, a smokehouse, and a creamery and dairy barn, are no longer extant. The Hughes House is open to the public as a museum.


Dodge, Orvil. Pioneer History of Coos and Curry Counties. Bandon, OR: Western World, 1969.

Douthit, Nathan. A Guide to Oregon South Coast History: Traveling the Jedediah Smith Trail. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 1999.

Fryberger, Georgia, and Elizabeth Walton Potter, “Patrick Hughes House,” Curry County, Oregon. National Register of Historic Places Inventory–Nomination Form, 1980. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Gaston, Joseph. The Centennial History of Oregon 1811–1912. Vol. 4. Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1912.

McArthur, Lewis A., and Lewis L. McArthur. Oregon Geographic Names7th ed. Portland: Oregon Historical Society Press, 2003.

O’Hara, Edwin V. Pioneer Catholic History of Oregon. Portland: Glass and Prudhomme, 1911.

Peterson, Emil R., and Powers, Alfred. A Century of Coos and Curry. Portland: Binford and Mort, 1952.

Walling, A.G. History of Southern Oregon. Portland: A. G. Walling, 1884.

Wiederhold, Kathleen M. Exploring Oregon’s Historic House Museums. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2000.

Writing Credits

Leland M. Roth



  • 1898

  • 1971

    State of Oregon assumes ownership
  • 1979


What's Nearby


Leland M. Roth, "Patrick Hughes House", [Port Orford, Oregon], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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