The Dees House
Bill and Debbie Schoeppach
675 Center Street, Cedarville
The Dees House is located in the "Monchamp Addition" on what is today Center Street in Cedarville. Mr. Monchamp was one of the valley"s earliest founding fathers.
The "Pre-Gothic Style" home has had many owners over the years and was once slated for condemnation by the county. Happily, its present owners have tackled a long list of ambitious restoration projects, remaining faithful to the home's historic character and design. In the process, they have added beauty and skillfully created delightful, nostalgic and amusing vignettes in every room, corner and cranny, rewarding those who pause to take notice.
Cedarville resident Maxine Toney recalls a
man named Tom Jones and his family lived in the home in the
1930s. Their daughter Dorothy was a good friend of hers.
Other people who have called the 2-story house their home
include Mabel Toney, Nancy Teuscher, Jelenne Angelea, and
Leslie and Leila Dees lived in the home in
the 1950s with their children Esther, Bill, and Jerry. Later,
Leila married Ed Hill and they continued to live in the home,
though locals by and large continued to refer to it as the "Dees House".
When new owners Bill and Debbie Schoeppach
purchased the home in 2004, they had little idea of its rich
and checkered history. Debbie was astonished to discover
one of her dearest friends, Bill Dees, had grown up there
before he moved to her home town of Tulelake.
Debbie believes the home's builder probably lived in the small "cabin" on the north side while he constructed the main house. Today, a flock of chickens and ducks call it home.
It is thought a narrow buggy road ran along
the lot's east side, explaining why the formal front door faces in that direction rather than toward Center Street.
The house sits on juniper logs rather than
on a rock or cement foundation. The back porch is a later
addition to the main house which original plot maps suggest
may have been built in the late 1870's. County tax rolls date the house from 1912 though its antique fixtures and period building materials suggest further research needs to be done to establish the exact year of construction.
The home, which was painted rhubarb red in 2005, has 3 bedrooms and one bath. The master bedroom is downstairs, off the parlor, and features a small walk-in closet and antique brass bed.
The kitchen has been recently remodeled though
it retains its period appeal with beadboard paneling and
simple farmhouse-style cabinetry. As with all their renovations,
the Schoeppachs have endeavored to preserve most of the home's original features and all of its charm.
The wood floors throughout the home are original as are all of the doors and door hardware, the stairway in the parlor, the outdoor siding and most of the windows. Feather painting, used to simulate oak wood grain, adorns the stair rail. The painstaking technique was all done by hand using bird feathers rather than a brush.
A small cabinet near the stairs contains part
of Debbie's collection of Depression glassware. Blue Willow pieces are featured above the dining room buffet.
The etched glass in the parlor's front door has survived generations of owners. The room's wood stove was also left by previous owners. The antique sofa was recently reupholstered and the wood floors have also been refinished in the last year.
The home’s “mud room” off
the dining area features a sculptural piece that was once
part of an upright piano. The Schoeppachs came upon it at
a yard sale in the middle of a walnut orchard near Orland.
“So far, we’ve furnished this home with
lots of finds from yard sales. The constant renovation work
has been hard, but we’d both do it all over again!” said
Two locust trees in the front yard are very
old, as is an apricot tree that continues to yield fruit
year after year. A small fish pond has been added off the
back porch and Debbie and Bill will be adding a shop soon,
enclosing an area they plan to call “Debbie’s Secret Garden”.
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