The story of Deepwood began in 1893 when Dr. Luke A. Port bought the west undivided portion of a six acre block in the Yew Park Addition in Salem, near Mission and 12th Street totaling approximately 4.2 acres. The Port Family hired William C. Knighton to design their home, his first residential commission. Knighton would later become Oregon’s first state Architect, designing the Oregon Supreme Court Building and the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon.
The home was built for a cost of $15,000 when the average home of the area cost $1,000. Wife Lizzie and daughter Alpha moved to Los Angeles and Dr. Port sold the home to George and Willie Bingham in 1895.
The Binghams made Deepwood their home for 28 years. Alice Bingham Powell, daughter of George and Willie sold the house to Clifford Brown in 1924.
Clifford Brown married Alice Bretherton in 1908 and the couple lived at Deepwood until his death by drowning in 1927. Alice lived in the home as a widow, commissioning landscape architects Elizabeth Lord & Edith Schryver to design the gardens. By 1930, Alice was calling the house and gardens “Deepwood” after the children’s book “The Hollow Tree and Deepwoods” Book by Albert Bigelow Paine, a favorite of her sons. In 1935, when the gardens were nearly complete, she had the name Deepwood formally registered as a legal farm name. Alice resided in the house until their health required relocation in 1968. For more information about Alice Brown, check out this post authored by Virginia Green on her blog Salem Lifelines.
The city of Salem acquired the home in December 1971 and the Friends of Deepwood, a 501(3)(c) organization, was organized in 1974 to manage the estate.
In 2002, Sunset Magazine named Deepwood as one of the four “Best Historic Homes” in its “Best of the West” section. Experiencing Salem’s history and learning of Deepwood’s unique architectural features such as its Povey Brothers stained glass and eastern golden oak are at the heart of its tours conducted on a year round basis. The gardens are open daily, dawn to dusk free of charge. Group tours of the garden can be arranged in advance. Deepwood is also available for private rental as an outdoor event site in which to hold garden weddings, receptions and other events such as anniversaries, vow renewals, reunions and other celebrations.
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Come by and check out the gift shop, where our new Deepwood merchandise just arrived! Our gift shop is accessible during regular tour hours or by special appointment. Call (503) 363-1825 with questions!
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tour Hours: May through September - Wednesday through Saturday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
April through October - Wednesday through Saturday, 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm