Peil House

Man, do we love a house with some good woman-centric history and this one has it in droves.

As the Plaza of downtown Ashland, Oregon, developed into an industrial and commercial area in the early 1900s, many businessmen built their homes along Granite Street to have a view of their companies below. In 1910, Emil Peil built this bungalow/Victorian mix overlooking his wagon and agricultural implement business as he prepared to marry a school teacher named Alice.

Alice was an early educator, becoming the first female school principal in the area. She was responsible for organizing the Ashland Study Club that was to play an important role in developing the Chautauqua, the Ashland Library, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In addition to her social and cultural interests, Alice was an active partner in the Peil Implement Company. In that capacity, she purchased an automobile in 1916 and became one of the first women to drive on Oregon highways throughout southern Oregon.

Alice came from a family of trailblazers: She was the granddaughter of Lindsay Applegate, a pioneer who helped blaze the Applegate Trail to Oregon.

In order to have easier access to the family business, the Peils built a flight of steel steps down to the Plaza. As their use became popular with Ashland residents, Mrs. Peil donated the northern six feet of her lot to the city, thus formalizing the public use of the walkway known as the Alice Applegate Peil Walkway.

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