A B & B to Die For: TouVelle House, Jacksonville, OR

Don’t let its location next to the town cemetery put you off. TouVelle House in tiny Jacksonville, OR is …well, to die for. Just 20 miles from Ashland, this Gold Rush town boasts many charming B & B’s.

We were fortunate to land at the beautifully restored Craftsman style home built in 1916 by Judge Frank TouVelle for his wife Elizabeth. (He must have been crazy about her!). Our gracious hosts, Tim Balfour and Gary Renninger Balfour have owned the place for about two years and have created a serene, luxurious escape where all of your needs have been anticipated.

There are six guest rooms, all with private baths, and each with its own design theme. I was in the Adirondack Suite, complete with twig furniture, and decorative accessories in keeping with the theme. A particularly clever touch—a pair of old wooden skis mounted on the wall face down became a shelf to hold knick knacks. Inviting featherbeds, down comforters and pillows beckon the weary traveler. And truly, not a detail has been overlooked.

Fresh white robes hang on the bathroom door, ready to embrace you. A small fridge, stocked with water and juices, baskets holding a variety of toilet items, and canisters of chocolates are situated on every landing.

Breakfast is served at the civilized hour of 9 a.m., a full sit-down affair in the formal dining room. In the living room, a large stone fireplace flanked by cushy leather sofas invites you to sit a spell. Off the living room is a sun room, and at the far end, a library with TV, books, and a computer where you can check your email. (I told you they’ve thought of everything!)

The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and there’s even a pool where you can take a refreshing dip on a hot Oregon afternoon. Lest you think you’ll be stranded in the country with nothing to do, not to worry. The house is located two blocks from the main shopping street and you’ll find a variety of interesting restaurants ranging from casual to fine cuisine.

There are great antiques shops to poke around in, and for the foodies, Jacksonville Mercantile is a must. If you go now, you can still catch a concert at the Britt Festival which is on from June through September. There are hiking and biking trails, golf and tennis nearby.

But your visit won’t be complete without a stop at the ancient cemetery. Drive through the iron gates and wend your way up the narrow winding road – the view is spectacular. The cemetery is divided into sectarian sections, with many of the graves dating back to the mid 1800’s. My only regret was that I didn’t allow more time to explore the many wonders of the area, and to spend a couple more nights at the marvelous TouVelle House.

W: Touvelle House.
A: 455 N. Oregon Street, Jacksonville, OR.
T: 1.800.846.8422 or 541.899.8938.

Posted by Lanny Udell on August 18, 2006 in Travel

Comments (2)

  1. Branden
    Branden says:

    Looks wonderful Lanny. Excited to have you have contributing to Vagablond! Welcome.

  2. Gil Zeimer
    Gil Zeimer says:

    Branden & Lanny:

    Agreed! This is a terrific story about a unique B & B. Thanks for the first of many future contributions.


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