The Flippin House National Historic Site locally and affectionately known
as The Castle is build high on a hill above the town of Clatskanie
on Highway 30 just 60 miles from Portland and 35 miles from Astoria.
The original owners of The Castle were Thomas and Florence Flippin who
established the West Oregon Lumber mill where Tom began saving the best
lumber for the grand house he was determined to build in Clatskanie. When
their children were old enough to go to school, they purchased property
adjacent to the school and construction began on this Victorian-style mansion
in 1898. The Flippin family, which included two sons and a daughter,
moved in to the house in 1900. To Thomas Flippin, building this house represented
his moving up in society as a prosperous lumber man, but to his wife Florence,
who had also worked in their lumber company; it represented a refined way
of life that she disliked. After living there only three years, the couple
moved out, and then separated. Later owners of The Castle included
the Hempel and Holman families. For many years in the middle part
of the 20th century, The Castle was divided into apartments. In the
early 1970ís it was purchased by George and Ann Salmi and was sold to the
Clatskanie Senior Citizens Inc. in 1979 who own it today.
The Flippin house is located on a knoll above the street in a residential
area. From the lawn, the visitor has a view of the surrounding Clatskanie
hills, and can glimpse Highway 30 snaking its way through the far trees.
The twin towers flanking the house initially do make the house look
like a castle, albeit one of wood rather than of stone. The house
has other castle-like allusions. Under the front steps is an arched
opening, and although obscured by bushes, it suggests that the visitor
must cross a moat to get to the front door. The tall concrete foundation
is formed to look like blocks, alluding to the stone exterior of a fortress.
From Highway 30 within Clatskanie city limits, watch for a large
sign on the lawn by Windermere Real Estate. Turn south on SW Tichenor
Street. The house is on the right about a block past the intersection of
Tichenor and Fourth streets.