Gentle Family Story
Historic Gentle House was built in approximately 1880. In 1914, it was purchased along with a 160-acre farm by the renowned college educator Thomas H. Gentle and his wife, Carrie. Here they raised their five children. He taught for 30 years and operated a 40-cow Jersey dairy. His daughter Catharine Gentle and his youngest sons Maurice and Ermine followed in their father’s footsteps and became teachers. After the death of her parents, Catharine maintained ownership of the home until 1981 when she donated the home to the Western Foundation.
Many of the items that now furnish the home belonged to the Gentle’s. Others were donated by Gentle family friends. The Monmouth Garden Club donated the gazebo and the College Alumni donated the backyard pavilion used for dances and concerts.
In 1991 the new wing of the home comprising of a conference room, catering kitchen, and public restrooms was added. This structure replaced a summer kitchen and apartment the Gentle’s often rented to college students. This new addition allows the Western Foundation to share the Gentle’s legacy with the public and is used frequently for genteel entertaining such as, weddings, baby showers, birthdays, Western Oregon University club, and much more.
If you would like to find out more about the Gentle House and Family history, visit our open museum – open by appointment.