A Family Residence in Decline: Three Days of Flavel

Three years ago, Greg Newenhof purchased the long-neglected Captain George Conrad Flavel residence with the intention of restoring it. When Greg passed away in January, his brother Jeff conceived a project dedicated to the memory of his brother: a book detailing the history of the Flavel family.

The Newenhof Family and City Lumber Company, in collaboration with the Clatsop County Historical Society (CCHS), is sponsoring three consecutive events to raise money for that project.

Thursday, Sept. 20th, John Goodenberger will present his popular lecture, “A Family Residence in Decline,” at 7:00 PM in the Columbian Theater, 1102 Marine Dr. The lecture will trace the lives of George Flavel’s descendants: reclusive and mysterious, and fodder for endless gossip. “A lot of people run amok with the facts regarding the Flavels,” noted Goodenberger. “There’s no need to embellish this story.” The evening will also feature a few minutes of Flavel home movies. Tickets are $10 and sold only at the door.

Friday, Sept 21st, a special reception will be held at the Captain George Conrad Flavel residence, 627 15th St., at 7:00 p.m. Attendees will view newly donated, never seen publicly before, Flavel family home movies. Spanning the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the films capture the family at home and on world travels. Tickets for the evening are $75 per person. Space is limited. Attendees will enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. In addition, attendees will be able to bid for this once in a lifetime event—Wine at the Captain George Conrad Flavel home, and a catered dinner at the Captain George Flavel House Museum.

Saturday, Sept 22nd, the Captain George Conrad Flavel residence will be open for self-guided tours from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The public will be able to see work accomplished in the on-going restoration. Tickets are $10 for CCHS members and $25 for non-members.

For more information about these events or other Clatsop County Historical Society activities, please call 503-325-2203 or e-mail: cchs@cumtux.org.

Gregory E. Newenhof – 1956-2018

It is with great sadness we must report that Gregory E. Newenhof passed away unexpectedly but peacefully Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018 at his home in Astoria, Oregon.

Greg was born on July 8, 1956 to Gerald E. Newenhof and Nancy M. Price Newenhof in Yakima, Washington.

Greg lived in the Pacific Northwest his whole life, moving with his family as Jerry took different positions in the home improvement industry.

Greg graduated from Cleveland High School in Portland, Oregon, in 1974. In 1978 he graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and business. While in college he joined the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, where he lived and gained lifelong friends.

When his parents purchased City Lumber Company in Astoria, Oregon, in 1975, Greg moved to Astoria to work at the store when school was out. After he graduated, Greg planned to bum around for a while before he figured out what to do for a career. Just a few weeks after he graduated, Jerry tracked Greg down in California and asked him to come back to work because an employee was injured. Greg didn’t come back then, but a few days later a second phone call from Jerry, and an offer of a free plane ticket, brought Greg back to Astoria, and he started working full time at City Lumber.

After Jerry passed away in 1991, Greg successfully ran City Lumber Company with his brother, Jeff Newenhof. The Newenhofs were recognized by the Western Building Materials Association as the 2017 Distinguished Dealer of the year.

Greg enjoyed volunteering, but usually behind the scenes. You would find him setting up the Rotary Booth at the Crab Festival, helping fix up the Armory and Camp Kiwanilong, setting up bleachers for the Regatta Parade, and several other projects. He loved to walk on the beach and around the city of Astoria.

In 2015 Greg surprised himself, and his family, and purchased the historic Capt. George Conrad Flavel home on 15th and Franklin in Astoria. Greg’s efforts to restore the long-abandoned home garnered great attention in the community. An open house held in 2016 brought over 800 people into the home and raised money for the Clatsop County Historical Society. Greg’s efforts were noted by the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce when he was given the chamber’s George Award in 2017.

Greg often laughed that he had spent all his life happily living in the background but buying the George Conrad Flavel House thrust him into the spotlight. He enjoyed the fact that his work on the Flavel home was so appreciated.

Greg was preceded in death by his mother and father, Nancy and Jerry Newenhof. Greg is survived by his brother Jeff, and Jeff’s wife Beth, and their children Gerry and Sadie, his Aunt Delta Bootsma of Sunnyside, Washington, and several cousins.

Like his mother, Greg did not want a local service. He will be buried at a graveside service in Yakima, Washington, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 alongside his mother and father at Terrace Heights Memorial Park.

Remembrances can be made to the Clatsop County Historical Society or the Columbia River Maritime Museum.


Clatsop County Historical Society Tour of Captain George Conrad Flavel Home Announced

Clatsop County Historical Society hosts an “Astoria Historic Home Tour” of  the “Other” Flavel House.

Astoria, OR, July 22, 2016:   The Clatsop County Historical Society (CCHS), with the generous sponsorship of
City Lumber Company, is proud to present a special tour of the “Other” Flavel House, the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home at 627 15th Street on Regatta Sunday, August 14th, 10:00 am–4:00 pm.

Greg Newenhof, the owner of the “Other” Flavel House and co-owner of City Lumber Company, has offered us an incredible opportunity: visit his house to see the progress he has made since purchasing the home a year ago. (Though he cautions that he still has years of work ahead!).

People have waited YEARS to tour this house, and Greg has had people constantly asking to see the inside of the home. He decided to let CCHS organize a fundraising event for the Society’s benefit and offer the first look to the public. We thank him for his generosity and friendship.

The house was built in 1901 by Captain George Conrad Flavel, the son of Captain George Flavel. Like his father’s home (now the Flavel House Museum), the Captain George Conrad Flavel home is an amazing piece of Astoria’s history. Greg is well on his way to bringing it back to life.

The event is generously sponsored by City Lumber Company.

Purchase tickets in advance and avoid the long lines the day of open house. Tickets are available NOW only at the Flavel Carriage House Visitor Center, 714 Exchange Street. Tickets are $10 for Clatsop County Historical Society Members and $25 for non-members.

Memberships start at just $35 for individuals and $55 for a family. Members get discounts on events like this, free admission to the Historical Society museums, a subscription to Cumtux, and discounts in the CCHS gift shops.

For more information about this event or other Clatsop County Historical Society activities, please call 503-325-2203 or e-mail: cchs@cumtux.org.

Clatsop County Historical Society is a 501(C)(3) non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of Clatsop County Oregon and the surrounding area. The Society operates the Flavel House Museum, the Heritage Museum, the Oregon Film Museum, and the Uppertown Firefighters Museum.



One Year Recap

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Greg was lamenting the fact that he didn’t get very much done the first year he owned the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home. So we sat down and made a list of the things he has accomplished.

In no particular order, and probably missing several things:

  • Attic and basement cleaned out.
  • New cedar roof and stainless gutters
  • Porch roofs coated
  • Crown/cornice molding for frieze band board (exterior trim) ordered and installed
  • Restored chimneys
  • New water service
  • New electrical service
  • New furnace
  • New sewer connection
  • New front steps stair jacks in place, waiting for a few more projects to be finished before the steps are installed
  • New concrete poured for the sidewalk where underground utilities were put in.
  • Repaired and re-glazed windows
  • Front door, sidelight, and dining room leaded glass windows restored
  • Over a dozen front porch balusters milled out and installed.
  • Put up Christmas lights and a tree
  • Light fixtures are being restored
  • 2 Second story leaded glass window sash ordered, and leaded glass inserts being built
  • Living room sash ordered
  • 3 Attic diamond light sash ordered
  • Rough in wiring completed on second floor
  • Wiring to first floor lights in process, almost complete
  • Wooden floor cold air return ordered
  • Wood now in stock to repair front door, which should be repaired in next month or so
  • Paneling uncovered in 2nd floor bathroom and kitchen
  • Antique Claw foot tub acquired
  • Plumbing repair work to second floor bathroom and bedroom vanities to start soon
  • Repairs to exterior siding on west and south walls started
  • Lawn mowed
  • Sheetrock to be installed on second floor ceiling to replace water damaged plaster

On the negative side, the house has been broken into twice, with minor damage and some property loss.

Greg found a couple of people in the kitchen one day. They came in through the closed door just to take a look around. When told the house was private property, they replied “the steps looked safe, and we are tourists”. They were asked to leave.

An interesting afternoon was spent getting a transient and his property off the front porch.

And the almost everyday problem of people ignoring the Private Property and No Trespassing signs to walk up to and around the house. This is a safety and liability problem. Please do not go on the property without permission.

And when can you get permission? Perhaps as soon as August. The Clatsop County Historical Society will host a fundraising event at Greg’s Captain George Conrad Flavel home. More details and dates to be announced soon.

National Register of Historic Places Application

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North and East Elevation of the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home Photograph by Andrew Cier for the National Register of Historic Places Application

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North and West Elevation of the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home Photograph by Andrew Cier for the National Register of Historic Places Application

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Living room of the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home at Christmas Photographer Unknown The Piano is at the Clatsop County Historical Society The Painting is at the Columbia River Maritime Musuem

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1950’s picture of Flavel family members and friends in the Living Room of the Captain George Conrad Flavel home. Photographer unknown

Back in 1986, the Captain George Conrad Flavel home was put on the National Register of Historic Places.  Roger Tetlow, acting as a contractor for the City of Astoria, filled out the paper work that was submitted to the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service.  The form can be found online at http://focus.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/NRHP/Text/86001222.pdf

In addition to the Application, several pictures were submitted.  Several were by Andrew Cier, a local photographer.  The pictures can be found online, but just don’t be in a hurry to see them, they load very slowly.   http://focus.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/NRHP/Photos/86001222.pdf


Greg Inspects another Mansion

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Greg is often asked if the Captain George Conrad Flavel home is haunted.  It doesn’t seem to be, but you just never know.  Greg recently went down to Southern California to inspect another mansion that just might be haunted.

Just Found—Pictures of the Garage

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Front of Captain George Conrad Flavel Home Mid 1990’s Photo by John Goodenberger

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Front of Captain George Conrad Flavel Garage Mid 1990’s Photo by John Goodenberger

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North Side of Captain George Conrad Flavel Garage Mid 1990’s Photo by John Goodenberger


Remains of Captain George Conrad Flavel Garage June 2015

All that is left of the garage at the Captain George Conrad Flavel home is a pile of rotted boards. Parts of the garage was still standing after the City of Astoria cleaned up the property in 2012, but vegetation grew up again and claimed the last standing walls of the garage. A few recognizable pieces could be found, but there weren’t enough clues to put together the style and look of the garage.
Greg has spent the last year looking for pictures of the garage so he could rebuild it. Local Architectural Historian John Goodenberger looked through his files, and came across some pictures he took from the mid to late 1990’s. These are the first pictures we’ve seen of the garage, and will help Greg make sense of the rotted pile of boards when he rebuilds the garage, hopefully next year.

October 20, 2015 Update

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There was more work being done at the Captain George Conrad Flavel house today. The sewer line is finally getting hooked up today, and the masons are finishing up what they called their “chimney of a lifetime.” The roofers should finish this week as well, so Greg will start on his next batch of projects.  Look for stairs on the outside, and furnace on the inside to start happening soon.

September 2015, Roofing and Chimney work

It’s an exciting day at the Captain George Conrad Flavel house. The masons are finishing up the front chimney, and the roofers showed up to replace the roof.  Greg is up on the roof of the front porch (no, it is not a balcony, there are no doors leading to it) scratching his head in disbelief that the roofer has shown up.