It seems only fitting that the space that housed Roseburg Book & Stationery should come back to life just before Halloween. After all, the building is more than a century old and said to be haunted; even the reopening itself has been shrouded in a bit of mystery.
A couple of weeks ago there was some activity in the building, and a couple of enticing signs went up:
“Roseburg Book & Stationery May Be Gone, But New Exciting Things Coming Soon!”
Then last week a second sign popped up: “FARMHOUSE DECOR Gathered Old & New Coming Soon Roseburg.”
A bit of the mystery solved.
The store, which has sat vacant for seven months, will now be home to Farmhouse DEcor.
Owners Tammy Henderson and Judy Mora are moving from their current location in the 1900 block of Southeast Stephens Street.
The new spot on Jackson Street will give them more space for their farm-style furniture, kitchenware and knickknacks. Henderson said they hope to be up and running in the new location by late November or early December.
“We’re just trying to make our transition,” Henderson said. “We just have to get everything in place.”
Farmhouse Decor has been in business for more than 10 years, including some time in California, Henderson said. The Southeast Jackson Street location will give the shop more space and allow them to offer customers a place to make their own soap and a paint bar, she said.
“That building has a lot of history to it,” Henderson said, adding that she doesn’t know what else is going in there.
The building in the 500 block of Southeast Jackson Street dates back to the 1800s when it used to be the town post office and a stagecoach office.
Roseburg Book & Stationery opened in 1910 and survived the Great Depression, two recessions, the rise of big-box stores and internet shopping. Jason Byers, the previous owner, said despite pouring money into it for several years and trying to shift with the economy, he had to liquidate and close up shop in March of this year.
A major downtown construction project that started in July 2015 and took three years to finish severely hurt business at the stationery store and it never recovered, Byers said. There was also an employee who reportedly embezzled money from the business.
“I kept thinking that once the construction was over, it would come back and make the store something more relevant than it was and people would come,” Byers said. “Since then, it is a ghost town.”
Byers worked at the store for a summer after he graduated from Roseburg High School in 1995. He eventually bought the business from Gary and Janice Quist in 2014.
Gary Quist worked at the store for 20 years before buying it from the original family in 1993.
Byers has said he was convinced the building was haunted and had video evidence to prove it.
“Footsteps upstairs —we’ll hear feet going up and down the stairs,” he told a reporter back in 2016.
Sasha Lynch, who founded the Douglas County Paranormal Research Society, took the video that supposedly proved the store was haunted. Using high-tech equipment, Lynch said she and a crew found paranormal activity, including an unidentified voice whispering the word stuck.
That’s not all.
“He has a room that’s called Sector 16 and there’s a window in there that’s alleged to never stay closed, even though it’s been screwed and barred shut,” Lynch said back in 2016.
Henderson, who will be working in the building in a few weeks, said tales of it being haunted are news to her. “That’s not good to hear,” she said. “I hope it’s not true.”