Historic Conklin Guest House may have a future


Last updated 2/6/2024 at 9:48am

It all began in 1911 as a schoolhouse followed by a stint as the Hitchcock family residence and later to be occupied by the Barclay family. The old white house just north of East Barclay Drive on the west side of Camp Polk Road has had a history of ups and downs. Its last life came to be in the 1980s when Frank and Marie Conklin turned it into a quaint bed-and-breakfast.

It was described then in travel guides as "Country elegance in a serene pastoral setting. Perfect spot for romantic getaways and weddings. Walking distance to Sisters and local airport. The home is a remodeled 1910 Craftsman style farmhouse with wrap-around porch and deck nestled amid beautiful manicured grounds and stately pines. Entering the house is like stepping into the pages of Country Living and delightful country decor, old-fashioned warmth, a cozy fireplace and soft music."

As time passed, the Conklins ended their run, and the building and grounds went into decline. In 2006 Dutch Pacific Partners planned to revive it as an 85-seat restaurant with panoramic views to be surrounded by 25 rental bungalows. The plan never came to fruition.

The 4.6-acre property was sold in 2004 for $800,000, sold again in 2017 for $1.675 million and is currently on the market for $2.95 million Now a new vision for the storied property is coming into focus.

Developers are keen to turn the space into a boutique RV park. They held a neighborhood meeting on January 10 for any property owner within 500 feet of the proposed development, as well as any interested member of the community.

Jon Skidmore, a planning consultant hired by the prospective developers, told The Nugget, "The intent of the neighborhood meeting was to explain the proposed changes to the zoning code, discuss a potential concept for the property, and gather public feedback. This text amendment application will need to be considered by the Planning Commission in a public hearing with a recommendation to the City Council who will also hold a public hearing(s) prior to issuing a decision. No specific development project would be approved through the text amendment application. Future applications would need to be filed with the City to review a specific development project on site."

Skidmore is optimistic that the project will be met with acceptance both by the community and city planners.

"This is a landmark property and has a vibrant future," Skidmore said. "It has all sorts of potential, not just this one concept, to be a gathering space and tourism enhancement for Sisters."

The project could come onstream in 2025.


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