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History of Belle Pepper's Bed & Breakfast



Belle Peppers B & B History
Our lovely home was built for Frank and Martha McCully in 1915 after their original home was destroyed by fire. Frank McCully is known as the father of Wallowa County. Born in Salem in 1859, he came to live in the area as a young man of 21. Within just a few years, he established a general store and started a local weekly newspaper, The Chieftain. He was elected to the legislature and introduced the bill that separated Wallowa County from Union County. Frank McCully remained an active leader in the community until his death in 1939. He and his wife Martha are buried near Old Chief Joseph in the Nez-Perce Cemetery at Wallowa Lake.

Mill owner George Dawson and his wife Minnie purchased the house from the McCully estate in 1938. After George's death in 1954, Minnie remained in their home until her passing in 1978. George and Minnie's son Malcolm kept the house in the family, and for the next 21 years he and his wife Jean carefully worked to bring the "McCully Mansion" back to its original grandeur. Malcolm also carried on the tradition of civic leadership by serving as a City Councilor and Mayor of Joseph. Today he and his wife Jean remain highly respected residents of Joseph.

Property owners Pepper and John McColgan moved to Joseph from Talent in southern Oregon in 2005. With their four children grown and embarked on their own lives, Pepper and John decided to do something different. They sold their home of 26 years, packed up - lock, stock and dog - and moved to Joseph. Pepper has been active in an emergency services career as a paramedic, firefighter and emergency services educator. In addition to helping at the Bed & Breakfast, Pepper now also works for a non-profit organization called Northeast Oregon Network, which seeks to provide better health care access to people in Wallowa, Union, and Baker counties. John is a builder, specializing in restoring older homes, as well as being a writer and teacher. Both are appreciative of their time as hosts of this wonderful bed & breakfast, and look forward to new adventures after this unique property has sold.

Photo by Frances Buckles

We were told that these shades were painted by Martha McCully, the first lady of the house.




Photo by Ellen Morris Bishop

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