It was 1889 and an exciting time for Central Point! First settled in 1850, the town was now officially incorporated. The Oregon & California Railroad had arrived in 1885 with a depot built in 1888. The certainty of prosperity blossomed! In the spring of 1889 J.W. Miller and John Kurth purchased this property at Pine and Third Streets for $400 and built the two-story brick Kurth & Miller Building. The Edwardian-era building was a sensation with its plate glass, brick-arch topped windows and its elaborate crown. The 1893-98 Depression depleted the population of Central Point from 534 to 322. Businesses, including that of Kurth and Miller, failed. The Kurth & Miller property, lost to a Sheriff’s sale for back taxes, was purchased in 1899 for $2000 by C.B. Rostel, a Jacksonville barber and Medford saloon owner.
This was excellent timing for Rostel as 1900 saw the beginning of economic recovery! The Valley, touted as the “Italy of Oregon”, drew newcomers. Agriculture and lumber thrived. Tourism, including new access to Crater Lake in 1902, grew. The 1906 Gold Ray Dam brought electricity. Sidewalks, water and sewer systems were installed. Telephone services were expanded. The population grew to 761 by 1910. Life was good in Central Point! In 1909, anticipating the boom would continue, Rostel remodeled the Kurth & Miller building, doubling its size. The outer brick-work was redone to give uniformity of appearance and the front upper floor windows were enlarged. The ornate Kurth & Miller crown was replaced with a simpler crown and the nameplate “Rostel 1909”. World War I and the 1918 flu pandemic did not deter the use of the building. The west side housed furniture dealer T.M Jones, and on the east side were meat merchants W.D. Lewis and Sons (a favorite of the local children for the free wieners that were handed out!). The upper floor was divided into office spaces and room enough to use for community activities, like the Halloween Social held by the Ladies’ Aid Society in 1913. In 1916 the lower west half became Elden’s farm store and then in 1920 the Damon Café.
The 1930’s Great Depression may have necessitated the sale of the Rostel Building. In 1937 it was purchased by W. E. Alexander. The upper floor was occupied by the Woodmen’s Lodge. Alexander combined both lower sides for hardware and farm equipment. Alexander’s Hardware later became Brown’s Hardware. In 1945, Alexander sold his interest to Leland Dysinger and Tom Vella. The building continued to house a hardware store. Vella, Founder of the Rogue Creamery, acquired full ownership of the property. He passed away in 1998 at age 100. In 2003, his family sold the property to Tommy and Tiffany Malot, who effected renovations. A plethora of tenants have occupied the Kurth & Miller/Rostel building, including Kurth’s music store/studio, Jones’ Furniture, Elden’s Farm store, Lewis & Sons Meat Market, Damon’s Cafe, Alexander’s Hardware, Browns’ Hardware, a skateboard shop, a Farmers Insurance agency, and Rostel’s Restaurant, and use of the upper floor for community events, reportedly the Odd Fellows, the Woodmen’s Lodge, various businesses, a Karate studio, an apartment and our resident (friendly) ghost, who stays pretty much on the west side upstairs.
In August, 2013, the Kurth & Miller/Rostel building was acquired by Hew and Sarah McElroy and Don and Sheri Berryessa. Further renovations were careful to preserve the 124-year-old vintage charm of brick walls, old woodwork and high ceilings. On November 1, 2013, with a common dream, the Berryessa’s, the McElroy’s, Tyler and Sarah Hoevet and Fredy and Jennifer Sylvester Hurtado de Mendoza established The Point Pub and Grill. More recently, with our partners Becky Burns, David Lewis, Shaun Ray and Christian Touzet, we proudly opened our second location, in South Medford, on March 21, 2016.