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Medco White House is in Sams Valley

There used to be a large, Colonial-type building next to the now-gone Medco mill, across the street from old, big Y. Whatever happened to that building? Was it destroyed, moved or something else? It was a nice old building, just wondering what happened to it.

— Doug

Just to set your mind at ease, Doug, it was not destroyed. It's very much alive, just in a different spot.

Joseph Berto, a Jackson County inventor and business owner, obtained the building — called the Medford Corp. White House — in May 1999, according to a July 1999 story in our Mail Tribune archives. Then he moved it, piece by piece, out to Sams Valley.

"The 1927 building is being torn down board by board to be reassembled at the Meadows Road ranch of inventor Joseph Berto," the Mail Tribune story said. "He and his wife, Dianne, will live in it."

Before that, the story said, the structure was owned by Medite, the final incarnation of Medco after it sold the Medford mill. The company's final employee, Tom Libby, moved out of the house in November 1997. It sat vacant for a couple years after that, its fate uncertain. Then Berto stepped in.

"After discussion, Medite agreed, Libby says, to virtually give Berto the building — if he would move it," the Mail Tribune story said.

So he did. But 17 years later, it's still not finished, Berto said. The original plan was to reconstruct the building in three different phases, but a county zoning rule change nixed that idea, he says. The exterior is complete, but the interior has yet to be finished. Because of that, Joseph and Dianne aren't living there. They do use it for storage, though.

"The thing that's remarkable when it comes right down to it is that it exists at all," Berto says. 

The plan for now is to sell it.

"Then somebody can come in and complete the interior as they see fit," he says.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

Medco White House is in Sams Valley