The D.K. Warren House is an important landmark in Warrenton. Daniel Knight Warren, who founded the town, built the house in 1885 facing east on the entrance of the Skipanon River. Located at 107 NE Skipanon Drive, the historic house is worth a visit, although it is not open for tours. Teale and Mike Adelmann, owners and stewards of the home, add their own special touches to this local historic landmark. Around the holidays, you will find rows of cars outside of their house.
The Adelmanns do not alter the historic character or design of the house. For Halloween and Christmas, the couple create themed light shows, corresponding to music played on 95.7 FM. Tune your dial to the radio while you enjoy the light show.
Halloween decorations go up around the beginning of October and come down on November 1. In 2017, the Halloween decorations included three projected pumpkins and an inflated Frankenstein. Christmas lights will start running the weekend after Thanksgiving. “We do something for every holiday, but Halloween and Christmas are the big ones.”
Teale and Mike bought the house in 2014. They moved to Oregon from New Mexico in 2015. “The house met everything on our list and we were excited about it,” they said. “We like that we are stewards of a historic property and we do our best to serve the house.”
Although the couple is new to the state, they are not new to light shows. They began decorating a previous home with Christmas lights around 1985. As time went on more lights were added and they began to include more holidays. Halloween was added about six years ago and becomes a larger show each year. They were well known for their decorations in New Mexico. They even won a television in a competition for their Christmas decorations one year.
“It started off as something fun, and I really enjoyed learning about lights and how to do new things,” said Mike who has become more excited about the decorations over the years. He took a class to learn how to coordinate lights with music but the rest of his designs have been self-taught. “It takes about 40 hours to program the lights to a song,” he explained.
The benefit to using the radio station is that Mike and Teale don’t have to listen to the same songs play every evening. Special lights that don’t need to be changed are used and can change colors every 1/50 of a second. Mike spends much of the year planning and preparing, and when the time comes, he controls all of it with his phone.
Why do all of this work? “It’s something fun to do. We started with small decorations and just kept building on those. I even have Christmas light tattoos,” he said adding that sometimes they sit and watch people be entertained.
Their neighbors enjoy the decorations. Luckily, they have a gate to close off their driveway to the droves of vehicles that travel by nightly to see the decorations. “We have a good relationship with them. They’ll call and check-in on the decorations. They called this fall and asked where Frank (Frankenstein) went,” they said.
Starting this year, Mike and Teale put out a donation box. This year donations will go to the Assistance League of the Columbia Pacific. Mike and Teale will match the donations that they gather through the box and plan to select different charities to donate to each year.
Be sure to stop by the D.K. Warren House at 107 NE Skipanon Drive for a great Christmas light show beginning the weekend after Thanksgiving.