Leo Adler House Museum
This historic home was built in 1890 offers a fine example of the Italianate style of architecture and is home to a museum that preserves the history of the family of Leo Adler (1895-1993), a publisher who lived in the home for 94 years. Adler was a self-made millionaire who earned his fortune by selling magazines and newspapers. The house is a fine example of Italianate architecture and features a pair of two-story window bays, a small gable roof over the main entrance, and decorative brackets supporting the roof eaves. The house has been restored and visitors can take guided tours. It is a contributing property of the Baker Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house is operated by the Baker Heritage Museum.
Backstory and Context
It is unclear who built the house but it was either H.J. Fuller of J.L. Baisley but apparently, Adler's father, Carl, bought the house not long after it was it was built. Carl ran a local stationery and book shop called Adler's Crystal Palace. Adler was born in 1895 and got into business when he was nine by selling the Saturday Evening Post and Ladies Home Journal magazines. In his teen and high school years he sold a number of magazines to nearby cities. He was so successful that he was opened an office in his father's store. When he 20, his business was thriving, having expanded his reach from The Dalles to Grand Island, Nebraska. When Adler retired in 1972 his business had grown to 2,000 outlets and sold almost three million magazines per year.
Adler was a tireless advocate of Baker City and donated funds to support the community. He bought the city's first fire truck in 1939, donated money to St. Elizabeth's Hospital, and provided funds to youth sports programs and various educational and historical organizations. He received many awards for his generosity and impact on the community. His impact has continued after his death in 1993. He placed his $20 million fortune in the Leo Adler Trust, which supports Baker City and provides scholarships to high school graduates.
"Biography." Leo Adler Foundation. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://leoadler.org/biography.
"Leo Adler (1895-1993)." The Oregon Encyclopedia. Accessed August 31, 2020. https://oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/adler_leo_1895_1993_/#.WTa16hiZNo4.
Van Duyn, James N. "Baker Historic District." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. December 14, 1978. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/78002277_text.
Leo Adler Foundation