WOU: Gentle House rental details, conditions, and policies.

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Important Rules and Regulations


Keys/Access and Security

Tours/Visiting Gentle House


Cancellation Policy

Damage Deposit

Fire Code: Candles, Smoking

Alcohol Policy

Music/Sound System

Heating/Air Conditioning


Hostess or Host

Children and Pets

Clean-Up and Cleanliness

Lawn Care

Reservations and Payment of Fees

Reservations for a specific date will be held up to seven days without payment of a deposit.

A confirmed booking will require a non-refundable deposit of $200. One month after date of booking, 50 percent of the balance is due. The unpaid balance must be paid four months prior to the rental date. "Good faith" payments are due each month. All fees are payable to WOU FOUNDATION, which owns the Historic Gentle House. Failure to complete payment four months prior to the event will result in our canceling your use of the facility and forfeiture of the deposit and any other payments that have been made. Last-minute rentals are accepted, depending on availability. The Gentle House staff has the right to refuse applications for reservations.

Cancellation Policy
All cancellations will result in the forfeiture of the entire $200 security deposit. If the cancellation is made less than four months prior to the event, then one-half of the entire cost will be charged. Cancellations made less than three months before the event will result in forfeiture of the entire rental fee.

Damage Deposits
A separate check or credit card deposit of $200 is required as a damage deposit at the time of booking. This deposit is refundable after your event, providing there are no damages or excessive clean up. Should the Gentle House staff need to make arrangements for extra cleaning, repairs or replacement of furnishings arising from your event, we will discuss the issue with you prior to cashing your check. A refund check will be issued for the remaining balance, if any. Excess damage will be billed to the renter.

Maximum Capacity

The City of Monmouth Fire Marshal has determined the maximum capacity for Gentle House. If you expect more than the legal number allowed inside the house, you should choose an alternate site for the event. The conference/meeting room holds 119 people. Seating for 85 is the maximum for dinner with rectangular tables. The original house will hold 80 people in the living room for a stand-up reception, 40 seated. The ground outside can accomodate 250.

Lawn Care

Due to the sprinklers installed throughout the grounds, we ask that you not puncture holes for tents and other outdoor decorations without prior approval. We can have the grounds marked for staking for an additional labor cost of $60. If you decide to use flower petals outdoors, you will be responsible for picking up all of them. Keep in mind that petals are very difficult to remove from grass and gravel. All confetti, tensile Mylar strips, and hay bails are prohibited. Dancing on the lawn will kill the grass and we ask that you bring in a portable dance floor if you wish to dance somewhere other than our octagon-shaped outdoor dance floor.

Host or Hostess

The purpose of the host/hostess at large functions is to familiarize the renters with the facility, answer questions and assure that the facility is used in accordance to our rental terms and conditions. The host/hostess, contracted through Gentle House Operations, will be present during the rehearsals and weddings held at Gentle House. The fee is included in the rental price. Gentle House staff, as well as hosts and hostesses, have full authority to make decisions affecting safety and security. They are authorized to summon law enforcement officers should a situation be considered risky.


Do not use the museum pieces, such as the coffeepot in the old kitchen. Pads must be used to protect the dining room table. The following tables and/or chairs are stored on the premises for your use. You are responsible for setting up tables and chairs for your event and then returning them to their storage location following the event unless prior arrangements are made.

Keys, Access and Security

The facility will be unlocked by the caretaker at reserved times. Renters wanting to decorate the facility must do so within their rental time. You cannot show up early without paying for the time! A telephone is available in the kitchen for local calls. If someone needs to call Gentle House Operations during your event, the number is 503-838-8673.

Music/Sound System

Amplified music must be controlled so as not to create a disturbance outside the confines of the grounds. No outside music is allowed after 10 p.m., or 11 p.m. inside, because the facility is located in a residential area. You may use our sound system, including our five-disc CD changer and microphone, after a system orientation from Gentle House staff. Additional sound equipment can be rented from WOU Instructional Media Center at generously reduced fees.

Fire Codes: Candles etc.

There is no indoor sprinkler system due to the age of the original house, therefore no lighted candles or other open-flamed accessories are permitted inside. Unity candles can be considered as a part of your ceremony with prior approval. The fireplaces are not to be used under any circumstances. Please be sure that nothing (decorations, curtains, discarded clothing) touches heaters. As stated in the Oregon Fire Code, no furniture is to be set up to block any exits.

No smoking is allowed inside. If you wish to allow your guests to smoke outdoors, an ashtray is provided on the side porch of the conference/meeting room. Please do not dispose of cigarette butts in the gardens or parking area. Your cleanup crew must pick up all cigarette butts prior to the end of your event or allotted time. Failure to do so will affect your damage/security deposit.

Heating/Air Conditioning

It is difficult to keep everyone happy with the heating and cooling system at Gentle House due to guests leaving doors open, not to mention the problem with flies and mosquitoes coming in. Flies and mosquitoes not only create problems for your event but also leave flyspecks and cleanup problems for the next group. Costs incurred from extra cleaning time involving this messy problem will be taken out of your cleaning deposit. Please communicate to your wedding party to work with the hostess in keeping doors closed.

Clean-up and Cleanliness

(Your own cleanup supervisor is required.)

The WOU Foundation contracts a caretaker who ensures that the facility is prepared before each rental. Renters are responsible for emptying the garbage from the house to the container outdoors. Spills should be wiped up, floors swept and vacuumed, and the house left in the clean condition it was before. The use of staples, tacks, nails and duct tape is prohibited on the Gentle House and gazebo. We recommend painter's tape, florist's wire and fishing line to use for decorating. Lack of cleanliness will result in extra charges for additional hours of our staff cleanup.

You may also prearrange additional hours of clean up prior to your event. We recommend you bring your own wiping rags. Return of the Damage Deposit will be held up to two weeks depending on the cleanliness after the function. A checklist is provided with your rental agreement and will be reviewed by the hostess, caretaker and Gentle House Operations before your deposit is returned.

Please caution your guests that potpourri, rice and birdseed cannot be thrown at your wedding receptions on our grounds because they cause damage to our landscaping, possible injury for your guests, and extra work for cleanup. However, flower petals and bubbles may be used as long as you insure that they are cleaned up entirely before you leave the premises.

Kitchen Use
The kitchen cannot be used for preparation of raw food, which requires cooking. Potluck-type events may use the two conventional ovens for re-heating foods that have been previously cooked. There is a can opener, two 12-cup coffee makers, a microwave and two large refrigerators for storing cold foods. The Gentle House lacks most serving utensils, pots, pans, trays and other food service items. There are 76 dessert/snack trays and cups in the kitchen. About 150 service settings (dishes, silverware, cups, and glasses) are available for $1 a place setting. Bring your own napkins, plastic wrap, trash bags and other containers for removing your leftovers. There are 18 water pitchers. We recommend you bring plenty of bags of crushed ice.

Alcohol Use

(licensed server required)

Alcoholic drinks may only be served for a three-hour window of time. If drinks are consumed outside of the three-hour block of time, you will receive one warning before your reception is shut down. Within that time there is a strict three-drink maximum per person. We require that stamps be used to mark drinks as they are served. The marking must be done with permanent ink, preferably on the inside of the wrist. We also do not allow beer kegs or hard liquor on the premises.

Due to strict laws regarding alcohol use and the liability issues that hold the renter responsible, we require that you have all alcoholic beverages catered by an OLCC-licensed bartender or server. We can provide you with the names of OLCC-licensed servers. In the event that your event involves fees for alcohol of any kind, the renter MUST obtain the appropriate liquor license and secure licensed servers. Contact the Oregon Liquor Control Commission at 503-378-4871 for these licenses and specific regulations.

Events involving alcoholic beverages must provide proof of insurance with a minimum amount of $300,000 by way of a certificate of insurance naming the WOU Foundation as an additional insured for host liquor liability. The binder should list Gentle House, 855 N. Monmouth Ave., Monmouth, OR 97361, as the location of the event and must be received in our office no later than two weeks prior to the event. You may mail the certificate form to WOU Foundation, Western Oregon University, The Cottage, Monmouth, OR 97361, or fax it to 503-838-8289. If the renter chooses to have the event catered, the burden of providing the liquor liability binder will favorably shift to the caterer.


There are 22 parking spaces on the south side of Gentle House. Do not park in the driveway, due to the possible need for emergency vehicles. Additional parking is available on Gentle Avenue, in WOU Parking Lot K by Terry House (across the street) or in the Oregon Military Academy lot (one block south) with prior approval. The field on the corner of Gentle Avenue and Monmouth Avenue is also available for extra parking when the ground is dry. Entry to the field is obtained at the entrance to the parking lot of Gentle House and we will post a sign. The City of Monmouth does not permit parking on Monmouth Avenue. Please do not park in the caretakers yard or driveway.

Please do not place signs on utility poles and street signs per request by the City of Monmouth. If you do place signs on the highway and roads, please designate someone to remove them, as the authorities will contact us. We have a sandwich board for you to use at the entrance to the parking lot.

Children and Pets

Assign someone to watch the children at your event; remember that your hostess is not your babysitter. We recommend that you provide entertainment for the children such as coloring books, games and an area to nap. Destruction by children includes destruction of the flowers and plants or throwing walnuts and rocks at the animals next door. Lack of control could effect your damage/security deposit.

Pets are not allowed without prior approval. If you wish to have live animals present, such as doves or butterflies to be released, you must go through a professional company and notify us prior to the event that you wish to do this.

Gentle House Staff and Tours

Call us for ideas, available dates and to arrange tours. Our capable, experienced staff can show you pictures of other weddings. When you book the Historic Gentle House, you support Western Oregon University programs and students. Call 503-838-8673 and you can talk to a WOU student familiar with Gentle House who can answer your questions and help you make a decision for an event of a lifetime.

We offer one free tour and one free follow-up visit as the date of event gets nearer. Any additional needed visits are $10 a hour.


Gentle House 503-838-8673 | or e-mail gentlehouse@wou.edu

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