The Rosebush House is one of the best-preserved houses in Millwood. Built in 1923 by Waldo Rosebush, it is a prime example of the French Eclectic architectural style. It also illustrates one of the many new architectural designs that were introduced to the United States by veterans of WWI, replicating the residences they had seen overseas.
Rosebush, the General Manager of the Inland Empire Paper Company, was one of the first paper employees to build his home near the mill. Rumor has it that Rosebush designed the house to convince a young French woman to come back with him to America. Rosebush, however, remained a bachelor for the rest of his life. His two-story home is adorned with false half-timbering, exterior stucco walls, and various casement windows. The interior features 8 ½ foot-high ceilings and beautiful oak and red fir woodwork. The rear of the house has a covered patio and a balcony that looks onto the garden. A fearsome concrete Lucifer-head guards the northeast corner, overlooking a small oval-shaped pond.
Built just south of the house in 1928, the carriage house includes enough living space for hired help. Both the house and carriage house were designed with the assistance of Spokane architect Harold Whitehouse, locally famous for his design of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist located on the South Hill. With a basement and second floor containing a bathroom, the garage hosts three brick-arched horse stalls. Another feature that makes this home's design truly exceptional, however, is the seventeen-foot tunnel that joins the basement of the house and garage. The design of the main building and the carriage house reflects both Rosebush's inspiration from French cottages during his service in Normandy during WWI, as well as Whitehouse's extensive study of European architecture
Rosebush was an avid gun collector and historian. He wrote several books, including one titled Frontier Steel, about historic men and their weapons. He worked very closely with the Eastern State Historical Society. His home reflects his passion, featuring a lead-lined nine-inch hole in the concrete basement wall used for target practice still containing spent lead shot. Just outside the gun room, the French words "Ils ne passeront pas" are etched into a concrete panel, translated "They will not pass." These words were most likely used to deter trespassers and were probably inspired by the same motto used in France during WWI .
When Waldo Rosebush retired in 1942 from the Inland Empire Paper Company, he was again active in the military during WWII. He eventually moved to Wisconsin, but kept his residency in Millwood. He only returned occasionally to vote and visit the community he considered his home. The Rosebush House remains in immaculate condition and today looks much the same as it did when he owned it in the 1920-30s.