A recent discussion at the Architectural Heritage Center led to the question
What is the oldest standing house in Portland?
To our knowledge, within the city limits it’s the James B. Stephens House on SE 12th Avenue. The circa 1864 house was moved to its present location in the early 1900s.
Of course, outside Portland there are a number of older homes still standing. In Oregon City there are several that predate the Stephens house, including the well-known McLoughlin House.
So as a result of this discussion and the recent interest in house history, we thought it would be both fun and informative to gather a list of the oldest homes in the Portland Metro area. In addition to Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties, we should also include Vancouver and Clark County, Washington, since they too have some interesting historic homes from before Oregon achieved statehood.
To get things started, here’s the beginning of a list of the oldest known standing homes in the Portland area.
1845 Francis Ermatinger House – Oregon City (On the Historic Preservation League of Oregon’s 10 Most Endangered Buildings list for 2011)
1846 Dr. John McLoughlin House – Oregon City
1847 William Holmes House (aka The Rose Farm) – Oregon City
1849 Dr. Forbes Barclay House – Oregon City
1850 Morton McCarver House – Oregon City
1851 Captain J.C. Ainsworth House – Oregon City
1856 Alvin T. Smith House – Forest Grove
1859 Thomas Hines House – Forest Grove
c. 1864 James B. Stephens House – Portland
1865 Governor Curry House (attributed) – Portland
1870 1728 SE Belmont – Portland
1872 Jacob Kamm House – Portland
1873 Benjamin Cornelius Jr. House – Forest Grove
If you know about a home that should be on this list, please send it our way.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out this upcoming AHC program on House History Research.