May is National Historic Preservation Month and Lake Oswego is preparing to celebrate its heritage.
The first annual Lake Oswego Historic Home Tour is on Saturday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Presented by the Oswego Heritage Council, the tour features seven homes from three neighborhoods - the Country Club district, First Addition and Old Town neighborhoods. Homeowners will share their homes that were built between 1880 and the 1930s. Two homes are on the National Register of Historic Places.
'There's a mix of architectural styles,' said Marylou Colver, chair of the tour and Heritage Council board member. 'The interiors have a lot of original features and it's neat to see how things were (built) at that time.'
An Arts and Crafts/Mediterranean home incorporates indigenous stone and pieces of slag from the iron furnace at George Rogers Park. An English vernacular country house boasts fairy tale living and room for pet monkeys. One home belonged to the President of the Oregon Portland Cement Company, which was located where the Albertson's shopping center on State Street stands today. The owner of this home discovered the home's original front door in a crawl space under the house and had it refurbished and reinstalled.
The Sacred Heart Church, the oldest remaining church in the city, is now a private residence - with choir rafters, living quarters above the altar space and a breakfast nook in a room once used for priests to change into their vestments. A different cottage originally served as housing for workers with the Oswego Iron Company in the 1880s and is now owned by the city. Pathways twist and turn around another historic home, restored to its original glory and incorporating small acorn details.
The original Ladd Estate Company cottage was revamped for the needs of a contemporary family using sustainable products appropriate for the era of the home.
Several of the houses expanded over time to accommodate growing families and modern lifestyles.
Colver said the homeowners on tour enlarged their homes in a historically sensitive manner to create a seamless blend of new and old.
'My motivation is to bring (historic homes) to the community's attention,' said Colver. 'Lake Oswego was formed (12 years) before Oregon became a state.'
The Historic Home Tour Committee also includes Corinna Campbell-Sack, Paige Goganian, Nancy Headlee, Jeannie McGuire, Trista Nelson, Erin O'Rourke-Meadors, Alice Schlenker, Susan Stier and Emogene Waggoner.
'I hope that everybody enjoys the tour and has a great time,' said Colver. 'And I hope we will make a difference in preserving some of (the local) homes. If we aren't stewards of the past we're not going to have these for future generations.'
Tickets are limited and are available at the Oswego Heritage House at 398 Tenth Street in Lake Oswego. Tickets are $15 for Oswego Heritage Council members and $25 for non-members.
Additional tickets are available through the Heritage House via phone at 503-635-6373 during work hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visa payments are accepted and tickets can be mailed for an additional dollar.
Because these homes are historic, many of them are not wheelchair accessible.