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First Historic Home Tour receives excellent response

by: Submitted Photo, The tour will continue again next year.

The best compliment Marylou Colver received about the Lake Oswego Historic Home Tour last Saturday was, 'How long have you been doing this?'

The answer is one time, but Colver and the rest of the Oswego Heritage Council have high hopes the first tour was only the beginning of a tradition.

In all, there were 400 tours given of historic homes in Lake Oswego. Even better, for a first-time event the tour went very smoothly.

'It took over a year of planning, and we had a wonderful committee,' said Colver, who served as tour organizer. 'Our feedback was excellent. People were so enthusiastic about the variety of the homes and how interesting they were.'

The seven homes on the tour ranged in years of origin from 1880 to 1936. They varied in style from being beautiful and ornate to the little Iron Workers Cottage on Wilber Street, a landmark of the very beginnings of Lake Oswego.

Nancy Headlee, executive director of Oswego Heritage House, noted, 'People were fascinated with the way that Sacred Heart Church (the first church to be built in Lake Oswego) had been remodeled into a private home.'

There was a lot of oohing and aahing for those taking the tour. For one woman it brought a real sense of déjà vu since she said she has, 'Lived all over this town.'

'They're all so beautiful,' said another lady. 'But I just like to see them. I wouldn't want to keep them up.'

People's enjoyment of the tour was greatly facilitated by its organization. Headlee called volunteer coordinators Jeanie McGuire and Page Goganian 'the unsung heroes' of the event for their success with nearly 100 volunteers.

Also, the shuttle service was impressive for a first-time event.

'Any shuttle problems were solved well,' Headlee said. 'We had a good flow. Parking was not a problem.'

'And there were no long waits (to view the homes),' Colver said.

Colver and Headlee were pleased to hand out kudos for a job well done.

'We could not have done it without our sponsors and our volunteers. The Irvington Neighborhood Association shared their information so we didn't have to re-invent the wheel,' Colver said of the similar Portland tour. 'The community support was wonderful.'

'We had great support from Umpqua Bank,' Headlee said. 'Our volunteers did a wonderful job, even though they didn't have a formal training session. They got their training by email.'

The Oswego Heritage Council can now look forward to the 2008 tour with confidence.

'Whatever problems we had in our first year are fixable,' Headlee said.

'We hope to make this an annual event and have different homes next year,' Colver said. 'Our committee is going to meet Wednesday (May 23), and we'll also meet with the homeowners.'

Proceeds from ticket sales for the Lake Oswego Historic Home Tour will go toward the Oswego Heritage Council's continuing mission to preserve and educate about the history of Lake Oswego.