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Plaque to honor local building

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Bill and Buzz Headlee’s former real estate office at 47 N. State St., will be honored Sunday afternoon in a public ceremony by the Oswego Heritage Council.

A plaque commemorating the former Murphy Real Estate Building at 47 N. State St., will be unveiled Sunday at 2 p.m. by the Oswego Heritage Council.

The site was the former Paul Murphy Real Estate Building and later the Helen R. Millette and Associates Real Estate Co., operated from the location. That led to a real estate company operated there by the late William 'Bill' and Elizabeth 'Buzz' Headlee - the Headlee Company. Bill Headlee's company, Oregon Management Group, was upstairs at the same location.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony, after which Starbucks will provide coffee.

The plaque reads:

'This Arts and Craft style building was constructed in 1940 as the Murphy Real Estate office. It is one of a cluster of buildings on State Street designed by the prominent local architect, Richard Sundeleaf. The half-timbered architecture was intended to suggest an English village.

'Between 1912 and 1955 the Murphy Real Estate Company oversaw the transformation of Oswego from a depressed iron company town to an affluent lakeside retreat. In 1940, the company office was moved from Tenth and A to this building.

'The building continued to serve as a real estate office even after changing ownership. In 1976, it was sold to Helen R. Millette and Associates, realtors; and in 1980 to William and Elizabeth Headlee, real estate developers. The Headlees added two dormers to the second floor for their offices and remodeled the first floor to accommodate the chamber of commerce office and other businesses.

'The Headlees left a valuable legacy in Lake Oswego. In 2001 they were awarded the Chamber of Commerce's Bob Bigelow Lifetime Achievement Award. One of their contributions to the community was the campaign to purchase and restore the original Murphy Real Estate Building at Tenth and A, converting it to the Oswego Heritage House - center for the Oswego Heritage Council.'

According to the Headlee's daughter, Nancy, director of the Oswego Heritage Council, the council 'puts up bronze plaques on historic buildings and sites, as part of (its) mission to promote the preservation of the community's legacy of historically significant buildings, sites and natural charm. We recently published a brochure called A Historic Tour of Lake Oswego's Riverfront, which locates and identifies many of the bronze plaques that are located in that area.'

Nancy Headlee feels the ceremony will be a good way to remember both of her parents.

'Dad's motto was 'lead by example' and he and mom both donated their time and energy to making Lake Oswego a better place because they loved this city and felt that they were lucky to be able to live and work in such a caring community of hard-working volunteers, who work for the betterment of all who live here.'