A recent discussion at the Architectural Heritage Center led to the question

What is the oldest standing house in Portland?

James B. Stephens House - SE 12th Avenue - Portland, Oregon

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.