Thirteen miles south of Portland, in Oregon City, stands the McLoughlin House, one of the few remaining pioneer homes in the former Oregon Country, a region that once stretched from Alaska to California and from the Pacific to the Rockies. Built in 1845-46 by the "Father of Oregon," Dr. John McLoughlin, the home was known locally as "the house of many beds" due to the hospitality he extended to immigrants and others passing through Oregon City.
©National Park Service
In 1941, McLoughlin House became the first site in the west to be designated
by Congress as a National Historic Site.
Employed by British-owned Hudson's Bay Company as chief broker at Fort Vancouver, McLoughlin's job included discouraging American immigration to the region. He defied this policy openly, foreseeing that the declining fur trade and the unstemmable tide of American settlers would eventually doom Britain's claim over the Oregon Country. After a falling-out with Governor George Simpson, the Company's top official in North America, McLoughlin resigned in 1845. He moved to Company land along the Willamette River, and purchased the title for $20,000. There he built his home and, in 1851, was granted American citizenship.
A generous supporter of newcomers to the region, he helped them by providing food, supplies, credit, and land for schools and churches. Furnished to look as it did in McLoughlin's time, the home is owned and operated by the McLoughlin Memorial Association. This site is part of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site; it was added in 2003.
McLoughlin House National Historic Site Information
Address: 713 Center Street, Oregon City, OR
Hours of Operation: Wed. - Sat., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m; Sun., 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Admission: $3 per individual; $5 per family
Learn more about these other national historic sites:
To learn more about national monuments, memorials, and historic sites, and other travel destinations in North America, visit:
- National Monuments: Learn more about America's national monuments.
- National Memorials: Discover national memorials in the U.S.
- National Historic Sites: Read about American national historic sites.
- Portland City Guide: Find out where to stay, what to do, and where to eat when you visit Portland.
- Oregon State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Oregon as well as other recreational activities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Eric Peterson is a Denver-based author who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.