Oswego Heritage House


Information about the house and images are still being collected in order to add to the story below.  Please be patient as we update this information in the future.

In 1920 Paul C. Murphy constructed the house as the office for Ladd Estate Company real estate business.  Murphy arrived in Portland in 1910 as the Vice-President and General Sales Manager of the Ladd Estate Company and later became the president of the Oregon Iron & Steel Company. Murphy's vision was to convert the thousands of acres that remained after the cessation of Oregon Iron & Steel Company to residential use. 

When Murphy was building this house, Charles Ertz was selected as the architect.  The Colonial Revivial style building features a handsome pedimented portico, mullioned windows, a symmetrical facade, and paired front doors with pedimented frames.  Murphy believed that good architectural design would build a good community.  He encouraged the use of the best architects of the time: Richard Sundeleaf, Charles Ertz, Roscoe Hemenway, Van Evera Bailey and Morris Whitehouse.  The original building consisted of the two offices and the parlor. 

Murphy used this house from 1920 until 1941 when he sold the property to Dr. William and Winifred Cane.  Dr. Cane used the house as both his office and a residence.  Many community members still remember coming to see Dr. Cane when they were younger.  Dr. Cane did make additions to the house but they did not hold up very well and were razed during the renovation by OHC. 

Upon the passing of Dr. Cane, Bill Headlee purchased the house with the intention of it being the home to Oswego Heritage Council.  Eventually the Council was able to raise the money to purchase it from Bill Headlee and pay the remaining debt.  Heavy renovations were needed as the dilapidated structure was covered by overgrown plants and trees.  Bill Oyalla was hired to do the renovations.  He restored the three original rooms and added on the exhibit space, meeting room and kitchen.  The landscape was designed by Bill Gerber.

In 1990 the building was placed on the City of Lake Oswego Landmark Designation List.  In 1999 it became the home of the Oswego Heritage Council.