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How infrastructure and a name change helped transform Lake Oswego 

Devon Haskins Sept 13, 2023 

"They literally could not give away lake front property," said Mark Browne, a volunteer archivist at the Oswego Heritage House in Lake Oswego.

With more than 13 miles of lake shoreline, Lake Oswego or Oswego Lake, whatever you decide to call it, is home to some pretty pricey real estate. These days, homes sell for millions of dollars.


A survey map of 1852 shows the name of Oswego Lake as Sucker Lake.


An attendees gets behind the wheel of a vintage car at the Oswego Heritage Council's Collector Car & Classic Boat Show in 2022.

Pamplin Media Group Lake Oswego Review

Lake Oswego car and boat show returns this month 

Corey Buchanan Aug 11, 2023 

Car buffs and boating aficionados rejoice.

The Oswego Heritage House Collector Car & Classic Boat Show will return to Lake Oswego Sunday, Aug. 27, and there is still time to register your car or boat for the occasion.


Genealogical Forum of Oregon The Bulletin

Flirting by Fruit Box: An Early 20th Century Dating App

Courtney Clements June 2023

Every couple has been asked at some point in their relationship "how did you meet?" The answers vary widely--college classes, workplaces, church socials, dances, dating apps, etc. For one set of couples in the early twentieth century, the answer may have been "a strawberry box." Young women (primarily), who worked on farms or for fruit packers, would slip notes in the hopes of receiving a response from an eligible young man.


Lucy Pollard in her vineyard, undated, LOPL.2016.3.2.470B, Pollard Family Collection, Oswego Heritage Council.

LO Chamber Awards web

C. Herald Campbell Heritage Champion Award Courtney Clements with Kathryn Sinor and Jeff Gudman at the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce Community Awards.

Pamplin Media Group Lake Oswego Review

Community members, organizations honored at Lake Oswego chamber awards

Corey Buchanan May 24, 2023 Updated May 30, 2023

Andrew Edwards capped the annual Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce Community Awards with a simple message: “Carpe diem,” or seize the day in English.

“Carpe diem is a war cry. Carpe diem invokes inspiration. It urges us to shed our inhibitions, have some courage and grab every opportunity that comes our way,” he said.


City of Lake Oswego HelloLO The Historian

The Story Behind the Painting:Willamette Falls Painting Donated to Oswego Heritage Council

Mark Browne and Courtney Clements May 2023

The Glenn family, who trace their lineage to Oswego pioneers Waters and Lucretia Gurney Carman through the Carman's middle daughter Henrietta "Etta" Susanna Carman Magone, recently donated a family treasure to the Oswego Heritage Council. This image of Willamette Falls was painted by English artist Alexander Maxwell MacKechnie (1855-1893). MacKechnie worked as an art tutor to Etta Magone's daughters and died tragically attempting to save Francette Magone from drowning in the Tualatin Canal. She perished as well.


Willamette Falls by Alexander Maxwell MacKechnie (1893)


Ralph Holcomb (left) and pastor Jennie Ott (right) honor Mark Browne for the work he did to organize the church's archives.

Pamplin Media Group Lake Oswego Review

Lake Oswego church unearths its past to prepare for future

Corey Buchanan Mar 3, 2023 Updated Mar 7, 2023

To forge a path forward, pastor Jennie Ott said, the Lake Oswego United Church of Christ needed to properly consider its past.

But with documents randomly stacked in boxes, thumbing through the clutter to find a clear view into this history wasn’t possible. So, in 2021, church leaders contacted Oswego Heritage House volunteer archivist Mark Browne.


Pamplin Media Group Lake Oswego Review

Oswego Heritage House shines light on Lake Oswego women’s history

Corey Buchanan Feb 10, 2023 Updated Feb 14, 2023

Because women were largely shut off from sources of power and opportunity until relatively recently, Oswego Heritage House volunteer Courtney Clements said histories of local communities like Lake Oswego often revolve around men.

This is one reason why diaries can be an important counterpoint and supplement to traditional narratives.


Clara and Cora Wilmot were sisters living in Lake Oswego in the late 19th century

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Kathryn Sinor in front of the Oswego Heritage House, January 2023.

Pamplin Media Group Lake Oswego Review

New Oswego Heritage Council executive director strives to make history accessible

Corey Buchanan Jan 20, 2023 Updated Jan 26, 2023

Diving into local history, Kathryn Sinor said, helps us understand the world as it is today and glean perspectives that can make us better.

“I love local histories, especially. I love the history of smaller areas that are really personal to people. It’s such a great way for us now to understand how and why we exist the way we do,” she said. “These local history institutions are a great gateway to that understanding.”


Pamplin Media Group Lake Oswego Review

Walling family's legacy lives on

Nancy Dunis Jul 20, 2017

George and Frances Walling left a major legacy in the Lake Oswego area: Part of their donation land claim became the campus of Marylhurst University and the nearby Marylhurst neighborhood. In fact, the old Walling home served as a dormitory for students for many years.

George Washington Walling was born Dec. 18, 1818 in Ohio and moved with his parents, Lucy and Gabriel Walling, to Iowa in 1828. Restless, the senior Wallings and their son George, his wife Frances and other members of the family headed west in 1847. Albert, the eldest son of George and Francis, was born on the Oregon Trail in Pacific Springs, Wyo.


A Marylhurst altar and cemetery stand on what was part of the Walling family's donation land claim in a photo taken sometime after 1937.

A Marylhurst altar and cemetery stand on what was part of the Walling family's donation land claim in a photo taken sometime after 1937.

Sheep graze below the Shipley barn in this early view from Stevens Meadow.

Sheep graze below the Shipley barn in this early view from
Stevens Meadow.

Pamplin Media Group Lake Oswego Review

Shipley-Cook farm plays key role for generations

Nancy Dunis May 4, 2017

Adam Randolph Shipley and James Preston Cook were two early settlers who made significant contributions to the history of Lake Oswego. Both men traveled from Ohio across the Oregon Trail to settle in Oregon. Shipley, his wife Mary and their son came in 1852; Cook came in 1883. 

Shipley, who took a keen interest in agriculture and horticulture, was one of the first to import and grow grapes in the area. Fondly called "Father Shipley," he helped launch Oswego Grange No. 175 as a place for social events and a schoolhouse for local children.


Pamplin Media Group Lake Oswego Review

Paulings find eternal peace in Oswego Pioneer Cemetery

Nancy Dunis Feb 16, 2017

One of the world's greatest scientists, humanitarians, defenders of civil liberties and proponents of good nutrition is buried next to his wife in Oswego Pioneer Cemetery. Dr. Linus Pauling and Ava Helen Pauling were remarkable human beings, together and individually.

Together, the Paulings played a key role in the establishment of a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, gathering 13,000 signatures of scientists from around the world — including 38 Nobel laureates — in the late 1950s and early '60s that they presented to the United Nations, calling for disarmament and the end of testing.


Linus and Ava Helen Pauling are among the many community members buried in the Oswego Pioneer Cemetery,

Linus and Ava Helen Pauling are among the many community members buried in the Oswego Pioneer Cemetery,

Lucy Pollard
Lucy Pollard (nee Puylaert)

Pamplin Media Group Lake Oswego Review

Lucy Pollard among area's first pioneers

Nancy Dunis Dec 15, 2016

Lucy Mary Pollard — who was born Lucy Mary Puylaert — is considered one of Oswego's earliest pioneers. The fourth of eight children, Lucy was only 3 months old when her family settled in Old Town in Oswego in 1890. Her parents, Peter and Johanna Puylaert, were Belgian immigrants.

The family moved from Old Town to a 10-acre farm on what is now Bergis Road. The property extended from both sides of Bergis down to McVey Avenue and was across from the Catholic cemetery. It was Lucy who found and purchased the acreage.

"Lucy loved that home and the gentle land," remembers Theresa Truchot. "It had a well; fertile soil; and it raised good crops."


Pamplin Media Group Lake Oswego Review

McVey Avenue named in honor of one of area's first firefighters

Nancy Dunis Jan 21, 2016

Arthur "Red" McVey played many roles in Lake Oswego, including janitor, power-plant construction worker, citizen advocate and preservationist. But his first love was fighting fires.

McVey became a volunteer firefighter in 1911 and remained active in the Oswego Volunteer Fire Department.


Firefighters Arthur Red McVey and Joe Nemec sit in a fire engine for a photo taken around 1946.

Oswego Heritage House and Museum
398 10th St.
Lake Oswego, OR 97034
(503) 635-6373

Hours of Operation:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

The Oswego Heritage Council is a  501 (c)(3)
EIN # 93-0983947

Copyright © 2023, Oswego Heritage Council. All rights reserved.

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