Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

McLoughlin House

Photo of house and yard of 19th-century McLoughlin house, with fountain and trees
The home of doctor and fur trader John McLoughlin in its current location in Oregon City
National Park Service

Quick Facts

Location:
Oregon City, OR
Significance:
Home of John McLoughlin, British fur trade official, later founding citizen of the Oregon Territory
Designation:
National Register of Historic Places, HABS/HAER/HALS

John McLoughlin's home, saved from demolition by the McLoughlin Memorial Association and moved to its present location in 1909, was added to the National Park System in 2003 as a unit of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Today, the house is restored and tells of the life and accomplishments of John McLoughlin, known by many as the "Father of Oregon." Park staff and volunteers provide a number of different activities including tours, talks, special events, and demonstrations of Victorian-era women's handwork.

John McLoughlin, former Chief Factor at Fort Vancouver in the Oregon Country from 1825-1845, possessed both business acumen and compassion. He was known in Oregon City as the "Doctor" - a trained physician who once presided over British fur trade interests in a vast area stretching from California to Alaska. He made money for the Hudson's Bay Company, but also assisted exhausted, starving American emigrants arriving into the region via the Oregon Trail. All his actions were set against the international stage of American and British politics and determination of national boundaries.

Forced into retirement, he and his family settled into this home by the Willamette Falls in Oregon City in 1846. McLoughlin built himself a new career promoting the economic prosperity of the Oregon Territory. He became an American citizen in 1851, and served as the mayor of Oregon City. He and his wife Marguerite were known for their hospitality and generous support of those in the community. McLoughlin loaned money to emigrants to help them establish commercial ventures. He owned sawmills, a gristmill, a granary, a general store, and a shipping concern. He also donated land for schools and churches.

The McLoughlin House is also on the Oregon National Historic Trail, which is part of the National Trail System. This system of national scenic, historic, and recreational trails promote the enjoyment of outdoor recreation, and the appreciation, and preservation of historic resources.

The graves of McLoughlin and his wife Marguerite are next to the house, as is the home of Dr. Forbes Barclay, a Hudson's Bay Company associate.