News Release

McLoughlin House to Close for Major Rehabilitation

Volunteer Richard at the MCHO site
Volunteer Richard Matthews is a tour guide at the McLoughlin House in Oregon City. In spring 2020, the house will close for a major rehabilitation.

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News Release Date: December 10, 2019

Contact: Alex Patterson, Facility Manager, (360) 816-6221

Contact: Aaron Ochoa, Chief of Interpretation, (360) 839-3214

In 2020, the McLoughlin House in Oregon City, a unit of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, will close to the public for a major rehabilitation. The house is scheduled to reopen in spring, 2021. This historic home, one of Oregon's oldest, will receive much-needed rehabilitation, including foundation stabilization, new gutters, mechanical system upgrades, a stair rail, and an ADA ramp. It will also receive new, historically-accurate wallpaper, curtains, and carpets.

The McLoughlin House was the retirement home of Dr. John McLoughlin, the Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver from 1825 to 1845. The McLoughlin family moved into the house in 1846. In 1909, the McLoughlin Memorial Association relocated the house from its original location by the Willamette Falls to a city park on a bluff overlooking the falls. This move saved the house from certain destruction, but, over time, has resulted in the need for structural upgrades. This is the house's first major construction project in more than 50 years.

"Dr. John McLoughlin is known as the 'Father of Oregon' due to the assistance he provided to Oregon Trail emigrants," explained Superintendent Tracy Fortmann. "His home is a wonderful place to learn about the history of the Northwest and the American experience. These repairs will go a long way to preserving the house well into the future."

The house will also receive aesthetic improvements. Cultural Resources Program Manager and Museum Curator Theresa Langford said, "We are so excited to be installing new carpets, draperies, and wallpaper in the house as part of this rehabilitation. Showing what a home looked like in the mid-19th century may surprise some visitors, as the colors and patterns are very different from today, but it is key to understanding what the McLoughlins' lives were like and how they fit into Oregon City society. We are grateful to have had the guidance of Mary Grassick, a historic furnishings specialist from the National Park Service's Harper's Ferry Center, every step of the way."

The National Park Service's partner at the McLoughlin House Unit is the McLoughlin Memorial Association (MMA), the community group responsible for saving the McLoughlin House in the early 20th century. During the house's closure, the MMA will continue to operate their bookstore in the historic Barclay House, located next door to the McLoughlin House. This bookstore offers a variety of books and gifts related to the history of the area. Proceeds benefit the MMA and educational programs at the site. The Barclay House will re-open in February 2020, after the house's seasonal winter closure, which began on December 8, 2019. The surrounding City of Oregon City park will also remain open to the public.

"We are so pleased to work with the National Park Service at this historic site, and we are happy that together we will continue to serve the public during this closure," said MMA President Joan Williams. "At the Barclay House, the MMA and national park rangers will welcome visitors, host public programs, and interpret the history of this place."

History of the site and construction progress will be documented in a blog on the national park's website, located here.



Last updated: December 10, 2019

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