Place

McLoughlin House

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

A white square house with an American flag on a flagpole outside.
Learn about the McLoughlin family at this home in Oregon City.

NPS Photo / Troy Wayrynen

Quick Facts

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits

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.

Visitors the McLoughlin House Unit should start their visit at the neighboring Barclay House. Here, you can find information about tours of the McLoughlin House and shop the McLoughlin Memorial Association's Bookstore.

Learn more about visiting the McLoughlin House Unit of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site here.