New history column from the Oswego Heritage Council will run monthly

Oswego Heritage House has been home to the Oswego Heritage Council since 1997.

Welcome to “From Our Vault,” a new column written for The Review by Oswego Heritage Council volunteers. Each month, the council will share tidbits about Lake Oswego — past and present — that might connect you to your city in new ways.

The name and timing of this first column are both historically significant. Oswego Heritage House (managed by the Oswego Heritage Council) actually is a home with a vault (as opposed to a view!); it’s where the council keeps the artifacts and back stories from which it will glean material for the column. And July 17 was chosen for the date of the first column because the Oswego Heritage House was officially dedicated on July 17, 1999.

Going forward, “From Our Vault” will appear on the third Thursday of every month.

Activist and author Jane Goodall, who wrote “Oregon’s Iron Dream,” is credited with starting the Oswego Heritage Council in 1970. She wanted to preserve the Irving House and knew it would take a village to do that. The Irving mansion, built by soap tycoon Robert Jones Irving in 1877, is considered the finest example of Carpenter Gothic architecture in Oregon.

The Heritage Council didn’t have a permanent location until 1997, when Buzz Headlee, Herald Campbell, Albert Durham, Jr. and several others spearheaded a major effort to purchase the house from Dr. William Cane. Today, the Oswego Heritage Council offers a variety of programs for all ages — home tours, a classic car & boat show, First Wednesday lectures, tours for kids and a museum. It’s also a popular place to hold a memorial or wedding.

If you have something to add to the vault, contact the Heritage Council at 503-635-6373 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you would like to contribute to this column, leave a message for Nancy Dunis at 503-635-6373 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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