Statement of Significance: It was in 1850 that General Morton Matthew McCarver, who crossed the plains in 1843, built his two and one-half story farm house on the outskirts of Oregon City. He used sawed timber which had been shipped around the Horn. Because most of the houses of that time were of somewhat more primitive nature, the house was for a time one of the showplaces of the lower Willamette Valley. McCarver was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1807. He settled in Galena, Illinois in 1839. During the Black Hawk Indian War, he served as commissary-general of Iowa, and it was from this period that his title of "General" derived. McCarver founded Burlington, Iowa before emigrating to Oregon in 1843. With Peter Burnett, fellow immigrant, and first governor of the state of California, he founded Linnton, Oregon (now part of Portland). In 1845 he was elected Speaker of the Provisional Government of Oregon, and he served two terms.
McCarver and his second wife, widow Julia Anne Buckalew, took up a donation land claim south of Oregon City and planted an orchard. On hearing news of the gold strike, he left for California. There he platted the town of Sacramento for the Sutters and was a delegate to the California Constitutional Convention in Monterey in 1849. McCarver purchased the passenger packet "The Ocean Bird" and returned to Oregon in 1850, bringing with him the materials for his house.
McCarver moved to Portland in 1959 and sold his interests to the Warner family, occupants of the house until 1947. It was during the latter period that the property became known as "Locust Farm," so named for the locust trees which lined the drive.
Among figures distinguished in Oregon history who were guests at McCarver's house were Dr. John McLoughlin, Peter Skene Ogden, Father Norbert Blanchet, and Robert Newell. Before his death in 1875, McCarver founded the town of Tacoma, Washington.