1301 16th Street


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GEORGE H. ATKINSON HOUSE c.1876 -- Statement of Significance: George Henry Atkinson was born in Massachusetts in 1819. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1843 and Andover Theological Seminary in 1846. He was appointed to missionary work in South Africa. Instead, he came to Oregon via the Sandwich Islands and Hawaii, crossing the Columbia bar in 1848. He and his wife, Nancy Bates Atkinson, remained in Oregon City for 15 years. Atkinson was pastor of the Congregational Church, the "oldest self-governing religious society in the West." Mostly by his own hand, he erected the church and the Clackamas Female Seminary. Also, Atkinson brought plans for the academy and college at Forest Grove, an institution incorporated during the first Oregon Legislature in 1849. In 1852, he traveled to New York City, where he bought $2000 worth of books for the schools. Under Governor Lane, Atkinson established the first school system in 1849. He was the first school superintendent in Clackamas County. He also held the same position in Multnomah County. He moved to Portland in 1863 and was pastor to the First Congregational Church in Portland for nine years. Atkinson saw the current Atkinson Park as the site of a future college. He designed the basic school system laws and named the region the "Inland Empire." He wrote Early History of the Public School System in Oregon. His experiments proved the Oregon lava soil was suitable for wheat production. The house is perhaps the most significant in the Buena Vista area because Atkinson was its original owner. Additionally, the alterations have been sympathetic. The house is well maintained.

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16th St - 1301