308 Jefferson Street - William H. Howell House

This two story gothic vernacular residence has a complex plan with a full width front porch. It sits on a concrete foundation and is clad in beveled, drop and shiplap siding with a capped water table and corner boards. The steep front gabled roof is covered with composition shingling. There is a wide frieze and boxed eaves. There is an original, side gabled rear wing projecting to the north. The windows are primarily 4/1 wooden double-hung with wide surrounds and decorative hoods. There is a bay window to the south with 1/1 double-hung windows with lamb's tongues. The front porch (c.1915) has battered columns topped by a frieze. Shiplap siding remains under the porch roof only. There are concrete stairs and railing. The non-original, compatible chimney on the south elevation is tall and tapered. There is a garage to the rear.

Statement of Significance: William H. Howell was superintendent and engineer for the Oregon City Water Works at the turn of the century after working a number of years as a plumber for Pope & Company. He was responsible for overseeing the installation of the Oregon City pumping and filter plant. He also became embroiled in the fight over the powering of the Oregon City Municipal Elevator when it was under construction, suggesting a means to reuse the drinking water of the city to power the elevator, a plan not adopted by the City Council. As a result, residents often found the water pressure too low for use when the elevator was operating. In 1947 W.H. Howell sold the property to his son, William B. Howell, an assistant postmaster in Oregon City. William B. Howell and his wife Mary had been living in the house since at least 1941, and when he bought it he used the house as a rental property until he sold the house in 1962. Tenants during this period included a pharmacist, an electrician, and a policeman, and for a number of years the house was vacant in the mid-1960s.