712 12th Street - Edward McLinn Howell House

This 2-1/2 story house is a good example of the Queen Anne style in Oregon City. It features a cross gable roof with a tall rectangular tower at the inside corner of the L-shaped gable. The house features decorative spindle work in the gable ends, including the gable over the entry to the wrap-around porch on the north and west sides of the house. This porch is covered by a small bellcast roof, and features spindle work, pendants, and decorative brackets at the slender turned posts. A scroll cut balustrade encircles the porch. The house is primarily clad with horizontal drop siding, with cornerboards and belt courses at both the first and second floor levels. Above a string course at the second floor window level, the gable ends and tower are slightly battered and clad with octagonal imbrication. A rectangular bay is cantilevered out from the north side of the house just east of the main entry, featuring tall 1/1 double-hung windows with recessed panels below the sills. The other windows in the house are predominantly 1/1 double-hung wood sashes, and all of the windows have seen the addition of aluminum storm windows. Other decorative elements include a full water table, scroll cut brackets at the tower eave, enclosed eaves throughout the house, and a wide frieze board. A garage noted on the 1982 inventory form appears to have been removed from the site.

 

Statement of Significance: Edward McLinn Howell was the son of Dr. Squire Davis and Martha Howell, who crossed the plains in 1870. Howell was originally a conductor for the Eastside Railroad Company, which ran the trolleys into Oregon City. He married Anna Hornsbuck, herself the daughter of a pioneer family -- and a cousin of the crusading lawyer Chris Schuebel--in 1885. Later he joined his brother Chambers Howell (eventually mayor of Gladstone) to invest in and develop real estate in Oregon City and elsewhere in the state. Howell sold the property in 1919, when the property changed hands frequently until 1940, when Willis Elliott bought the house. Elliott, an engineer for the CWP Company, lived in the house through the early 1950s. In 1958 the Elliotts sold the property to Ivan Carlson, who owned the house until the mid-1970s and used it as a rental property.