Classic Houses & History Boat Tour

View a larger poster.

Our 2016 tour poster.

The Classic Houses & History Boat Tour on Oswego Lakeour signature fundraising event, has been held annually on the Saturday after Labor Day since 2012. In 2017, the Society will be restructuring the tour. In place of a flotilla of boats on a single day, we will offer multiple, smaller tours during the summer. Volunteer boats will vary in size; typically they will accommodate five to eight passengers. A minimum of four passengers will be required per tour. This flexible approach will enable passengers and boat drivers who had a conflict on the scheduled annual tour day to participate. It will also allow for easier rescheduling in case of rain. Although we have done so in the past, we will not be offering refreshments before the tour this year.

Scheduled 2017 Tours:

Saturday August 12th at 10:00 am – Sold out

Saturday August 19th at 10:00 am – Sold out

Saturday August 26th at 10:00 am – Sold out

To purchase tickets, please email us with the number of tickets you would like to reserve. You will receive an email confirming that the seats are available and the amount due. As soon as your check is received, we will email details regarding the tour.

Upon request, we will add your email to our notification list for 2018. The non-refundable fare is $75 per person; $25 is a tax-deductible, charitable donation. The Society is an all-volunteer non-profit organization so 100 percent of the proceeds from this event benefit our mission: To support Lake Oswego’s historic fabric through advocacy and education.

The two-hour non-stop cruise features over 50 classic homes and historic sites along the entire shoreline of the main lake and Lakewood Bay. Two years of research, with the help of advisory board member Erin O’Rourke-Meadors, has gone into identifying the architects and original homeowners to create this informative and entertaining tour. The tour departs from the docks at Sundeleaf Plaza near the Lake Theater.

See a slideshow of prior BOAT TOUR PHOTOS. Gallery photos up to 2014 are courtesy of Susanna Kuo. 2015 photos are courtesy of Gordon Sykes.


Classic Houses & History Boat Tour

Classic Houses & History Boat Tour


Click for larger view of 2016 SPONSOR BOARD.
The SOCIETY is very grateful to the sponsors that help make this event possible. Click the image for a larger view of 2016 SPONSOR BOARD in PDF format.

Our 2016 Primary Sponsors are:

HomeStreet Bank

Kaer Property Group at Keller Williams Realty

Nicoletta’s Table and Marketplace

Phil Chek and Associates
Associate Sponsor:

MCM Construction, Inc. Historic Restoration • Marine

Please support these generous, local area businesses.


“This tour was a highlight of our year, and we hope to keep the tradition annually.”

“This was a fabulous tour—didn’t want it to end!”

“It was well worth every penny. Thank you!”

“Congratulations on such a fantastic boat tour today! I had a wonderful time, and it looked like that was the unanimous reaction of all who participated. Thank you so much for your hard work in making this event a reality.  It was so well organized in all aspects, and I know this must have taken a lot of your time and energy. It was a terrific tour which we will long remember.”

“I want to thank you for putting on such a wonderful event yesterday! I thoroughly enjoyed myself, as did everyone else on our boat #6.”

“Thank you for the photo!  It is a fun souvenir of a happy day!”

“It was one of the best organized events I’ve ever attended.”

“Thank you for all your superb homework & excursion of LO yesterday. Just being on the water brings me such joy & serenity plus the added knowledge made the day grand!”

“The tour was well worth the price of admission!”

“THANK YOU for a wonderful afternoon!  My husband was out of town so I brought my daughter and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  It was so nice to ride SLOWLY around the lake as we have ridden in friends’ boats before but then only got “rumored history” and rode too fast to really see things. I hope to go again next year.”

“You did an awesome job and we are so grateful to have a new perspective on our home town. What a great city to live in.”

“We really enjoyed the tour and we learned so much.”

“Thank you for the great photo! This will help us remember this year’s wonderful boat tour of historic homes. I greatly appreciate all the work and effort you and the other volunteers have invested in making this event so meaningful and informative.”

Illustrious Tour Guides


Did You Know?

  1. The Society has researched and compiled these fun facts about Oswego Lake. These facts, and much more, are part of what you’ll learn on the Classic Houses & History Boat Tour!
  2. Sucker Lake, the original name of Oswego Lake, was not named for anyone on the shore, it was named after a type of fish found in the lake waters.
  3. Before homes were built on the site, the Lake Grove Anglers’ Club held casting tournaments at the west end of the lake. The president of the organization was determined by who caught the largest bass; a 7 pound, 10 ounce fish elected the first president.
  4.  Did you know there is a pig house on Oswego Lake? Actually, it’s a small, brick bathhouse with wooden doors, which was modeled after the 1932 Walt Disney cartoon The Three Little Pigs. Christian and Dorothy Kisky constructed it and when they hosted a theme party, Walt Disney himself provided a wolf and pig costumes for the occasion.
  5. Oswego Lake was created about 15,000 years ago by the Ice Age Floods, the same geologic event that created the Columbia Gorge; the lake is not man-made.
  6. The light on top of the 1931 Sundeleaf-designed Janzten Estate boathouse was once used as a beacon for airplanes back in the day when pontoon planes were allowed to land on Oswego Lake.
  7. In Lakewood, there are the remains of a quarry that supplied the basalt for Oswego’s first iron furnace, which began construction in 1866.
  8. Today’s “West Point” in the Lakewood neighborhood, was once known as “Palmer’s Point.”
  9. In the 1930s, the sand for the beach of Mary S. Young’s estate on Twin Points was imported from Gearhart, Oregon, not Hawaii.
  10. In 1929, an experimental “rocket boat” powered by gunpowder was tested on Sucker Lake. The Flying Lena, as it was called, ended its maiden voyage when the inventor jumped overboard to avoid injury.
  11. The promontory called “Diamond Head” was named and subdivided in 1948.


Waiver of Liability

Please note that by participating in this event, you are agreeing to a waiver of liability.

WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY: I for myself and on behalf of my heirs, assignees, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS Lake Oswego Preservation Society their officers, officials, agents, and/or employees, other participants, sponsoring agencies, sponsors, advertisers, and, if applicable, owners and leasers of premises used to conduct the event (“RELEASEES”), WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL INJURY, DISABILITY, DEATH, or loss or damage to person or property, WHETHER ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE.