NH: 1925 Forest Hills

A Restricted Residential District

NH-1925ForestHills

Richard Sundeleaf designed the bridge to Jantzen Island.

Successive 25-year deed restrictions were used to maintain control over housing that fit the Ladd Estate Company’s ideal of residents and residences. Municipal building codes had not yet been adopted so all of the company’s developments had some restrictions.

Use Restrictions:

  • No use, ownership, or occupancy by Chinese, Japanese, or Negroes, except that persons of said races may be employed as servants by residents.
  • No apartments, hotels, hospitals, sanitariums, stores, livery stables, dance halls, businesses, nor manufacturing facilities.
  • Intoxicating liquors could not be sold or otherwise disposed of as a beverage in any place of public resort.
  • No domestic or wild animals (with the exception of dogs, cats, or usual household pets).

Building Restrictions:

  • No dwellings costing less than $4,000 on certain lots.
  • Building plans must be submitted for written approval prior to construction.
  • No portion or projection of any building, excepting steps, shall be erected with 25 feet from the lot line which adjoins any dedicated street or road.
  • Single, detached dwellings and necessary outbuildings only.
  • No use of facilities for church, school, or community purposes.
  • No sewage or other refuse matter shall be deposited in Oswego Lake.

Note: This was an important issue since the town’s first sewer system was not begun until 1935. Federal funds paid for most of the construction and Oswego’s Oregon Portland Cement Company manufactured the pipe.

Initially Oswego Lake Country Club memberships were restricted to residents of Forest Hills, Lakewood, and Dunthorpe, the latter being another Ladd Estate Company development.

In spite or sometimes because of the Great Depression, building of expensive, architect-designed homes continued. A 1930 Oswego Review article reported: “Decision to initiate at this time the extensive improvements by Mr. Jantzen came as a result of the appeal of the civic emergency committee for all contemplated public and private work to be started at once to relieve unemployment.”

An Oswego Review article from 1931 notes: “Construction of a new home for W. H. Boutwell, engineer for the Hawley Pulp & Paper Company, on the Fairway Road is well underway.” Another magnificent home was the 4,600 square foot showplace that architect Charles Ertz designed for himself. This home, along with the Jantzen and Boutwell Houses, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Despite this distinction the Ertz House was demolished in 2000.