From Agriculture to Neighborhoods
In the 1860s Otto and Frances Kruse bought acreage and began to farm the area now known as Westlake. The home they built circa 1900 has been demolished and the barn, which was moved from its original location, once stood on the south side of Kruse Way. Planted primarily in cauliflower and cabbage, the area remained mostly farmland for almost a century.
Nearby, in the neighborhood now known as Holly Orchard, Waters Carman established his Donation Land Claim. The circa 1855 Carman house, built by pioneer Charles W. Bryant, still stands on Carman Drive and is occupied by Carman’s descendants. It is the oldest extant house in Lake Oswego. The circa 1900 Rathbun-Stone Farm on Pfeiffer Drive was built for Della, Waters Carman’s daughter, and her husband, Fred Rathbun. Pfeiffer purchased it in the 1950s and operated the Pfeiffer Pony Farm. The group that banded together in 1989 in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to save the farm became the Three Rivers Land Conservancy. Tabaridge, platted in 1979, was the earliest development in the area and, in 1980, it was the site of the first Street of Dreams held in Lake Oswego.
Prior to development of this area the access to Lake Oswego was via Highway 43 or Boones Ferry Road. Oregon’s Interstate 5 was completed in 1966 and the construction of Kruse Way a decade later created an important link between the interstate and Boones Ferry Road. This major transportation corridor eventually reshaped the town and it continues to spur commercial and residential growth.
In the mid-1950s Arthur Fields, a prominent Portland automobile dealer, constructed AMart Farms Airstrip, a private airport, as well as his home, designed by Church, Newberry, & Roehr, off Fosberg Road. Fields bequeathed most of his property to Lewis & Clark College who in turn sold it to the Latter-day Saints. The church real estate administrators originally intended to build a junior college and later decided to build the Portland Oregon Temple, the first Mormon temple in Oregon, and a housing development.
The Westlake Planned Unit Development was the inaugural project for the Lake Oswego-based engineering firm, OTAK, Inc. Three hundred acres were developed as a combination of single and multi-family residences, a neighborhood shopping center, the twelve-acre Westlake Park, and forty-five acres of open space. Today there are more than one thousand households in Westlake. The Westlake Homeowner’s Association has covenants and restrictions intended to maintain a harmonious community image. The guidelines even specify that doghouses must be built with materials compatible with the house.