The historic Carman House, the oldest house in Lake Oswego, is to be donated to the Lake Oswego Preservation Society.
The Wilmont family, descendants of the original owners, are partnering with the Lake Oswego Preservation Society to preserve the Carman House and tell the important story of the Carman Family. The Carman House is the only house left in Lake Oswego that predates statehood and is associated with the 1850 Donation Land Claim Act.
The house was once at the center of a years long dispute between the Wilmont family and the Lake Oswego Preservation Society. At the request of the owners the Lake Oswego City Council voted 4-3 to remove the historic designation. Eventually reaching the Oregon Supreme Court, the case set precedent that affects properties across the state. The Court ruled that only the original owner at the time of the historic designation has the right to object. Subsequent owners, who acquire the historic property, cannot opt out of the designation.
A portion of the land will be developed with much needed housing leaving a buffer around the Carman house. Similar arrangements have saved properties in other cities and towns including the Sheffield House in Portland which went from 10 acres to 6700 SF, and the entire Aurora Colony which now occupies only 5 acres.
The Society will also be seeking partnerships to repair and restore the home and will work towards listing it on the National Register of Historic Places. The intent is that the home will remain true to its purpose and continue to serve as a residence once it is restored.
Subscribers can read the story in the Lake Oswego Review.