Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Oldest City House in Dayton

What is the oldest house in Dayton on its original location?

It seems it's an old farmhouse on the northern edge of the Westwood neighborhood, dating from the very early 1800s. There may be other old farmhouse out in the neighborhoods (according to the auditors records theres is one in Ohmer Park from the 1840s)

But what's the oldest city house? The Newcom Tavern has been relocated, and an old house from the 1820s was recently torn down for the new Avis office.

Local tradition says that the Clegg House is the oldest house, dating from 1827 or 28. Looking at the facade on First Street one sees an impressive cube house with nice limestone facade with rusticated base and an ionic pilasters. I would date this later than the 1820s based visual evidence in the Lutzenberger collection and extant houses in the older parts of the Oregon.


To the rear, however, one sees these appendages to the Clegg House. What if one of these, particularly the two story one, was not an appendage but a frestanding house at one time? One can see some modifications (like the horizontal band windows) and what looks like half wood/half brick construction.
However, going around to the front one does see a facade that looks "old", due to the roof line running parallel to the street and the zero lot line construction.
Comparing this to some of the oldest Oregon houses, one sees the window arrangement and central "gap" matches the facades of some early double houses, and there is a central chimney that might have been shared by two sides of the house. The door is also on the end, like some early doubles.
A typological analyses showing how this might have been either a modified double, or a single borrowing the typology of a double.

So, the oldest city house (not farm house) in Dayton could well be the "Clegg House", not the big house on First but the rear "wing".

2 comments:

Downtowner said...

Very nice analysis - I had also been told that after they tore down Seattle East, this one (Brooks House) was now the oldest house - but only the back part.

I'm wondering if you have any info on what I'm told is the second oldest city house - the one on St. Clair (and Ice Ave)...

Spencer Bainter said...

The Kemp farmhouse dates to 1806. (Burkhart)