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Lamson Farm House and Barn (Yamhill County, Oregon)
Object NameLamson Farm House and Barn (Yamhill County, Oregon)
Alternate NameLamson, Jeremiah & Helen, Farm House (Yamhill County, Oregon)
CountryUnited States
CatalogerEdward H. Teague
Object Typearchitecture
built works
views (visual works)
SignficanceNational Register of Historic Places (Listed, 2013)
ReferenceOregon Historic Sites Database
Notes"The nominated area is comprised of a little more than eight acres that includes six contributing features: a circa-1850 hewn-frame barn and its adjacent wood frame silo of circa 1915 vintage; the 1880-1883 box-constructed, Gothic Revival main residence; a pre-1880 worker residence formerly used as a wash house; an undated outhouse and an historic orchard remnant. This extant collection of buildings and features spanning over half a century is an increasingly rare representation of a long continuum of agricultural development and use in the Willamette Valley. The four non-contributing buildings include a garage, woodshed, and pump house all dating to the mid-twentieth century (post-World War II), and a modern storage shed. None of the non-contributing features detract from the overall character of the site, and all contributing features retain sufficient integrity to convey their period of construction and historic function. Of particular note are the house and barn. The house is largely intact, showing few alterations since about 1930. The barn retains good integrity of location, materials, setting, workmanship, feeling and association. In the area of design it is compromised by deterioration of the south wall and sheds, though it still successfully conveys its original period of significance, function and workmanship through the remaining structure. Overall, the farmstead constitutes a group of buildings of various ages joined by a common historical context and function, which in aggregate illustrates the evolution of a settlement-period Willamette Valley farm from the 1850s to the mid-twentieth century. - HISTORY - The Lamson Ranch is locally significant under National Register Criterion A in the areas of Exploration/Settlement and Agriculture, and under Criterion C in the area of Architecture. Under Criterion A, the ranch has significant associations with early Yamhill County, Oregon settlement and agricultural pursuits extending into the twentieth century. The Lamson family was among the earliest settlers in this part of the Willamette Valley, and developed a successful ranching operation in addition to participating in local and territorial government activities. They were peripherally associated with the establishment and maintenance of nearby Fort Yamhill and had business dealings both with the Fort and with the Grand Ronde Agency, although that is not a main focus of this nomination. The remaining ranch buildings, specifically the house and barn, are significant under Criterion C in the area of Architecture as excellent and now-rare examples of their respective types. The circa-1850 barn is an extremely rare surviving example from the settlement-era, which at the time of its construction was one of the largest barns in the Willamette Valley. The 1880-1883 Gothic Revival residence, the third dwelling on the property, is a virtually intact example of the rural Oregon interpretation of that style, retaining many exterior and interior features from the period of its construction. The period of significance for the ranch, circa 1850 to 1942, corresponds to the Lamson's late summer 1848 arrival to this property, and the subsequent occupation and growth of the ranching enterprise by both Jeremiah and Helen's family and later their son, Edward Francis Lamson and his family. The six contributing features include the circa-1850 barn and adjacent silo, the early 1880s main residence, the smaller pre-1880 secondary residence, a historic outhouse, and a remnant orchard of three large fruit trees. The site of the original log cabin is also believed to be in close proximity to the barn (and within the nominated area), but the exact location has yet to be determined. Non-contributing features, all of which date to the years following World War II, do not detract from the group's overall character, appearance or significance. In aggregate, the grouping retains a high degree of integrity in all areas (location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association), allowing it to convey its story of development and use over a period of more than eighty years. The Lamson Ranch was initially settled in 1848 by Jeremiah and Helen Hawks Lamson, and has been continuously owned and occupied by family members since. Buildings and features on the property are representative of the period of significance encompassing the first two generations of ownership and agricultural pursuits on the land, from 1848 to 1942. The ranch is eligible for listing in the National Register in the areas of Exploration/Settlement, Agriculture and Architecture. In the area of Exploration/Settlement, the property represents one of the earliest established farmsteads remaining in Yamhill County. Arriving in the late summer of 1848, the Lamsons were among the first Euro-Americans to settle permanently in the county, and Jeremiah was involved in early political activities at both the local and territorial levels. The Lamson children were fully engaged in early Oregon's opportunities and challenges, attending and excelling in their educations locally and at the Oregon Institute in Salem, witnessing the strife between native people and the settlers, and working on the ranch, helping to perpetuate the success initiated by their parents. The family was also engaged with the military at the newly-established Fort Yamhill during the 1850s and 1860s. In the area of Agriculture, the Lamson Ranch is of note locally as the core of the Lamson's once-considerable land holdings, on which they successfully grew hay and raised livestock for over ninety years. Jeremiah Lamson applied his experience as a merchant to his ranching activities, and in addition to his success selling dairy products and beef, he obtained contracts with the military and the Grand Ronde Agency to provide them with beef and oxen. Jeremiah and Helen's son Edward, who took over the management of the ranch in the early 1870s, was well-known and respected for his knowledge and success in the realm of raising livestock. The Lamson Ranch, encompassing over 2,000 acres for at least fifty years, was prominent in this part of Yamhill County in acreage and breadth of the operations during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The land continues to be used for agricultural purposes today. Architecturally, the Lamson house and barn are each exemplars of their respective periods and types. The circa-1850 barn is perhaps the oldest building of its type in Yamhill County. Retaining an unusual amount of original 1850s material, the building is also unique in design and was at one time among the largest barns of its type and age known in the Willamette Valley. The 1880-1883 residence is an excellent example of the Gothic Revival style, retaining high exterior integrity, and exceptional interior character. Collectively, the farm group represents an early settlement site that illustrates the changes - through both attrition and additions - that occur over time as needs dictate, reflecting the evolution of farm groups through two centuries (now three) and multiple generations of agricultural use." Source: National Register nomination, 2013.
Metadata NotesDescription of this work is based initially on documentation supplied by the image provider. It is often the case with gift slides that very little information is provided. Review and updating of descriptive information by the collection cataloger is ongoing.
Digital CollectionBuilding Oregon: Architecture of Oregon & the Pacific Northwest
Image SourceOregon State Historic Preservation Office,
PublisherUniversity of Oregon Libraries
CopyrightThis image was included in the documentation related to a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, a program of the National Park Service. The image is provided here by the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office and the University of Oregon Libraries to facilitate scholarship, research, and teaching. For other uses, such as publication, contact the State Historic Preservation Office. Please credit the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office when using this image.
File NameOR_YamhillCounty_LamsonRanch_0012
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