817 12th Street

BARCLAY SCHOOL -- Statement of Significance: This structure replaced the original Barclay School, and ornate building with a round tower and conical roof built in 1888, which was in turn a replacement for the Oregon City Seminary, Oregon City's first public school. In 1944, a time capsule was placed by students just southwest of the school, with the names of students and their predictions for the future. The spot was marked with a mortared stone pyramid and a wooden post with "Oregon Trail" printed on it. The marker was knocked down by a car in the 1970s and now lies under a lilac bush. The time capsule is probably still there, although students had intended for it to be opened 25 years after its burial.

This T-shaped building has simple colonial detailing, centered primarily on the entries. The main entrance to the school is pedimented with paired square columns and pilasters. Dentils at the cornice are actually scored wood moldings. The entrance has a denticulated cornice and paneled and glass doors with a series of arched lights in the transom above. Other entries have curvilinear pediments. The corners of the building have triple vertical corner boards. The windows are 6/6 wood double-hung with a wide simple trim. A hexagonal ventilator with a tent roof and iron weathervane houses the first school bell on the Pacific Coast, which came around the Horn to be placed in the first Barclay School. The interiors are quite intact with glazed classroom doors and fine lighting fixtures.

This property is a locally designated historic site located within the McLoughlin Conservation District. Contact ocplanning@orcity.org for more information.

Historic Inventory Form