312 High Street

JOHN BITTNER RENTAL -- Statement of Significance: John Bittner (1848-1931) was a hotelkeeper who served as Oregon City Councilman for seven years in the 1890s. He resided at 308 High Street and rented this house. This house was originally a twin of Bittner's residence. Bittner bought the property in 1903 and probably had the house built. Bittner sold to E.A. and Grace Osborn in 1920 who sold two months later to Eva Reaksecker. It stayed in the Reaksecker family until 1930 when Corinne Henningsen Gay purchased the house. Rufus and Corinne Gay lived in the house in the 1940s. Effie Gay sold to Leland and Cleo Gay in 1954 who sold to Edward and Francetta Kowalskis in 1962. Edward Kowaleski had been living in the house since at least 1953 and was employed by Crown-Zellerbach.

This two-story house sits under a hip roof with a small gabled dormer centered on the west façade. The gable features enclosed eaves with large scroll cut brackets at the corners. The gable frieze, like the main hip, is made of boards laid in a rounded profile making the transition from wall to eave. The west side features a recessed porch that runs the full width of the house under a large, cantilevered bay that may have served as a sleeping porch at one time. This porch features a row of six-pane casement windows, while the rest of the house typically features 1/1 double-hung wood sashes. The sleeping porch is supported by a series of Tuscan columns set on chamfered wood piers. At the south end of the porch is a shallow octagonal bay, mirrored on the south side of the house by a second cantilevered octagonal bay under a hip roof. The house is primarily clad with lap siding, but a one-story wing at the southeast corner is clad with wood shingles. A central chimney is present, parged above the roof line. The house features a full water table and plain board window trim with decorative apron moldings.

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

Historic Inventory Form