WILSON AND CLAUDE RITTENHOUSE HOUSE c.1905 -- Statement of Significance: Wilson Rittenhouse is believed to be the original owner of the subject property, which he purchased in 1905. Two years later he deeded the property to Ivan Rittenhouse, presumably a relative. Ivan in turn sold to Claude Rittenhouse, son of Wilson and Sara Jane Rittenhouse. Sara Jane Rittenhouse was born in Iowa. Claude owned the house for several years, selling to William Wagner in 1919. Wagner deeded it to Lizzie R. Wagner in 1924. Lizzie sold to W.C. and Nellie M. Burke, who sold to Emily Elliot, an employee of Holman, Hankins-Reliance Funeral Home in Oregon City. Elliot owned the subject house through the historic period. According to Mel Freeman, grandson of Sara Jane and Wilson Rittenhouse, the subject house is approximately 100 years old and was build by his grandfather. The elder Rittenhouse also built several other houses on Front Street with his sons, Claude, Calvin, Austin and Clarence.
The house is a good example of the Vernacular style. It is composed of perpendicular volumes covered with wide, dropped siding and finished with corner and rake boards. Despite the additions the original building envelope is clearly visible. Landscape features, including roses, a laurel hedge and a mature apple tree in the back yard, contribute to the historic character of the dwelling.