Francis Ermatinger House

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Francis Ermatinger House
Ermatinger House - Oregon City Oregon.jpg
Francis Ermatinger House is located in Oregon City OR
Francis Ermatinger House
Francis Ermatinger House is located in Oregon
Francis Ermatinger House
Francis Ermatinger House is located in the US
Francis Ermatinger House
Location 619 6th St.
Oregon City, Oregon
Coordinates 45°21′20″N 122°36′20″W / 45.35556°N 122.60556°W / 45.35556; -122.60556Coordinates: 45°21′20″N 122°36′20″W / 45.35556°N 122.60556°W / 45.35556; -122.60556
Built 1845
Architectural style Greek Revival, Federal Style
NRHP Reference # 77001099[1]
Added to NRHP 1977[1]

The Francis Ermatinger House is located in Oregon City, Oregon, United States. Built by Francis Ermatinger in 1845, it is the oldest house in Clackamas County. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977,[1] and has been operated as a museum.[2]

Built in the Greek Revival style, the house was originally located near the Willamette River, in the downtown area near Willamette Falls. Francis Ermatinger, an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, remained in Oregon City after the company abandoned its operations there in 1845.[3]

The house has been moved twice in its history, first in 1910 to the corner of 11th and Center streets, and again in 1986 to its current location at the corner of 6th and John Adams streets, adjacent to the Stevens Crawford House museum.[2]

It was in the Ermatinger House's left parlor that the famous coin toss between Francis Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy occurred, reputedly during a dinner party held in the house in 1845.[3] The two were arguing about whether the town they envisioned on their land claim, then called The Clearing, should be incorporated as Boston—Lovejoy's hometown in Massachusetts—or Portland—Pettygrove's hometown in Maine. Pettygrove won two out of three tosses, resulting in the city of Portland, Oregon.[4]

Damage from being moved twice has left the house unstable, resulting in the windows being removed. It is closed to the public. With the future of the house in flux, it is one of ten entries on the Historic Preservation League of Oregon's Most Endangered Places in Oregon 2011 list.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Oregon National Register List" (PDF). Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. January 5, 2009. Retrieved September 9, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Francis Ermatinger House". Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  3. ^ a b Hawkins, William John; William F. Willingham (1999). Classic Houses of Portland, Oregon: 1850-1950 (First ed.). Timber Press. p. 37. ISBN 0-88192-433-4. 
  4. ^ "Portland History—The Town that was Almost Boston". Travel Portland. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  5. ^ "Most Endangered Places 2011 - Ermatinger House". Historic Preservation League of Oregon. 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 

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