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Thursday, September 3, 2009

The oldest dwelling in Astoria, Oregon

Oldest dwelling in Astoria, Oregon This house at 1337 Franklin Avenue is the oldest dwelling in Astoria. It's also one of the hardest to photograph, as I've never seen it without cars parked in front, and it has a hideous power pole with a tangle of wires that beats just about any other hideous power pole and tangle of wires in Astoria. That aside, the house is 100% charm, and it's also for sale through Area Properties last time I heard.

Oldest house in Astoria, Oregon The house has not always stood on this spot. It was built in two pieces. You can see from the side view where the separation would have been.

Plaque on the Hiram Brown House, Astoria, Oregon A plaque on the front of the house reads, "1852: Built by Capt. Hiram Brown who came to Astoria area in 1848. Original portion of house built in Adairville (East Astoria), was barged downriver about 1865 to Tenth St., and rolled to present location without cracking wallpaper or breaking a window. Astoria's Oldest dwelling." Apparently the black and white signs were the project of one man, and were not funded by the city or the historical society. I'll have to learn more about that sometime.

I was able to tour the house one day recently when there was an estate sale on the property. I took a few photos inside, but it was a dark day and most didn't turn out well. I enjoyed the old place. It had a good feeling, and there was quite a lot of space inside, including the basement, although "basement" may not be the right word to use here in Astoria, where so many houses are on seriously sloping ground, so that one side of the basement may be resting at ground level and the other is completely or mostly lodged in the earth. The tall trees behind the house were nice, there was a pleasantly large back yard, a wisteria-covered carport, a spacious kitchen, a delightful back porch glassed-in with small panes, unusual nooks and crannies, etched glass, a carved banister, unique trim, hardwood floors, and some good old-house vibes. The heavy, red drapes in the dining room still had that Victorian-era feel, which was cool to visit, but I think I might find a way to lighten up the downstairs. Hmm. Am I dreaming of moving in? Of course, it's part of the fun :)

I like to think of what this building was like when the waterfront came nearly to its doorstep (now several blocks away) and there were no power poles in sight.
. . . AND NOW . . .

Thanks to Daryl and Photoshop, the house can now breathe! Daryl said, "I took your challenge (that you didn’t know you made.) 15 minutes in photoshop…." Cool :) Thanks, Daryl. I find myself breathing deeper when I look at it, too. It's like kicking your shoes off when you get home . . .

. . . Or does it look more homey with one color-coordinated car at the (imaginary) hitching post?

9 comments:

Mom of Three said...

I can only assume that if you're able to notice the same details I do around town that you must LOVE walking, like I do! You just can't get the tiny nuances of Astoria without some serious time pounding the pavement. I walk by this house on a regular basis, and always wondered about the inside--though I wonder about most all of them on the inside!

Vogon Poet said...

I love the way you described this house and I have to admit that I quickly checked the price...
The building is not bad for an age of a century and half, hope you'll find the way to show us at least something of the interior.
Very nice post, lovely old house.

Jacob said...

Thank god for Photoshop! 'Tis a beautiful house, even if it isn't "Swedish." But all it needs is some yellow. Back to Photoshop, Sheryl!

B SQUARED said...

You should be a real estate agent. I'm ready to make an offer on the house just from listening to you.

Don and Krise said...

I really like this place. The history just adds to the charm. I have to agree that they should find somewhere else to park rather than right in front. I would be planting a maze of color in that front yard.

Sara Chapman in Seattle, USA said...

Pretty fancy Photoshop work to make the cars disappear like that. X-ray vision, seems like! Either way is great. Very charming.

Lee Spangler said...

Excellent post, if a person had the time(like who does?)it would be fun to put up photos of the various people who make up the story of this house. The guy who made the placques was Dr. Harvey, don't remember his first name or what kind of doctor he was. He just loved old houses.

paramedic 2010 said...

I had the honor of living in the house next door (the one that looks like a tool shed compared to Wilma's) and getting to know the long time owner of this beautiful home- she is a lovely person and taught me how to seed flowers and to enjoy the the wonder of growing old fashions - I hope you are well Wilma and i miss you daily!! (hopefully you or your children will see the blog) By the way the interior of the home is as wonderful as the exterior!

Lynette said...

I've thoroughly enjoyed visiting this house with you. Thanks for all of the photos and the information. And thanks to Daryl for the Photoshop intervention.

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