## Encyclopedia > Lake Oswego, Oregon

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# Lake Oswego, Oregon

Lake Oswego is a city in northwest Oregon just south of Portland, Oregon surrounding a lake by the same name. The city is an upper-scale residential area - the median income in the 1990 census was $57,499, which was twice that of other suburbs in the greater Portland area. Housing values were also over twice as high as average, at$142,600. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 35,278.

The Clackamas Indians[?] had occupied the land now known as Lake Oswego, but foreign diseases decimated the tribes, leaving only a fraction. As white settlers arrived, they found the land under-occupied.

Prior to the influx of population via the Oregon Trail, the area between the Willamette River and Tualatin River[?] was a scattering of early pioneer homesteads and farms. Iron ore had been initially discovered in the Tualatin Valley[?] in 1841 but was not developed until 1865.

Albert Alonzo Durham[?] founded the town of "Oswego" in 1847, securing the first Donation Land Claim[?] and naming it after his New York birthplace. He also built a sawmill on Sucker Creek (now Oswego Creek[?]), the town's first industry.

In 1855, the Federal Government took Clackamas Indians and moved them to the Grand Ronde Reservation in nearby Yamhill County.

1865 saw the incorporation of the Oregon Iron Company[?], the first in a series of three companies (the other two being Oswego Iron Company[?] and Oregon Iron and Steel Company[?]) intent on making Oswego into the "Pittsburg of the West". By 1890 the industry had grown to being able to produce 12, 305 tons of pig iron, and at its peak provided employment to around 300 men.

More than just a local business endeavor, this iron industry was a vital keystone in a statewide economic strategy, controlled by a small number of Portland financiers who strove to control and monopolize all entrepreneurial ventures in the late 1800s. Control of shipping and railroads was held under the Oregon Steam Navigation Company[?] (OSN), later to become the Oregon Rail & Navigation Company[?] (OR&N). These two monopolies provided a strong and increasing demand for iron and steel as the Industrial Revolution took hold of the expanding Oregon frontier, and illustrates the importance of Oswego's role in Oregon's economic history.

Among this group of financiers were William Sargent Ladd[?], Henry Winslow Failing[?], and Henry Corbett[?]. Streets named after each of these individuals were in the original Oswego plat, emphasizing their importance in the Oswego smelter business.

The success of this industry greatly stimulated the development of Oswego, which by this time had four general stores, a bank, two barber shops, two hotels, three churches, nine saloons, a drugstore, and even an opera house.

During this early period in Oregon history, river transportation was vital to commerce and development. Principle trade proceeded from Portland to Oregon City via the Willamette River, and up the Tualatin River Valley[?] through Tualatin, Scholls[?], and Hillsboro. The thick woods and rain-muddied roads were major obstacles to travelling by land. Along the rivers of this area can still be seen the (now long abandoned) river landings, ferry stop points, and covered bridges of this period. A landing at George Rogers Park is thought to have been developed by Durham around 1850 for lumber transport, and certainly was used by the Oregon Iron Company for their Portland-bound pig iron shipments. The Tryon Creek outlet into the Willamette was a second important river landing place.

The railroad arrived in Oswego in 1886, providing it with a direct link to Portland. Prior to this, access to the town was limited to primitive roads and river boats. This railroad proved to be a godsend to the town as the iron industry gave way at the turn of the century, enabling it to transform itself into a residential area. The Southern Pacific Railroad[?], who had acquired the line at the end of the 19th century, widened it from narrow to standard gauge and in 1914 electrified it, thus providing rapid, clean, and quiet train access to the city of Portland through the 1920s and 1930s.

However, as a consequence of the new railroad system and easy access to cheaper and higher quality iron from the Great Lakes region, the profitability of local iron development was hampered and ultimately led to its demise as Carnegie's consolidated U.S. Steel arose.

Oregon Iron and Steel adopted to the new century by undertaking programs in land development, selling large tracks of the 24,000 acres it owned, and power, building a plant on Oswego Creek in 1905-9 and erecting power poles in subsequent years to supply power to the Oswego citizens. With the water needs of the smelters tailing off, the recreational potential of the lake and town was freed to develop rapidly.

One of the land developers benefitting from OI&S' sales was Paul Murphy, whose Oswego Lake Country Club helped promote the new city as a place to "live where you play". Murphy was instrumental in developing the first water system to supply the western reaches of the city, and also took a lead in the architectural community, encouraging the design of fine homes in the 1930s and 1940s that ultimately would provide Oswego with the reputation of a place of fine homes for people with taste.

In the 1940s and 1950s continued development helped spread the city's residential areas. In 1960 the town was rechristianed "Lake Oswego" as it annexed part of neighboring Lake Grove.

Historical photos: http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/photos/index.htm

More history of Lake Oswego: http://home.europa.com/~heritage/narrhist

Geography According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.4 km² (10.9 mi²). 26.8 km² (10.4 mi²) of it is land and 1.6 km² (0.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 5.57% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 35,278 people, 14,769 households, and 9,658 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,316.0/km² (3,409.7/mi²). There are 15,741 housing units at an average density of 587.2/km² (1,521.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 91.13% White, 0.64% African American, 0.32% Native American, 4.57% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 0.71% from other races, and 2.47% from two or more races. 2.32% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 14,769 households out of which 32.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% are married couples living together, 6.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% are non-families. 27.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.38 and the average family size is 2.95.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 31.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 41 years. For every 100 females there are 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 88.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $71,597, and the median income for a family is$94,587. Males have a median income of $66,380 versus$41,038 for females. The per capita income for the city is \$42,166. 3.4% of the population and 2.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 2.0% are under the age of 18 and 4.0% are 65 or older.

 Date of Incorporation: 1910
Size of Oswego Lake: 405 acres
Miles of street: 178
Registered Voters:  23,077


### City Government Statistics

 Form of government: Council / Manager
Employees, budgeted: 282 full time
Bond ratings:
Standard & Poor's - AA+,
Moody's - Aa1
Neighborhood associations: 19
Community volunteers: 500 plus


### Police

 Stations: 1
Personnel: 72
Patrol units:14
Arrests (non-traffic):1,296
Traffic violations (citations): 4,738
Traffic violations (warnings): 1,314
Parking violations: 2,223
Calls for service: 21,662
Case reports: 4,960


### Fire

 Stations (including emergency operations center in main fire station): 4
Personnel (including 13 certified emergency paramedics): 51
Fire calls: 673
Service and other calls: 468
Total service calls: 2,977
Fire & life safety classes: 210
CPR classes: 13
Total citizens trained to date for community emergency response teams (CERT): 487


### Water

 Miles of water mains: 215
Service connections: 11,532
Hydrants: 1,685
Daily average consumption in gallons: 7,214,000
Maximum daily capacity of plant in gallons: 16,000,000


### Sanitary Sewer

 Miles of sanitary sewers: 201
Miles of storm sewers: 131
Manholes: 6,032
Number of treatment plants (owned by Portland, contracted by Lake  Oswego for treatment): 1
Pump stations: 11
Service connections: 11,756
Daily average treatment in gallons: 5,000,000
Maximum daily capacity of plant in gallons: 8,000,000


### Culture & Recreation (City owned)

 Library: 1


 Parks (developed): 24
Picnic shelters: 5
Park and open spaces acreage: 564
Community center: 1
Swim park: 1
Water sports center: 1
Golf course: 1
Indoor tennis center: 1
Tennis courts (outdoor): 7
Amphitheater: 1


### Public Schools

 Elementary schools: 9
Elementary school instructors: 144
Secondary schools: 4
Secondary school instructors: 159
Elementary and secondary students: 7,080
Average students per instructor:  23


Copyright (C) 2002 Bryce Harrington. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the Invariant Section[?] being this paragraph alone, and with no Front-Cover or Back-Cover Texts.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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