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Lake Oswego, Oregon

lake oswego oregon, lake oswego oregon chamber of commerce
Lake Oswego /ɒsˈwiːɡoʊ/ is a city in the State of Oregon, primarily in Clackamas County with small portions extending into neighboring Multnomah and Washington counties4 Located about 8 miles 13 km south of Portland and surrounding the 405-acre 164 km2 Oswego Lake, the town was founded in 1847 and incorporated as Oswego in 1910 The city was the hub of Oregon's brief iron industry in the late 19th century and is today an affluent suburb of Portland As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 36,619,5 a 38% increase over the 2000 population of 35,278


  • 1 History
    • 11 Early history
    • 12 19th century
    • 13 20th century
  • 2 Geography
  • 3 Demographics
    • 31 2010 census
    • 32 2000 census
  • 4 City government
    • 41 Civic involvement
  • 5 Public schools
  • 6 Cultural and recreational facilities
  • 7 Economy
    • 71 Top employers
  • 8 Notable people
  • 9 Sister cities
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links


Early historyedit

The Clackamas Indians once occupied the land that later became Lake Oswego,6 but diseases transmitted by European explorers and traders killed most of the natives Before the influx of non-native people via the Oregon Trail, the area between the Willamette River and Tualatin River had a scattering of early pioneer homesteads and farms

19th centuryedit

Restored remains of the 1866 Oregon Iron Company furnace, George Rogers Park

As settlers arrived, encouraged by the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 and the subsequent Homestead Act, they found the land under-occupied

Albert Alonzo Durham founded the town of Oswego in 1847, naming it after Oswego, New York7 He built a sawmill on Sucker Creek now Oswego Creek, the town's first industry6

In 1855, the federal government forcibly relocated the remaining Clackamas Indians to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation in nearby Yamhill County6

During this early period in Oregon history, most 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 traveling by land Along the rivers of this area can still be seen the vestiges of river landings, ferry stops, and covered bridges of this period A landing in the city's present-day George Rogers Park is thought to have been developed by Durham around 1850 for lumber transport; another landing was near the Tryon Creek outlet into the Willamette

In 1865, prompted by the earlier discovery of iron ore in the Tualatin Valley, the Oregon Iron Company was incorporated Within two years the first blast furnace on the West Coast was built, patterned after the arched furnaces common in northwestern Connecticut, and the company set out to make Oswego into the Pittsburgh of the West8 In 1878, the company was sold off to out-of-state owners and renamed the Oswego Iron Company, and in 1882, Portland financiers Simeon Gannett Reed and Henry Villard purchased the business and renamed it the Oregon Iron and Steel Company9

The Portland Oregon Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mormons is located in Lake Oswego

The railroad arrived in Oswego in 1886, in the form of the Portland and Willamette Valley Railway A seven-mile-long line provided Oswego with a direct link to Portland Prior to this, access to the town was limited to primitive roads and river boats The railroad's arrival was a mixed blessing; locally, it promoted residential development along its path, which enabled Oswego to grow beyond its industrial roots But nationally, the continued expansion of freight railroad system gave easy local access to cheaper and higher quality iron from the Great Lakes region This ultimately led to the local industry's demise69

By 1890, the industry produced 12,305 tons of pig iron,6 and at its peak provided employment to around 300 men 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 house8

The iron industry was a vital part of a strategy designed by a few Portland financiers who strove to control all related entrepreneurial ventures in the late 19th century Control of shipping and railroads was held under the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, later to become the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company This local monopoly responded to the area's increasing demand for iron and steel, and grew to play a key role in economic history throughout the area

20th centuryedit

Lake Oswego Railroad Bridge across the Willamette River, Lake Oswego, Oregon, April 2008

The Oregon Iron and Steel Company adapted to the new century by undertaking programs in land development, selling large tracts of the 24,000 acres 97 km2 it owned, and power, building a plant on Oswego Creek starting in 1905, and erecting power poles in subsequent years to supply power to Oswego citizens With the water needs of the smelters tailing off, the recreational potential of the lake and town was freed to develop rapidly6

In 1910, the town of Oswego was incorporated6 The Southern Pacific Railroad, which had acquired the P&WVR line at the end of the 19th century, widened it from narrow to standard gauge and in 1914, electrified it, providing rapid, clean, and quiet service between Oswego and Portland The service was known as the Red Electric6

Passenger traffic hit its peak in 1920 with 64 trains to and from Portland daily Within nine years of the peak, passenger service ended and the line was used for intermittent freight service to Portland's south waterfront up until its abandonment in 1984 The line was preserved, however and the Willamette Shore Trolley provides tourist rides on the line today

One of the land developers benefiting from sales by OI&S was Paul Murphy, whose Oswego Lake Country Club helped promote the new city as a place to "live where you play"6 Murphy was instrumental in developing the first water system to supply the western reaches of the city, and also played a key role in encouraging the design of fine homes in the 1930s and 1940s that ultimately would establish Oswego as an attractive place to live In the 1940s and 1950s, continued development helped spread Oswego's residential areas6

Mass transit service after the end of electric interurban service was provided by Oregon Motor Stages, but that company suspended all operations following a drivers strike in 195410 In 1955, a newly formed private company, Intercity Buses, Inc, began operating bus service connecting Oswego with downtown Portland and Oregon City11 This service was taken over by TriMet in 1970

In 1960, Oswego was renamed Lake Oswego when it annexed part of neighboring Lake Grove6


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1135 square miles 2940 km2, of which, 1068 square miles 2766 km2 is land and 067 square miles 174 km2 is water1 That area does not include the more than 1,100 acres 45 km2 of unincorporated land within the urban services boundary as defined by Clackamas County5

Oswego Lake is a lake, originally named Waluga wild swan by Clackamas Indians12 which has been expanded is and currently managed by the Lake Oswego Corporation13 The lake supports watercraft, and a dock floats at the lake's east end where boaters can disembark and walk to the nearby businesses The main canal from the Tualatin River was dug in 187214

Every five to ten years, the water level in the lake is lowered several feet by opening the gates on the dam and allowing water to flow into Oswego Creek and on to the Willamette River, enabling lakefront property owners to conduct repairs on docks and boathouses15 In 2010, the lake was lowered approximately 24 feet 73 m to allow for construction of a new sewer line, the lowest lake level since 1962 when the original sewer line was installed16

The city extends up Mount Sylvania and through Lake Grove towards Tualatin


Historical population
1880 96
1890 544 4667%
1920 1,818
1930 1,285 −293%
1940 1,726 343%
1950 3,316 921%
1960 8,906 1686%
1970 14,615 641%
1980 22,527 541%
1990 30,576 357%
2000 35,278 154%
2010 36,619 38%
Est 2016 38,945 64%
US Decennial Census18
2013 Estimate3

Lake Oswego is one of the most affluent suburbs of Portland In 2000, the city had a median household income of $71,597, up from $57,499 in 1990 Additionally, as in the rest of the Portland metropolitan area, house prices have increased rapidly as of June 2006;needs update the median value in 2000 was $296,200, over twice what it was in 1990 $142,600citation needed

2010 censusedit

As of the census of 2010, there were 36,619 people, 15,893 households, and 10,079 families residing in the city The population density was 3,4287 inhabitants per square mile 1,3238/km2 There were 16,995 housing units at an average density of 1,5913 per square mile 6144/km2 The racial makeup of the city was 893% White, 07% African American, 04% Native American, 56% Asian, 02% Pacific Islander, 08% from other races, and 30% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37% of the population2

There were 15,893 households of which 289% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 531% were married couples living together, 74% had a female householder with no husband present, 29% had a male householder with no wife present, and 366% were non-families 301% of all households were made up of individuals and 118% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 229 and the average family size was 2882

The median age in the city was 458 years 221% of residents were under the age of 18; 57% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21% were from 25 to 44; 351% were from 45 to 64; and 162% were 65 years of age or older The gender makeup of the city was 473% male and 527% female2

2000 censusedit

As of the census of 2000, there are 35,278 people in the city, organized into 14,769 households, and 9,665 families The population density is 3,4097 square miles 8,831 km2 There are 15,741 housing units at an average density of 1,5214 per square mile 5872/km² The racial makeup of the city is 911% White, 46% Asian, 06% Black or African American, 03% Native American, 02% Pacific Islander, 07% from other races, and 25% from two or more races 23% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race There are 14,769 households out of which 320% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 562% are married couples living together, 69% have a female householder with no husband present, and 346% are non-families 279% of all households are made up of individuals and 79% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older The average household size is 238 and the average family size is 2952

In the city, the population dispersal was 248% under the age of 18, 61% from 18 to 24, 268% from 25 to 44, 310% from 45 to 64, and 114% who are 65 years of age or older The median age is 41 years For every 100 females there are 929 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 882 males The median income for a household in the city is $71,597, and the median income for a family is $94,587 These figures had risen to $76,883 and $105,763 respectively as of a 2007 estimate Males have a median income of $66,380 versus $41,038 for females The per capita income for the city is $42,166 34% of the population and 23% of families are below the poverty line Out of the total population, 20% of those under the age of 18 and 40% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line2

City governmentedit

The city has a council-manager form of government, which vests policy-making authority in an elected, volunteer city council The council consists of a mayor and six councilors, all of whom are elected at-large and serve four-year termscitation needed

Day-to-day operations are handled by an appointed, professional city manager Almost all of the city's employees, which include part-time staff amounting to approximately 342 full-time equivalents,citation needed report to the city manager This includes the police chief, fire chief, one assistant city manager, and the community development director The biggest groups are:

  • police and fire departments, consisting of about 50 people each,
  • the library, parks, and recreation departments, consisting of about 70 people total, and
  • about 80 people throughout the engineering, planning, and maintenance departments

Civic involvementedit

Neighborhood associations play a formal role for citizen involvement in the city government's land-use planning and other activities A neighborhood association's role is governed by state and city law As of September 2013, there are 21 recognized neighborhood associations associations including lakefront property are marked with a ¤ symbol: Birdshill, Blue Heron ¤, Bryant ¤, North Shore-Country Club ¤, Evergreen ¤, First Addition, Forest Highlands, Glenmorrie, Hallinan Heights, Holly Orchard, Lake Grove, Lakewood ¤, McVey-South Shore ¤, Old Town, Palisades ¤, Rosewood, Skylands, Uplands, Waluga, Westlake, and Westridge19

The Mountain Park neighborhood has a homeowners' association serving the role of neighborhood association for its residents

The following statistics summarize other aspects of civic involvement:citation needed

  • Registered voters: 23,061
  • Citizen advisory boards: 10
  • Community volunteers: 500 plus
  • Citizens trained for community emergency response teams: 487

Public schoolsedit

Lake Oswego High School

The Lake Oswego School District is within the city boundaries and serves the city's approximately 7,000 students, with a ratio of 23 students per instructor The two high schools in the district are Lake Oswego High School and Lakeridge High School There are six elementary schools and two junior high schools for students in grade 6 through 8 The junior high schools are Lakeridge Junior High and Lake Oswego Junior High Lakeridge Junior High was known as Waluga Junior High until 2012 and was replaced by lakeridge Junior high

Cultural and recreational facilitiesedit

The city maintains 573 acres 232 km2 of parks and open spaces This includes 24 developed parks, one amphitheater, one swim park, one water sports center on the Willamette River, an adult community senior center, a public golf course self-financed, an indoor tennis center, seven outdoor tennis courts, and five picnic shelters An additional swim park is open to those who live in the boundaries of the old Lake Grove School District The private Oswego Lake Country Club and neighboring equestrian riding club add to the recreational amenities of the city

There is an on-going lawsuit against the city, charging that they are preventing people from using a public stairway in a public park to swim in a public lake 20

Lake Oswego has one public library, part of the Library Information Network of Clackamas County From 2002 to 2006, the library was rated among the top 10 libraries serving similar population sizes in the United States21


Companies based in Lake Oswego include Holiday Retirement

Top employersedit

According to Lake Oswego's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,22 the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Lake Oswego School District 568
2 City of Lake Oswego 354
3 Waggener Edstrom Worldwide 312
4 Stanford's 281
5 Micro Systems Engineering 246
6 Mary’s Woods at Marylhurst 200
7 Jacobs Engineering Group 200
8 New Seasons Market 173
9 PacifiCare 165
10 Autodesk 150

Notable peopleedit

This is a partial list of notable residents, past and present, of Lake Oswego:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge 1985– , Former NBA player for the Portland Trail Blazers, now plays for the San Antonio Spurs 23
  • Art Alexakis 1962– , Founder and lead singer of the multi-platinum band, Everclear
  • Allen Alley 1954– , founder of Pixelworks, Republican nominee for Oregon State Treasurer in 2008, Republican candidate for Oregon Governor in 2010
  • Jon Arnett, NFL player and member of the College Football Hall of Fame24
  • Luke Askew 1932–2012, actor25
  • Daniel Baldwin 1960– , film actor, producer, and director26
  • Nicolas Batum 1988– NBA player for the Portland Trail Blazers27
  • J J Birden 1965– , NFL wide receiver28
  • Frank Brickowski 1959– , NBA player29
  • Walter F Brown 1926– , Navy Commander JAGC, Judge, State Senator, 2004 Presidential candidate for the Socialist Party USA30
  • Terry Dischinger 1940– , basketball gold medalist in the 1960 Olympics and NBA player from 1962–1973 and orthodontist31
  • Chris Dudley 1965– , NBA player from 1987–2003 and 2010 Republican nominee for Governor of Oregon32
  • Mike Dunleavy, Jr 1980– , NBA player for the Indiana Pacers33
  • Mike Erickson 1963– , businessman and candidate for US Congress in 2006 and 200834
  • Rudy Fernández 1985– , NBA player for the Portland Trail Blazers 2008–201135
  • Stu Inman 1926–2007, co-founder of the Portland Trail Blazers36
  • Lopez Lomong 1983– , US Olympic Team track runner 2008, 2012 and one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan37
  • Neil Lomax 1959– , NFL quarterback 1981–198838
  • Kevin Love 1988– , NBA player for the Cleveland Cavaliers and former UCLA Bruin39
  • Stan Love 1949– , NBA player 1971–1975 and father of Kevin Love39
  • Merrill A McPeak 1936– , former USAF chief of staff40
  • Bart Miadich 1976– , Major League Baseball pitcher 2001–200641
  • Patty Mills 1988– , NBA player for the Portland Trail Blazers 2009–201142
  • Linus Pauling 1901–1994, Winner of two Nobel prizes, in peace and chemistry Author, educator43
  • Julianne Phillips 1960– , model, actress, former wife of Bruce Springsteen, co-star of 1990s TV series Sisters44
  • Richard Read 1957– , two-time Pulitzer prize winner, reporter for The Oregonian4546
  • Mike Richardson, co-founder/publisher of Dark Horse Comics47
  • Don Schollander 1946– , Olympic swimming gold medalist in 1964 and 196848
  • Henry Selick 1952– , American director and animator: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline49
  • William Stafford 1914–1993, American poet and US Poet laureate 1970–197150
  • Drew Stanton 1984– , NFL quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals51
  • Salim Stoudamire 1982– , American professional basketball player
  • Michael Stutes 1984– , MLB relief pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies52
  • Klay Thompson 1990-, American professional basketball player53
  • Nathan Farragut Twining 1897–1982, Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1957–196054

Sister citiesedit

Lake Oswego has two sister cities:

  • Yoshikawa, Japan55
  • Pucón, Chile


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010" United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 2012-07-14 Retrieved 2012-12-21 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2012-12-21 
  3. ^ a b "Population Estimates" United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 2014-05-22 Retrieved 2014-09-26 
  4. ^ a b "City of Lake Oswego" Geographic Names Information System United States Geological Survey 2008-03-11 Retrieved 2014-04-13 
  5. ^ a b "City population is up – what will that mean" Lake Oswego Review March 24, 2011 Retrieved December 6, 2012 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "A Brief History of Our City" Lake Oswego Public Library Retrieved 2015-04-13 
  7. ^ "Eight Myths Concerning Lake Oswego" Oswego Heritage Council Retrieved 2010-01-15 
  8. ^ a b Goodall, Mary 1958 Oregon's Iron Dream Portland, Oregon: Binsford & Mort p 43 
  9. ^ a b Kuo, Susanna Campbell "A Brief History of the Oregon Iron Industry" PDF Oswego Heritage Council Retrieved 2009-07-23 
  10. ^ "Petition of Intercity Buses, Inc, Wins Support of Oswego as PUC Hearing Ends" December 22, 1954 The Oregonian, p 8
  11. ^ "Oswego Fete Due Bus Line: Regular Service Set Next Monday" February 3, 1955 The Oregonian, p 8
  12. ^ 1 Archived February 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Lake Oswego Corporation official website" Retrieved 2011-03-27 
  14. ^ Corning, Howard McKinley 2004 Willamette Landings 3rd ed Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society p 195 ISBN 0-87595-042-6 
  15. ^ Tims, Dana October 31, 2006 "Drawdown under way to lower Oswego Lake" The Oregonian 
  16. ^ Newell, Cliff July 29, 2010 "Sewer project will make Oswego Lake disappear – briefly" Lake Oswego Review Retrieved December 6, 2012 
  17. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" Retrieved June 9, 2017 
  18. ^ United States Census Bureau "Census of Population and Housing" Retrieved September 26, 2014 
  19. ^ "Planning: Neighborhood Associations" City of Lake Oswego website Retrieved 2013-09-03
  20. ^ http://wwwwweekcom/culture/2017/06/13/meet-the-men-working-to-secure-public-access-to-oswego-lake-the-portland-areas-stolen-forbidden-paradise/
  21. ^ "Hennen's American Public Library Ratings" Retrieved 2012-09-10 
  22. ^ City of Lake Oswego CAFR
  23. ^ Quick, Jason 2009-07-01 "'Faith' keeps LaMarcus Aldridge confident he'll stay with Blazers" The Oregonian Retrieved 2009-07-01 
  24. ^ Newell, Cliff "Jaguar Jon" The Lake Oswego Review January 31, 2008 Retrieved on December 6, 2012
  25. ^ Bailey, Jr, Everton April 13, 2012 "Lake Oswego actor Luke Askew, featured in HBO's 'Big Love', 'Easy Rider' and others, dead at 80" The Oregonian Retrieved April 14, 2012 
  26. ^ Bella, Rick July 14, 2011 "Daniel Baldwin says volatile relationship grew worse after move to Lake Oswego" The Oregonian Retrieved July 15, 2011 
  27. ^ Freeman, Joe October 28, 2012 "Trail Blazers building blocks: Nicolas Batum, The Gamble" The Oregonian Retrieved February 11, 2013 
  28. ^ Newell, Cliff "Birden sees plenty of success after pro football career" The Lake Oswego Review July 3, 2008 Retrieved on December 6, 2012
  29. ^ Canzano, John February 9, 2013 "The rules for millionaire matchmaking with Greg Oden" The Oregonian  |access-date= requires |url= help
  30. ^ Mapes, Jeff June 7, 2010 "Greens pick former state senator for treasurer, but no one yet for Oregon governor" The Oregonian Retrieved June 7, 2010 
  31. ^ Newell, Cliff "Upward Basketball teaches b-ball to youngsters" The Lake Oswego Review March 20, 2008 Retrieved on December 6, 2012
  32. ^ "Dudley jumps into Oregon governor's race" Lake Oswego Review December 16, 2009 Retrieved December 6, 2012 
  33. ^ "Dunleavy joins Duke exodus" USA Today May 11, 2002 Retrieved on February 6, 2009
  34. ^ Law, Steve "Erickson takes GOP primary in 5th District" Lake Oswego Review May 20, 2008 Retrieved on December 6, 2012
  35. ^ Eggers, Kerry "Rudy excites fans and teammates" Portland Tribune January 4, 2009 Retrieved on December 6, 2012
  36. ^ "OBITUARIES; Stu Inman, 80; helped assemble Portland's NBA champion team" Los Angeles Times February 1, 2007 B9 Retrieved on February 13, 2009
  37. ^ Newell, Cliff May 30, 2012"Lopez Lomong: From Lost Boy to Olympian" Lake Oswego Review Retrieved July 3, 2012
  38. ^ Moore, Kenny "This Phone Will Ring On Apr 28" Sports Illustrated April 27, 1981 2 Retrieved on February 13, 2009
  39. ^ a b "Stan Love" Willamette Week July 7, 2004 Retrieved on February 13, 2009
  40. ^ "Lake Oswego general could make Kerry cabinet" Associated Press Friday September 17, 2004 Retrieved on February 13, 2009
  41. ^ "Stingers Boost Lead" The Salt Lake Tribune August 17, 2001 C4 Retrieved on February 13, 2009
  42. ^ "General Mills" Portland Tribune March 10, 2011 Retrieved April 20, 2011 
  43. ^ "Oswego Pioneer Cemetery plans Memorial Day celebration that links Lake Oswego's past with its present" 
  44. ^ "Personalities" The Washington Post August 6, 1988 C03 Retrieved on February 13, 2009
  45. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Citation" Pulitzerorg Retrieved 2011-03-27 
  46. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Citation" Pulitzerorg Retrieved 2011-03-27 
  47. ^ Korn, Peter "It’s a fantasy world, probably rooted in reality" Lake Oswego Review September 4, 2008 Retrieved on December 6, 2012
  48. ^ "Swimmers Paced by Schollander; Oregonian Anchors Relay Team to Gold Medal" The New York Times October 15, 1964 Retrieved on February 13, 2009
  49. ^ Hundhammer, Linda 2009-04-02 "Making Movie Magic" Lake Oswego Review Pamplin Media Group Retrieved December 6, 2012 
  50. ^ "Security, BY WILLIAM STAFFORD" Los Angeles Times November 24, 1991 Book Review Start Page: 6 Retrieved on February 13, 2009
  51. ^ Howell "Drew Stanton, QB" Retrieved May 17, 2013 
  52. ^ Michael Stutes Minor League Statistics & History Baseball-Referencecom Retrieved on 2013-09-04
  53. ^ "Kevin Love and Klay Thompson grew up together in Lake Oswego" 
  54. ^ "Cultural Resources Inventory: CW Twining House" PDF City of Lake Oswego Archived from the original PDF on 2011-06-14 Retrieved 2009-05-21 
  55. ^ "Community: History and Culture" City of Lake Oswego website Retrieved 2006-12-11 

External linksedit

  • Official website
  • Historic photos of Lake Oswego from the City of Lake Oswego
  • Lake Oswego from the Oregon Blue Book
  • "Lake Oswego" The Oregon Encyclopedia 

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