DISCOVER displays photos and descriptions of more than 250 individual historic properties. Local Landmarks (LL), Federal National Register of Historic Places (NR) and potential candidates (D) are designated. Use Search to locate a property by name, street or neighborhood.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Phillips/Barker, 6565 Spring Valley Road NW, (NR)

Above: the Phillips/Barker House from a 1950s photograph. The damaged tree endangered the house after the 1963 wind storm and was cut down. The rings revealed its age as over 300 years.

The West Salem residence has been unoccupied since the property sale in 2002. This historic 1853 vernacular Greek Revival house was built for pioneer John Phillips, who came to Oregon via the Oregon Trail in 1845. He finished his journey to Oregon on the Meek Cutoff as part of Stephen Meek's "lost wagon train".
Born in 1814, Phillips was a native of Wiltshire England who came to the U.S. in 1834 and married Elizabeth Hibbard in 1839. He came to Oregon and bought the Turner donation land claim in Polk County for $100. The locale was once known as Spring Valley Ranch. John Phillips' daughter Hannah married Samuel Barker. The grandson, Samuel E. Barker and his wife Velma were the last occupants. Their niece remembers stories that the local Native Americans would come in the back door to warm themselves by the pot-bellied stove.
In 1976 the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009 it is the oldest residence in Polk County and was owned for 156 years by the same family.
(West Salem)