Oregon History Portland History

Lost: Church in Oak Grove, Ore.

A residential home in Oak Grove once housed a church (and movie theater).

Note: This is a cross-post from my other blog, Oak Grove! (The O.G.). 

Last month there was a discussion on the Oak Grove Facebook page about the empty lot on River Road and Courtney next to the handsome house that sits next to the corner. A commenter mentioned there was – at one point  in time – a church on the corner that had the same style of the well-kept home that sits on the (almost) corner.

Some sleuthing revealed that – indeed – there was a church where the grassy lot now sits. Pouring through the Clackamas County Cultural Resource Inventory book I found a photo (albeit a shitty, Xeroxed one) of the church that had once stood on the spot.

Long-gone church on River Road and Courtney Avenue.
Long-gone church on River Road and Courtney Avenue.

(The book, by the way, is an amazing resource for local historians and building nerds. In 1983, the county sent out letters to residents asking them a few questions about their property (year built, style of home, etc.). The purpose of the inventory was to provide the State Historic Preservation Office with information for possible inclusion in the statewide inventory. Sadly, many of the buildings in the book are no longer standing- like the corner church.)

But back to the photo – it’s not a great photo, but you can clearly see the tip of the existing building in the middle as well as the unique “steeple” above that. Described as “Western Falsefront-Bungalow,” the building was constructed in approximately 1901- 1910 and was still standing in 1983.

What else has Oak Grove – architecturally – lost in the last 30 years? Plenty, if flipping through the inventory is any indication. We’ll occasionally post some of our lost treasures – with the hope that they inspire us to save what we currently have.

3 replies on “Lost: Church in Oak Grove, Ore.”

On the subject of churches/lost Oak Grove architecture, here’s a picture of the Oak Grove Methodist that was at S.E. Oak Grove Blvd. and S.E. Rupert. This would have been the mid-50s. It must have had a steeple. Sure would like to see that picture.

You have a picture of the Oak Grove all-girl band. I can tell you a lot about this band as my grandfather organized it. My mother is the one in the front row sitting by the bass drum holding a cornet. I still have that very same cornet. I know the names of just about everyone in the band. It was organized in 1910. Irene Little

I loved this church and remember telling someone when driving past it once that that was the church my parents were married in (totally not the truth!) but i remember being fascinated by it and always was curious about what it looked like on the inside. i was mad when we drove past it at one point and saw that it had been torn down. i remember it being painted green.

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