In 1845 when Samuel K. Barlow and his party traveled over the Oregon Trail, Barlow decided to find a better way between The Dalles and the Willamette Valley than the route pioneers were currently using, which was to float down the treacherous Columbia River. He scouted a route up and over the Cascade Mountains and the road he established became known as the Barlow Road.
Samuel K. Barlow (Wikipedia)
In 1850 Sam Barlow purchased land from Thomas McKay, a former employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Sometime during the 1850s, Sam’s son William bought his father’s farm, and Sam moved from his farm to Canemah, near Oregon City, where he died in 1867. In 1859 two rows of black walnut trees were planted from the farmhouse to the road. They were the first black walnuts planted in Oregon.
William Barlow (Find A Grave)
During William’s tenure a community grew up near the farm. When the railroad came through in 1870 a station was built nearby and named after him. The growing community would eventually become the town of Barlow (incorporated in 1903). William Barlow started a sawmill, a grist mill, the first post office, and the Barlow Bank and Land Development Company.
The house that had stood on the property burned down around 1883. In 1885 William built a house on the same spot in the Victorian Italianate style, which was popular from the 1860s through the 1880s.
Barlow House, date unknown (Rootsweb)
The house passed to William’s daughter Mary in 1896, and it was later sold out of the family in 1906. William died in 1904 at the age of 81.
William Barlow House in 1976 (Oregon State Historic Preservation Office)
The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and still stands as a prominent landmark along Highway 99E in Barlow.
Barlow House in 2012
Location of William Barlow House:
View Larger Map