Elias Briggs filed a donation land claim in 1852 in the Washburne neighborhood area. The Washburne Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district is a stable, residential neighborhood located north of downtown Springfield, which is at the western edge of the city and bounded by the Willamette River. With the exception of a few businesses in remodeled older houses, the district essentially retains its original residential character. It represents an era when Springfield experienced dramatic population growth, and it still illustrates the impact of the Booth-Kelly Mill on Springfield's development.
The Historic District was established in 1985 and is named for C.W. Washburne, who was a prominent banker and mill owner in Springfield. He was the owner and operator of Lane County's most successful grist mills.
The district is characterized by the late and post-Victorian vernacular housing forms that became common throughout Oregon as small farming communities grew into logging towns. The emphasis was on simple, solid construction designed to serve the residential needs of a rapidly growing lumber mill town of the early 1900s. The age of the buildings in the neighborhood spans from the 1890s through the 1940s. Nearly 44% (136) of the residences are primary, built between 1890 and 1915, and as many as 98 are secondary, built between 1916 and 1930. The majority of the District's contributing residences can be classified as Bungalow, Mill Cottage, Transitional Box, Tudor Cottage, or Homestead style houses.
The Washburne residents have an active Neighborhood Association that meets quarterly to talk about what is happening in the District. They also publish a newsletter. To find out more about the Association, contact Washburne Neighborhood Association.
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