Historic Walk of Friendly Neighborhood and College Hill

The Friendly Area Neighborhood, including College Hill and the South Willamette area, is one of the oldest and most historically significant neighborhoods in Eugene. The walk is just over 2 miles and takes between an hour or two to complete depending on pace of walk and time spent for breaks and discussion.

This walk begins and ends at Washington Park. It involves some change in elevation. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes with good traction and layered clothing for whatever the weather decides to do!

Note: Descriptions in italics below were originally published in A Brief History & Walking Tour - College Hill in March, 2001 by the Eugene Historic Review Board and the City of Eugene Planning and Development Department.

  • Wallace Hurlburt House - c.1890 -- 1991 Lawrence

    "The Hurlburt family resided in this Queen Anne Cottage from the time of it's construction (around 1890) until the 1930's. Wallace Hurlburt was a carpenter and a tinner and is presumed to have built the house. The Hurlburts were not residents here from 1911 to 1918 when widow Sarah lived at 1990 Lincoln (#2 on this tour). She returned to this house in 1918. The house lacks much of the detail associated with the Queen Anne style."

    This house also has a connection to a notorious train robbery. On October 11th, 1923 in Southern Oregon three DeAutremont brothers (Roy, Ray, and Hugh) held up a Southern Pacific train bound for San Francisco. Train number 13 was officially the “San Francisco Express”. Four men were killed (three Southern Pacific employees and a US Postal Service mail clerk) and the search for those responsible became an international affair with over 2,000,000 wanted posters being printed in multiple languages and distributed world­wide. The connection to the house in Friendly Neighborhood is Paul DeAutremont; father of Roy, Ray, & Hugh. Paul is known to have lived at the house. You can read about it the Spring 2014 edition of the Friendly Area Neighborhood Newsletter here.
  • Queen Anne House - c.1890 - 1990 Lincoln

    "Built circa 1890, this house served as the home of Acy Higgins and family between 1892 and 1910. This Queen Anne style house is not as it originally appeared. It was first remodeled in 1915 and a sleeping porch was added in 1933. Two flanking wings and the present siding were added later."
  • Frederick Smith House - c.1890 -- 2056 Lincoln

    "Built around 1890, this structure is also known as Landsdowne House. After 1902, it was the home of Frederick Smith, who purchased it for $2,000. The Smith family had a kitchen garden north of the house and a barn in the rear. Smith's son John reported that to reach the house one approached from 17th Avenue on 1 by 12 inch boards arranged lengthwise. Mr. Smith owned and operated a farm near Springfield where he worked and commuted to visit his family for weekends and short visits. The family eventually moved to a house Smith built on the farm.

    In the 1910's Jesse Wells lived in the house and began his 13-year term as Justic of the Peace. Agricultural use must have continued here, with the construction of a chicken house in 1940. The house is a excellent example of Queen Anne style architecture exhibiting various roof forms and shingle and siding textures as well as elaboarate ornamentation."
  • College Hill Reservoirs - c. 1915, 1939, 1939 - pause 23rd and Lincoln

    The area of College Hill between Lincoln and Lawrence and 23rd and 25th is the repository for drinking water for the City of Eugene. The oldest of these reservoirs is close to 23rd and Lawrence. This one is known as the 603 reservoir, which is the number of feet above sea level to the overflow pipe at the top of the reservoir. This large concrete tank began life about 1915. Adjacent to this reservoir is the 607 reservoir, the large concrete structure with the pipe railing around the perimeter. The 607 reservoir was a product of the FDR Public Works Administration and constructed in 1939. At the very top of the Friendly Area Neighborhood is the 703 reservoir, also completed in 1939. This steel tank is about thirty feet in diameter and twenty feet tall. This reservoir holds about one hundred thousand gallons and serves the homes in the immediate area which would have insufficient water pressure if gravity fed from the adjacent in-ground storage.

    Above description provided by EWEB.
  • Eugene Country Club - c.1899 -- pause 23rd and Charnelton

    Originally, the Eugene Country Club was located on College Hill. The 9-hole course ran between 24th and 28th Avenues and Willamette and Lawrence Streets. The course was accessible by a mule-drawn streetcar from downtown or by traveling a wood plank path. The club was founded in 1899 and filed articles of incorporation in February of 1913. It remained on College Hill into the mid 20's when a new 18 hole course was opened at the current location on Country Club Road.

    For additional information refer to the book Breaking 100 - Eugene Country Club's First Century, 1899 - 1999 by Jeff Wallach and Todd Schwartz
  • Dot Dotson House - 1927 - 2075 Charnelton

    "This was the home of Dot and Elsie Dotson. Dot, who opened a portrait studio in 1929, is best known for the commercial photography business he began in 1931 and operated until the 1960's. Elsie was employed at the Register-Guard. It was the success of Dotson's business which finally allowed him and his wife, in 1933, to move into this bungalow they had built in 1927 (before they married). Dotson has previously worked as a teller at the First National Bank, and rented his house to co-worker Walter Banks until 1933. The house remains in excellent condition."
  • Archie Terrill House - 1908 - 2058 Olive

    "This Dutch Revival house with Neo-Classical details was designed by Eugene architect John Hunzicker and built by Archie Terrill for the Terrill family. The home cost about $3,000 to build. Terrill and partner Laurence Hunter frequently collaborated with Hunzicker in the construction of fraternity and sorority houses and large residences in and around Eugene. Mrs. Terrill was rumored to have disliked the house and only two years later the family moved to 2028 Olive. The house and 4 lots were sold to William Brenton, a civil engineer and owner of the Khoda Khan fraternity house.

    When the Terrills lived on College Hill, there were no houses to the south. Instead, there was an orchard with cherries, walnuts and nectarines and over the hill crest to the south was the Eugene Country Club and golf course. Sidewalks were wooden and the street was dirt. The family had 2 cows and a calf and a raspberry patch where 2036 Olive now stands."
  • Maurice Allen House - c.1930 -- 2210 Olive

    "This house is an excellent example of the picturesque English cottage style. Built about 1930, it exhibits rolled eaves and textured shingles made to resemble thatching. Also of note is the oriel, or above-ground bay window. The house was owned by Maurice Allen, an engineman at the Southern Pacific Company."
  • Phillips House - 1925 -- 2211 Olive

    "The residence of Truman and Mildren Phillips. Phillips, an alumnus of the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts, was an architect in the firm Hunzicker, Smith and Phillips, and it is presumed he designed and built the house. The structure is Jacobean style with other influences."
  • South Willamette Street -- pause corner of 22nd and Willamette

    Willamette Street is probably the most historically significant street in Eugene. Willamette Street defines a line between Skinner's Butte and Spencer's Butte; dividing the city on a north to south axis. Willamette Street's "origin" at the base of Skinner's Butte is also in proximity to the the railway and the Willamette River.

    Willamette was paved from the Southern Pacific railway terminal to 11th Avenue in 1907, and from 13th to "Hospital Road" in 1912. Installation of electric lighting also began in 1912. It was a couple years later in 1914 that nearly a mile of 4-inch water main was installed on South Willamette Street to supply houses along the street as far as the city limits (approximately 19th Avenue). The streetcar lines further spurred residential development in the area. The gradual improvements to Willamette Street, such as graveled and paved roads, streetcar service, electric lighting, and water service, supported the development of some of Eugene's earliest commercial districts. To learn more read A Brief History of South Willamette Area here.
  • Civic Stadium - 1938 -- pause across from stadium

    Constructed in 1938, it became home to Eugene's own minor league baseball team, the Emeralds, in 1969. The roof and grandstand were constructed utilizing local, old growth Douglas Fir trees. According to the official Save Civic Stadium website, the stadium "meets National Register Criterion A for its initial and continued contribution to the entertainment and recreational needs of Eugene and the surrounding communities in the Pacific Northwest." To learn more, you may read the complete History of Civic Stadium.
  • Eugene General Hospital - 1907 -- pause near concrete steps across from stadium

    Another important project which helped to form the character of the College Hill neighborhood was Eugene General / Mercy Hospital. The hospital was built in 1907 near 21st and Willamette on the west side of the street. Originally the hospital was known as the Eugene General Hospital, but in 1912 a group of doctors and businessmen sold the hospital to the Catholic Sisters of Mercy. Mercy Hospital was run by the Sisters until 1928 when Sacred Heart Hospital was established in another part of the city. In 1912, the Sisters of Mercy placed an advertisement for Mercy Hospital in the Polk’s Directory:

    "The building is situated on College Hill commanding a beautiful view of the City and surrounding country. The location is most sanitary and healthful, the slight elevation affording the best of drainage and atmospheric conditions. Though but a few minutes walk from the center of town and conveniently reached by the College Hill Car Line, the Hospital is entirely outside of the noise and dirt of the city."

    To read more on this subject refer to the College Hill Cultural Resources Survey. The image at left (GN1235) is courtesy the Lane County Historical Museum.
  • College Hill Loop and Electric Streetcars -- pause 20th and Willamette

    Electric streetcars began operating in Eugene in 1907 as the Eugene & Easten Railway. Within a year it was sold to the Portland, Eugene & Eastern Railway. The College Hill Loop of this service was inaugurated on July 31st, 1910 and ran every half hour. Streetcar service in Eugene ended in 1927. Evidence of this transit system is visible in Friendly neighborhood today at 20th and Willamette (see related image). A road improvement project in 2013 incorporated historic basalt blocks and streetcar tracks in the raised median. Another possible example is the double staircase on Willamette street across from Civic Stadium which may have served as a streetcar stop.

    South Eugene resident Roger Houglum described the College Crest streetcar line in a Crest Drive Neighborhood Assocation newsletter article entitled "Transportation to College Crest in 1918". You can read it here.

    The installation and later upgrades (such as heavier tracks, use of basalt blocks to line the tracks) to the electric streetcar lines encouraged both residential and commercial development along South Willamette.

    You can view the route the former electric street railway took through Friendly Neighborhood (the College Crest loop) with thismap.
  • Hill Crest Columns - c.1902 - pause 20th and Willamette

    "Development of Subdivisions - Arrival of the California and Oregon Railway in 1871 and the subsequent opening of the University of Oregon in 1876 spurred development and expansion in the small city of Eugene. In 1890, J.F. Atherton purchased a tract of Eben Stewart's farm, formerly in the Mulligan Donation Land Claim atop College Hill. Speculating that he might be able to attracts professionals to the area, Atherton named the area College Hill Park, and plotted the land into blocks with 60 x 150 foot residential lots.

    Advertised as "The Nob Hill of Eugene" in the local press, other entrepreneurs quickly followed Atherton in purchasing land on College Hill. By 1903, when the area was annexed to the City of Eugene, five subdivisions had been created and development was well under way. Two columns were constructed at 20th and Willamette to mark the entrance to College Hill and are still standing. While growth stalled somewhat after the financial panic of 1893, College Hill had a promising future as one of Eugene's major residential areas."
  • Edgar Moore House - 1912 -- 96 W 20th Ave

    "Located in the popular Hill Crest addition, this house was built in 1912 by the famed Eugene construction team of Archie Terrill and Laurence Hunter for Edgar and Sadie Moore. Edgar Moore served as the Superintendent of Schools in Lane County beginning in 1914. Moore contributed greatly to the modernization of area schools. Two years after his 1933 retirement, Edgar died at age 78. Sadie Moore continued to live at this address until she died in 1954 at the age of 97. The intact interior of this bungalow exhibits the type of well-constructed, Craftsman style interior for which Laurence Hunter was famous. The structure is a City Landmark."
  • Columbia College - 1854/1856 -- pause 19th and Olive

    In 1856, Columbia College opened for classes. Less than a month later it was destroyed by fire under suspicion of arson. Rebuilt in 1857, it was again consumed by fire on February 26, 1858. It was partially rebuilt in sandstone, but ultimately abandoned due to controversy over the college's board of directors.

    A rock munument and plaque stands at the southwest corner of 19th & Olive Streets. The plaque reads: "Site of Columbia College 1856-1860". Carved into the stone base are the words "COLUMBIA COLLEGE FIRST SCHOOL OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN LANE COUNTY BUILT IN 1854"

    For additional information on Columbia College, see the web page College Hill Neighborhood and History.
  • The image at left (GN4213) is a photograph of a lithograph of Columbia College, courtesy the Lane County Historical Museum.
  • Martin House - 1904 -- 108 W 18th Ave

    "Built in 1904, this house was designed by prominent Oregon architect, Ellis F. Lawrence. Lawrence was founder of the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts. He designed the early campus plan as well as many fraternity and sorority houses in Eugene. This Arts and Crafts style house has a distinctive roof shape and massing. Alex Martin Jr., Vice President of the Eugene Loan and Savings Bank, appears to have been the first owner of the house."
  • Eugene High School -- pause corner of 18th and Charnelton

    From about 1915 to 1973, Eugene High School occupied the block just north of FAN, between 17th & 18th, and Lincoln & Charnelton. The former boys gymnasium is still standing on the southeast corner and is visible across 18th Avenue (click here for photo). It has been modified however to include a Mansard-type roof form. The Lighthouse Temple currently occupies the property.

    "Newly constructed Eugene High School building on the southeast corner of 17th Avenue and Lincoln Street (later 250 West 17th Avenue). Exterior. View showing 3-story brick and plaster building. Board sidewalks in foreground. This building replaced the old Eugene High School on the southwest corner of 11th Avenue and Willamette Street, c.1915. It became Woodrow Wilson Junior High School, c.1952, when a new high school was built. It was razed in 1973." - Description and image (GN2213) courtesy the Lane County Historical Museum. Click here for additional photos.
  • West 18th Avenue - 1904 -- pause corner 18th and Lincoln

    Description forthcoming. Origin of east and west is Willamette. The "bump" to the west from the city grid to the county roads. Description forthcoming.
  • 1888 Lincoln/Gothic Vernacular House - circa 1890 -- 1888 Lincoln

    "This Gothic vernacular house was constructed around 1890. Little is known about its history. The residence shows excellent workmanship including the corbellated chimney. With the exception of new porch columns, very few changes have been made to the house, which is in excellent condition."
  • Washington Park - circa xxxx -- pause corner of 19th and Washington

    Historic Barthelemy Family photo looking southeast from near the intersection of 19th and Washington and the land that would one day become Washington Park.  History of the area as it developed and early uses (farming, pasture, orchards, other agriculture. Washington Street had sidewalks by 1950's, etc. Long-time neighborhood resident Edward Barthelemy shared his memories of growing up on Washington Street in the 1920's and 30's in a letter. You can read it here.
  • Jefferson Street and 19th Avenue commercial uses -- pause corner of 19th and Jefferson

    Jefferson Street is a historic location of the mule-drawn streetcar. The streetcar and the proximity to downtown spurred development. 
    The image at left (GN1728) is courtesy the Lane County Historical Society. Description reads "Breske Richfield Service Station, 1908 Jefferson Street, on the southwest corner of Jefferson Street and 19th Avenue. Exterior. View from intersection." According to Little Y owner Gary Christopherson, previous owners also owned the much larger Big Y Super Market. It opened around 1953 and was located at Eugene's Big Y Shopping Center (where 6th and 7th Streets "merge" to form Highway 99. Since the large grocery store was named Big Y, the smaller, Friendly neighborhood store was named the "Little Big Y Market". The word "big" was eventually dropped. The market has had several names over the decades. At one time or another, it was known as either Orr's, Powers, McKay's or Little Big Y Market or Superette. It also operated as a Grocery Cart from the late 70's until 1992 when Gary bought the property.

    Gary also revealed that a long-time neighborhood resident and customer once told him she recalled a grocery store operating out of a house before the Little Y store was every built. A quick trip to the City of Eugene Public Library revealed a grocery store at the Little Y's address named Ralph's Grocery in 1952. The year prior it is listed as the residence of Ralph D. Hector. This seemed to confirm the recollection of Gary's long-time customer! Still farther back, a 1931 entry lists Halverson's Grocery at that site. What probably started as an out-of-home business remains a familiar, Friendly neighborhood fixture today.
  • Eugene Airpark - 1919 -- corner of pause 19th and Madison

    Friendly was once home to one of Eugene's early airports; the Eugene Airpark. This is at least 7 blocks to the west from this stop on the tour. Generally speaking, the Airpark was located in the northwest corner of current-day Friendly Neighborhood; the area mostly occupied by Westmoreland Park. According to the Spring 1990 Lane County Historian article Eugene Airpark by Louis Barton: "In 1919 the city of Eugene established what was probably the first municipal airport in the state...The Airpark was located on Chambers Street between 11th and 18th streets." An October 15, 1946 Register Guard map indicates the location of the Eugene Airpark as between 13th to 24th and Chambers to near present-day Polk and Tyler streets. Ultimately, the Airpark occupied the land between 18th and 24th and Chambers to Polk and Tyler. Originally, a runway ran parallel to Chambers Street on the east side. A second runway ran from near the intersection of 18th and Chambers on a diagonal to the southeast. It would seem that over time, the airport grew in size but also gradually moved more to the south. The Airpark closed in 1956 after voters passed a ballot measure in response to noise and traffic concerns.
  • William Masterson House - 1857 -- 2050 Madison (Oldest residential structure in Friendly Neighborhood)

    "William Masterson was born in 1813, his wife Violet in 1824. The native Kentuckians migrated to the southern Willamette Valley in 1851 and were granted a Donation Land Claim in Springfield where the Dorris Ranch is now located. The Mastersons purchased a 160-acre farm on the west side of College Hill and, in 1857, built this house where they lived with their eight children. The farm included orchards with apple trees; wheat, oats, and sometimes flax; and horses and mile cows. Locust trees planted during the 1850's still stand on the east side of Madison Street.

    Mary Margaret Masterson Dunn, the first Masterson child to be born in the house, recalled childhood memories of cooking apple butter in a large brass kettle, and of the springhouse where water was heated and the large wood family bathtub was kept.

    The house is an example of a Classical Revival farmhouse although it was significantly remodeled by the 20th Century owners."
  • The Eugene and College Hill Street Railway (1891-1900) -- pause 21st and Jefferson

    Before electric streetcars, horse-drawn streetcars once criss-crossed the City of Eugene. The image at left (GN4127), courtesy the Lane County Historical Society, shows Wiley Griffin and a mule-drawn streetcar which operated as the Eugene and College Hill Street Railway. The section of Jefferson Street from 21st to 22nd is special because it is the only known corridor in the neighborhood that housed first a mule-drawn and later an electric streetcar. You may view the routes both railways took through Friendly Neighborhood with this map.

    The mule-drawn route originated near the Southern Pacific Railway station near Willamette and 5th. From there it traveled south on Willamette to 17th, where it turned to the west for three blocks to Lincoln Street. The streetcar went down Lincoln to 22nd, where it again traveled west for four blocks to Jefferson. It then turned north for one block to 21st where it then turned west a final time for about three blocks to Friendly Street. At the end of the line, the mule or horse was unhitched and moved to the other end of the car to begin the journey back downtown.
  • Gothic Vernacular House - c.1890 -- 2008 Washington

    "Built circa 1890, there is very little known about the early history of this structure. The first resident was either Wesley Ames, a farmer, or George Fleeman, a carpenter. Charles Thorpe, a ship carpenter, and his wife Dora moved to the house in the 1910's. Later occupants include postal carrier Francis Taylor and his wife Gertrude. The Gothic vernacular house is virtually intact."