Trevitts Addition Historic District
The Trevitt's Addition Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. Portions of the content of this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2016, The Gombach Group.
Trevitt's Addition Historic District in The Dalles, approximately 24.5 acres in area, encompasses significant historic resources which date from the historic period, 1864 to 1937. The District is locally significant for its direct association with the early development of The Dalles, the Wasco County seat. The first area of the District was platted in 1860 adjoining the original plat of The Dalles. The addition represents the outward growth of The Dalles original townsite which was platted in 1855. The first flour mill and water system in the town were located in the District on Mill Creek, a source of power and water for the area. One of the first Catholic churches and school were built on land donated in the District by Victor Trevitt, the developer of the addition. These public and private ventures pushed development farther west of the original plat of The Dalles. The major transportation corridor through the District in the primary period of significance was the Dalles-Sandy Wagon Road which linked Trevitt's Addition with downtown and communities to the west across Mill Creek. In the secondary period of significance, the scenic Columbia River Highway and associated Mill Creek Bridge established the main east-west transportation corridor through the District until the highway was realigned in 1935 to West Second Street.
The District is a well-preserved collection of buildings dating from the 1860s to 1930s. The primarily residential District has an excellent collection of architectural styles that reflect the economic growth of The Dalles in the primary and secondary periods of significance. The resources in the District show a continuum and evolution of architectural styles which relate to the developmental periods of The Dalles. Residences range from small vernacular style dwellings constructed in the early settlement period to more high-style period revival houses built in the second decade of the 20th Century.
The District is significant for its association with Victor Trevitt who owned, promoted, and developed most of the land included in the District. Some buildings within Trevitt's Addition Historic District are secondarily significant for their association with prominent The Dalles residents. These people were important in the establishment and growth of the town's government, civic organizations, and businesses.
Trevitt's Addition is also distinguished by its location adjacent to The Dalles Commercial Historic District (listed in National Register in 1986), that includes many noteworthy commercial and civic buildings and represents the historic importance of The Dalles in commerce and governmental affairs. Together, the two Districts offer a glimpse into the early history of the region.
Trevitt's Addition was one of the earliest additions to the "Dalles City." Victor Trevitt filed a donation land claim (Claim No. 45) on June 18, 1855. He settled on a 159.40 acres claim approximately 15 miles southeast of the present-day downtown of The Dalles. Between 1855 and 1860, Trevitt expanded his land holdings and purchased a triangular parcel of land adjacent the "Dalles City" plat (platted in 1855) on the west. Trevitt's Addition was platted around 1860 and included Blocks A, B, C, D, 1, 2, and 3. "When Trevitt filed the plat for the addition, he neglected to name the streets running north to south and when this was called to his attention, he requested that some be written in. This was at the time prior to the Civil War when the Republicans were campaigning to elect Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency and a slogan often heard was, 'Lincoln, Liberty, and Union Forever!' The addition joined Union Street, already named, on the east. To play a joke on Trevitt, who was a Democrat, a Republican friend entered the names Lincoln and Liberty to the map, thus recording the Republican campaign slogan in Trevitt's Addition" (Smith, 1987:8-4). The streets parallel to the river were named numerically, Second through Fifth streets. In 1878, Trevitt platted an extension to the original addition, adding Blocks 4 through 8 which included extensions to Second, Third, and Fourth streets and the addition of a new street called Pentland Street (named after one of the early settlers). The extension to Trevitt's Addition was west of the original addition. The section along what is now West Third Place, remained unplatted although Trevitt sold off parcels of his land holdings. Many of the early residents of The Dalles built their houses on Trevitt's land, including Victor Trevitt.
Trevitt's Addition is directly related to the settlement and development of The Dalles. Victor Trevitt was an early pioneer who settled in the river community about the time when the town was platted. Trevitt platted the addition in conjunction with The Dalles' boom period of the 1860s which was brought about by the mining activities in the interior regions of the county; The Dalles became a transportation center for miners and their supplies. Trevitt's Addition was in a prime location for development. It was near the river, adjacent the downtown businesses and the Wasco County Courthouse (moved: now located in the District), adjacent Mill Creek and near some of the more famous gathering places such as the Umatilla House. It was also sited adjacent the land owned by the military (Fort Dalles), later known as The Dalles Military Addition.
Some of the early businesses established on Trevitt's land took advantage of its proximity to Mill Creek, a source of water and power. In the early 1860s, Robert Pentland purchased land from Trevitt at the west end of West Third Street on the banks of Mill Creek and established the first flour mill in the area called the City Mill (established 1866). Pentland also laid out the first water system in The Dalles which supplied the town with its water. The Wasco Woolen Manufacturing Company mill was established near what is now the west end of West Third Place near the Mill Creek Bridge (north side). The company was established in 1867 with its incorporators being Zelek Donnell, W.P. Abrams, and Henry Marlin: Donnell was a resident of Trevitt's Addition. The company manufactured clothes and blankets and woolen socks. The company was short lived. Ben Snipes took over the plant because of a bad debt and converted the building into a flouring mill which was in operation until 1879. By 1900, the woolen mill building had been demolished.
Trevitt was one of the developers of the Dalles and Sandy Wagon Road which followed roughly the route of Columbia River Highway through The Dalles. The road started around the intersection of Pentland and West Fourth Street in Trevitt's Addition (Crandall: The Dalles Streets, 1926). This road was well travelled and many of the first houses in the addition were built along West Fourth Street. These early houses were generally one to one and one-half stories in height, had a gable roof, shiplap siding, and a rock foundation. They were usually Vernacular in style although a few displayed some characteristics of the Gothic Revival and Italianate styles. Examples of these early houses extant in the District include the Pentland House (402-04 West Fourth Street), the Moody House (408-10 Lincoln Street), the Wall/Herbring House (313 West Fourth Street) and the Zimmerman House (406 West Second Place).
Trevitt donated land in Trevitt's Addition to the Catholic church for the purpose of constructing a church. Trevitt received two dollars for the two lots on January 1, 1861. The deed stipulated that the church "shall build or cause to build upon the lots aforesaid a place of religious worship." A wooden Catholic church was built c. 1861 on the corner of West Third and Lincoln streets. The church became an important part of the neighborhood. St. Mary's Academy was established in the District in 1864. The first building was located on the corner of Fourth and Lincoln streets and by 1871 a second wooden structure had been built at Third and Lincoln streets. In 1884, the third St. Mary's Academy was constructed; a large brick building built at Third and Lincoln streets. The academy became a prominent feature in the landscape. Many children received their schooling at the academy which became known throughout the region. The academy was razed in 1962.
By the end of the 1860s, the gold fields started playing out which brought a sharp decline in the economy of The Dalles. By the mid-1870s, however, the town began to feel the impact of revenue from Eastern Oregon wheat and the surrounding cattle ranches. In the late 1870s, The Dalles began experiencing another boom not only because of the establishment of the wheat and cattle industries but because of the coming of the O.R. and N. Railroad.
The railroad was completed in 1882 and connected The Dalles with Portland. Many new markets were established as a result of the completion of the railroad. The railroad's machine shops, car shops, and roundhouse were established in The Dalles in 1880, bringing hundreds of jobs to the Gorge community. The railroad shops were located directly north of the Extension to Trevitt's Addition which was platted by Trevitt in 1878. Trevitt most likely platted the area as a result of the news of the railroad. Railroad workers owned and rented houses in the District because of its proximity to the maintenance shops. Victor Trevitt died in 1883, shortly after the railroad was completed to The Dalles: he never saw all the economic impacts the railroad had on The Dalles.
The 1880s brought about another boom period in the history of The Dalles. This period provided relief for the residents of the town after the sharp decline in the economy and devastating fires of the 1870s. Many of the houses in the District were built during the 1880s and represent the Italianate, Queen Anne, and the Vernacular styles. The Italianate style is represented in this decade by the Thornbury House (420 West Second Street) which was built c. 1880. The Schanno House (505 West Third Place), built c. 1885, was designed in the Queen Anne style with Eastlake style porch details. The Vernacular style with some elements of the Queen Anne style is represented in this decade by the Brown House (514 Liberty Street) (over the years, the Vernacular style buildings constructed in this decade have undergone the most noncompatible modern alterations). Trevitt's Addition continued to grow westerly and northerly.
The first five years of the 1890s were riddled with disasters and the economic decline as a result of the national depression. A fire devastated downtown in 1891, destroying 20 blocks of the commercial area. In 1893, the national depression hit and the railroad moved their shops from The Dalles to Albina (near Portland). Hundreds of people moved from The Dalles as a result of the relocation. In 1894, the worst flood in The Dalles history hit inundating the downtown and the outlaying residential areas including Trevitt's Addition. The rest of the decade and the first few years of the 20th century were periods of reconstruction and reorganization.
The building pattern in the District depicts the decline in building activity during the first five years of the 1890s. Most of the houses built in the 1890s were constructed between c. 1895 and the turn of the century. These buildings displayed more high-style architectural details than earlier houses. They were built in the Queen Anne and Gothic Revival styles. Examples of Queen Anne style residences are the Maier and Schanno houses (503 and 505 Third Place). These dwellings display characteristics of the style in their asymmetrical massing, bay windows, and Eastlake style porch detailing. The Bennett-Williams House (608 West Sixth Street), constructed in c. 1899, is an excellent example of high-style Queen Anne architecture. The house was built at the west end of the District adjacent the Mill Creek Bridge. The Hudson House (422 West Second Place), built in c. 1890, was designed in the Italianate style reminiscent of the buildings in larger cities. St. Peter's Catholic Church (405 Lincoln Street), built in 1898, replaced the wooden church on the corner of Lincoln and West Third Street. The church was designed in the Gothic Revival style by prominent Portland architect Otto Kleeman. The tall spire of the church became a local landmark in the neighborhood as well as the city. Many steamboat captains used the tall spire of the church as a navigational landmark. The Catholic Church was a dominate force in the District because of the church, rectory and St. Mary's Academy (razed).
Many of the early prominent residents of The Dalles lived on parcels of land once owned by Victor Trevitt. Some of the families that owned houses in the District during the primary period of significance included the Herbrings, Pentlands, Frenches, Snipes, Moodys, Hudsons, Thornburys, Schannos, Mardens, and Bennetts. These people were prominent in the early settlement of The Dalles and involved in local and statewide politics and the downtown businesses.
Development continued to move westward towards Mill Creek after the turn of the century. At this time many amenities were introduced into the neighborhood such as electricity and telephones. A wooden bridge, built prior to the turn of the century, spanned Mill Creek at the west end of West Third Place (historically West Fourth Street). The bridge connected the western side of Mill Creek with the District and The Dalles downtown. By 1909, a more substantial steel suspension bridge had replaced the wooden bridge.
The secondary period of significance (1903-1937) is marked by the increased demand for the area's fruit, wheat, and fish. The Dalles once again became a shipping and trading center. In 1903, the first appropriation was made for the construction of the The Dalles-Celilo Canal which would remove another obstacle to ships in the Columbia River. Other events spurred development of the area in the first decade of the 20th century such as the completion of the Great Southern Railroad to Dufur (1905) and a railroad line up the Deschutes River(1909 -1910), the construction of a large cold storage fruit warehouse (1907), the completion of the railroad bridge over the Columbia River (1911), and the completion of the Dalles-Celilo Canal (1915). WWI brought a demand for local goods thus creating an upswing in the economy. The 1910s ushered in the motor age as the Columbia River Highway pushed towards The Dalles. The county market road became part of the state-owned Columbia River Highway, built between 1913 and 1922 from Troutdale to The Dalles, and the existing concrete Mill Creek Bridge was constructed as part of the scenic highway project in 1920. It was during this period that many of the basalt retaining walls were constructed along West Third Place.
The majority of the houses built during this time period were constructed in the popular Bungalow style. One of the earliest extant Bungalows in the District is the Seufert House (405 West Third Place). The house was built in c. 1910 and reflects the style in its wide overhanging eaves supported with brackets, exposed rafters, recessed porch with square posts, simple window trim, combination of narrow lap siding and wood shingle siding, and low massing. There were several Bungalow style houses built along West Third Street west of Pentland Street. These were built between 1909 and 1918. A series of Bungalows were also built along West Third Place, sited between houses dating from the primary period of significance.
Many different styles of houses were constructed during the 1920s which reflected popular trends in residential dwellings. There were several variations of the Colonial style built in the neighborhood. The Bonn House (200 West Fourth Street), was constructed c. 1920 in the Dutch Colonial style, St. Peter's Rectory (409-11 Lincoln) was constructed in 1921 with elements of the Colonial style, and the Coberth House (508 West Fourth Street) was constructed in 1927-28 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. Other period styles represented in the District include the Mission Style reflected in Vogt Hall (307 West Fourth Street), built in 1921, and the Shingle Style Donnell House (515 West Third Place) which was constructed in 1927. The Stadelman House (412 West Fourth Street) was built in 1925 on a prominent site at the juncture of West Fourth Street and West Third Place. The house is an excellent example of the English Cottage style and displays characteristics of the style in its rolled eaves, stucco facade, multi-pane windows, and the landscaping.
The Depression bought a sharp decline in the number of houses built in the District. In 1930, the Mission Monument was erected at the intersection of West Sixth Street and West Third Place commemorating the The Dalles Indian Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church. A Mediterranean style duplex (201-03 West Fourth Street) was built by the Bonn family in 1930 and a Norman Farmhouse style house (418 West Second Place) was built in 1937 by the Hudson family adjacent their family's Italianate style houses at the west end of West Second Place. The Patterson sisters built a house at 507 West Third Street in 1937 which had elements of the Colonial style.
In 1935, the Columbia River Highway (U.S. Route 30) was realigned from its route along West Sixth Street and West Third Place to a route along the north side of the District on West Second Street. The bridge and old route of the Columbia River Highway went into city ownership. Because of the re-location of the highway, a new Chamber of Commerce building was constructed on West Second Street (Highway 30). The new Chamber building was located at the western entrance to The Dalles. The building was constructed with elements of the Art Moderne style, a building style more common to public, commercial and governmental buildings. The original Wasco County Courthouse was moved directly west of the Chamber building in 1971. The courthouse originally was located at the corner of Third and Court streets. The West Second Street site represents the building's fifth location. The courthouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Dalles has unique collection of three county courthouses which depict the history and development of the county.
Building in the District ceased during WW II and then began again in the 1950s and 1960s. Two buildings were built after the historic period in the District: the Joan Court Apartments (300 West Fourth Street) and a Ranch Style house on West Third Place (531 West Third Place). Both of the buildings were built in 1950. The apartment building is more of an intrusion into the neighborhood because of its scale and design. The ranch style house is compatible in scale and setback to the remainder of the residences along West Third Place. Three residential dwellings were demolished as a result of the construction in 1970 of a large commercial building at the end of West Fourth Street. The scale of the building is not compatible with the other residential dwellings surrounding it. A parking lot, now used for a used car lot, is located directly east of the commercial structure. These two features are, perhaps, the most intrusive aspects in the District.
Trevitt's Addition Historic District has a wide variety of building styles which range from the earliest settlement period in The Dalles to Depression era style buildings. Some of the buildings are simple Vernacular style dwellings while others display characteristics of more high-style building designs. The street patterns in the District today reflect the primary period of significance when the street patterns where established.
† Sally Donovan, Principal and Bruce Howard, Assistant, Donovan and Associates, Trevitt's Addition Historic District, Wasco County, OR, nomination document, 1994, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.