Monteith National Register District
- Updated on Tuesday, October 02, 2012 October 02, 2012
The Monteith District, located on the west side of downtown Albany, is named after Walter and Thomas Monteith, the founding fathers of Albany. After arriving in Oregon from New York in 1847, these two brothers bought squatters rights to a claim held by Hiram Smead for $400.
The Monteith brothers completed the first frame house in Albany in 1849 and much earlier history centers around the Monteith House. Albany's first indoor sermon was preached in the house, Indian treaties were signed there, and in 1856 political leaders met there to establish the Oregon Republican Party. The Monteith House, now restored, is open as a museum.
During the mid-1800's, the Monteith's and the Hackleman's were literally and politically on opposite sides of the fence. Residents of the Monteith District were mainly Republican merchants and professionals with Union sympathies. The Hackleman District residents to the east were mainly working class Democrats who sided with the Confederacy. They even went so far as to plant a hedge separating the sides of town near Baker Street.
In 1851, the Monteith family built and owned the Magnolia Flouring Mills along the Calapooia River. With the mill in operation, the first boat ever to travel the upper Willamette River, the "Multnomah", arrived in Albany, thereby increasing Albany's shipping potential for the manufacturing and farming industries.
The Monteith Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 29, 1980. The time period of significance for all of Albany's historic districts was expanded in 2000 from 1849 to 1915 to 1849 to 1945 to capture resources and architectural styles constructed between 1915 and 1945 that reflect the growth and development of Albany. The Monteith District was expanded in November 2008 to add 78 properties on the southwest corner of the original boundary to include a cohesive collection of early to mid-twentieth century residential buildings. Many distinct architectural styles grace the District. Included are Federal, Craftsman, Classical Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, French Second Empire, Stick, Eastlake, Colonial Revival, Rural Vernacular, Transitional Box, Bungalow, American Renaissance, Depression/WWII Cottages, and eclectic hybrids that combine elements of these styles.