Jacob Kamm Residence, 1946

The Jacob Kamm residence located at SW 14th Avenue and SW Main Street, 1946. The description on the back of the image states, “’Adventure House’ is the new name that has been given to the pioneer Jacob Kamm residence on SW 14th avenue and Main street, and it seems an excellent name for its new role as a community recreation center. The house and its gardens have been lent to the park bureau temporarily for a play center by the school board, which has acquired the big tract of land as site for a new Lincoln High School. It is not expected the building project will get under way for several years.”


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2001-045.988.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

13 thoughts on “Jacob Kamm Residence, 1946

  1. Be sure to look through the “Related” posts for this. There are particularly fine comments in the “Jacob Kamm” linked set, and more photos (including of the house being moved).

  2. Oregonian stories related to the move of the 160 ton Kamm house from the site of the future Lincoln high school to the new location began in early October 1950, but wet fall and winter rains delayed the digging for the foundation, and telephone lines could not be moved because of a telephone strike, which delayed the move until mid January 1951.

  3. Housed the offices of William (Bill) Hawkins, architect and author of the book about cast-iron architecture in Portland. I believe he was involved in the restoration of the house in the early 1980s.

  4. Jacob Kamm was an interesting fellow…immigrated from Switzerland in 1831 when he was 8. He was a certified chief steamboat engineer at age 25. In 1849 he came west piloting the steamboat Blackhawk on the Sacramento River. In 1950 he came to Oregon to pilot the ship Lot Whitcomb on the Willamette River. In 1854 he went on to build the Jenny Clark, a sternwheeler on the Willamette. Kamm owned half of the Jenny Clark, Ainsworth owned a quarter, and Abernathy and Clark shared the remaining quarter. Then in 1858, they built the Carrie Ladd steamer, called the “keystone of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company”.
    Kamm was a Mason, being inducted at age 21 in St. Louis. In Portland, he was affiliated with the Multnomah Lodge in Oregon City, then the Willamette Lodge in Portland. He was also a Knights Templar and a Shriner.
    In December 1907, Kamm was “run down by a reckless bicycle rider” in Portland and essentially became an invalid for the remainder of his life. On December 1, 1912, Kamm became ill and by December 13, The Oregonian reported he “may only live a few hours”, stating his condition was “sinking rapidly”. The following day, he entered a coma and died. He is buried at the River View Cemetery in Portland, OR

  5. Oregonian December 20, 1907 page 11
    Accident To Jacob Kamm
    Jacob Kamm, a capitalist and pioneer resident of the city was knocked down and badly injured yesterday afternoon by a boy riding a bicycle at the corner of 6th and Salmon streets. Mr, Kamm was thrown to the ground with such force that he was rendered unconscious. He was picked up and carried into the corner grocery store, where he was restored to consciousness and was then conveyed to his residence in a carriage. Mr. Kamm is advanced in years and besides his physical injuries suffered a severe shock. Last night it was learned that he was in no danger but that in all probability would be confined to his home for a number of days. He suffered severe bruises about his body but no bones were broken. The accident occurred shortly before noon while Mr. Kamm was on his way to his office. Who the boy was has not been ascertained.

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