Counties with the oldest homes in Oregon

Written by:
September 12, 2021
Tedder // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the oldest homes in Oregon

There's an undeniable charm that comes with pre-World War II American architecture, characterized by high ceilings, crown molding, hardwood floors, and ornate details. In fact, 12.8% of all housing units in America were built in 1939 or before, showing the popularity of the preservation of these units. Owning a piece of history can sometimes come with a cost: Many old homes come with asbestos, lead piping, knob-and-tube wiring, and other outdated building styles that can rack up a hefty price tag to modernize. However, with more and more modernized pre-war homes on the market, generally located just outside bustling downtown metros, investing in property that has withstood the test of time is an attractive prospect.

Stacker compiled a list of the counties in Oregon with the oldest homes using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by median year the structure was built, with ties broken by the most homes before 1939.

The country’s domestic architecture is perhaps best characterized by a rugged individualism as opposed to the hybridization of disparate architectural elements. As Maya Angelou once perceptively observed, "the ache for home lives in all of us," a phrase that has meant very different things to different people.

Modest or palatial, there is no shortage of noteworthy homes in the U.S. Log cabins constructed by industrious pioneers have dotted the landscape alongside traditional Native American dwellings ever since immigrant Swedes introduced them to the New World in 1638. The unprecedented personal fortunes amassed by the so-called "Robber Barons" at the close of the 19th century gave way to the construction of a staggering number of Gilded Age estates.

The ravages of time spared neither the sumptuous nor the humble. Stately mansions, often prohibitively costly to maintain in the modern era, were frequently neglected; simple structures were forgotten, discarded by their owners, and damaged by natural elements. However, the tireless efforts of architectural preservationists and local historical societies have saved many of these homes from demolition, leading to their inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and thereby safeguarding them for future generations.

Keep reading to learn more about which counties in Oregon have the oldest homes.

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Manuela Durson // Shutterstock

#30. Curry County

- Median year homes built: 1983
--- #2,366 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.5%
--- #2,562 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 12,948
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Mrgadget51 // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Clackamas County

- Median year homes built: 1982
--- #2,211 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.2%
--- #2,068 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 167,104
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Little Mountain 5 // Wikicommons

#28. Jackson County

- Median year homes built: 1982
--- #2,204 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.5%
--- #2,016 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 95,431
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Joseph Novak // Wikicommons

#27. Josephine County

- Median year homes built: 1980
--- #1,990 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.9%
--- #2,311 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 39,103
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USFWS Headquarters' photostream // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Tillamook County

- Median year homes built: 1980
--- #1,915 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.7%
--- #1,427 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 19,000
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EncMstr // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Lincoln County

- Median year homes built: 1979
--- #1,809 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.9%
--- #1,819 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 31,525
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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Morrow County

- Median year homes built: 1979
--- #1,762 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.0%
--- #1,202 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 4,633
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cpaulfell // Shutterstock

#23. Benton County

- Median year homes built: 1978
--- #1,692 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.1%
--- #1,920 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 38,399
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Edmund Garman // Flickr

#22. Marion County

- Median year homes built: 1978
--- #1,691 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.2%
--- #1,913 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 126,210
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Cacophony // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Columbia County

- Median year homes built: 1977
--- #1,523 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.2%
--- #1,058 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 21,315
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Sam Beebe // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Hood River County

- Median year homes built: 1977
--- #1,521 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.5%
--- #1,032 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 9,914
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Lauram12345 // Wikicommons

#19. Lane County

- Median year homes built: 1976
--- #1,472 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.0%
--- #2,102 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 162,611
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English: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Douglas County

- Median year homes built: 1976
--- #1,467 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.7%
--- #1,967 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 50,332
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Jmabel // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Linn County

- Median year homes built: 1976
--- #1,446 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.5%
--- #1,635 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 50,416
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Bobjgalindo // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Klamath County

- Median year homes built: 1976
--- #1,418 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.3%
--- #1,383 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 33,555
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Gancayco // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Umatilla County

- Median year homes built: 1974
--- #1,213 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.5%
--- #1,446 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 30,499
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Tomas Nevesely // Shutterstock

#14. Wheeler County

- Median year homes built: 1974
--- #1,151 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.3%
--- #739 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 970
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Ken L. from Reno, Nevada, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Malheur County

- Median year homes built: 1973
--- #1,120 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.4%
--- #1,544 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 11,888
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Ken L. // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Lake County

- Median year homes built: 1973
--- #1,112 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.4%
--- #1,375 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 4,507
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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Grant County

- Median year homes built: 1973
--- #1,091 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.4%
--- #1,179 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 4,407
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English: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Clatsop County

- Median year homes built: 1973
--- #1,059 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 22.7%
--- #765 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 22,447
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Williamborg // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Union County

- Median year homes built: 1973
--- #1,051 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 24.3%
--- #676 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 11,829
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Debbie Tegtmeier // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Coos County

- Median year homes built: 1972
--- #1,011 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.5%
--- #1,445 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 31,124
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Cacophony // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Wasco County

- Median year homes built: 1971
--- #923 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.7%
--- #1,010 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 11,678
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Sam Beebe // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Wallowa County

- Median year homes built: 1971
--- #914 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.1%
--- #863 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 4,215
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Ken L. // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Harney County

- Median year homes built: 1971
--- #897 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.8%
--- #704 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 3,888
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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Baker County

- Median year homes built: 1971
--- #885 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 26.8%
--- #549 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 9,027
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Stuart Seeger // Wikicommons

#3. Multnomah County

- Median year homes built: 1968
--- #710 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 24.2%
--- #682 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 348,029
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Tedder // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Gilliam County

- Median year homes built: 1956
--- #190 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 33.0%
--- #273 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 1,130
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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Sherman County

- Median year homes built: 1954
--- #117 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 40.8%
--- #74 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 918

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