Photographs and History of early Eugene Oregon structures and locations.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Shelton-McMurphy-Johnson House, circa 1895
In a previous post I mentioned the old University of Oregon Observatory that once stood on top of Skinners Butte. This photo of the Shelton-McMurphy-Johnson house from about 1895 shows the observatory perched on the east side of the hill top. Western Oregon with so many cloudy nights was not a good place for an astronomy class so after only a few years, use by the University was discontinued. It was soon thought of as a liability and was finally dynamited early one Sunday morning in 1905. I should note that the staircase seen in this photo leading from the front of the house down to the lower terrace is currently being restored by the City of Eugene. Unlike the original staircase which was off set to the west the new stairs will lead straight down from the original front steps to the porch and extend all the way to the street. Hopefully they will accommodate the remaining grade for the old carriage drive that once passed along the front of the property.