Thursday, February 23, 2012
The Johnson-Wilkins House
Directly across 5th Avenue from the Geary house, at 482 Lawrence Street, stood the Dr. J.W. Johnson house. Dr Johnson was the first President of the University of Oregon and had the house constructed in 1883. It was said the Dr. Johnson examined every board and timber that went into the building to insure a sound structure. The house had 13 foot ceilings downstairs which comprised two parlors, a dining room, kitchen,pantry and Library. Upstairs were four bedrooms and a large bath. In 1906 the house was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Amos Wilkins. Mr. Wilkins was the son of early Lane County Pioneers and brother of Eugene Mayor, F.M. Wilkins. Mrs. Wilkins always claimed her husband bought the property because of the fine barn that stood behind the house, which included stalls for several horses, carriage storage and electric lights! Mrs. Wilkins stayed in the house until she was nearly 100 years old. Soon after her passing in the early 1960's the house was dismantled and replaced with an auto repair shop which still occupies the site. The only thing that remains from this fine old Italianate home is one of the large old shade trees on the Lawrence Street side of the property.