Dr. McLean and Family
Dr. Edward Huntington McLean was born in 1886 in Klamath Falls, Oregon, the son of a Presbyterian missionary. The family moved to Grants Pass in 1887 and to Portland in 1899. In 1902, the family moved to Puerto Rico where the Reverend McLean helped construct the Presbyterian Hospital in San Juan.
Edward McLean graduated from high school in San Juan in 1904 and was accepted to Princeton University in New Jersey. After graduation from college with honors in 1908, McLean entered Columbia University of Physicians and Surgeons, where he graduated in 1912.
After positions at St. Lukes Hospital in New York City, Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and marriage to Anne Mathida Cooper in 1915, Dr. McLean set up private practice in Oregon City. The McLean’s built the McLean House in West Linn in 1927. The property covers a portion of the Donation Land Claim of Hugh Burns. Dr. and Anne McLean raised 5 children in the house.
Dr. McLean helped to establish the Physicians Association of Clackamas County (PACC) during the 1930’s. PACC was a prepaid medical insurance plan for employees of the pulp and lumber mills in West Linn and Oregon City. PACC was the first of its kind in the nation and became a nationwide standard for the insurance industry.
Dr. McLean offered to sell the McLean House to the City of West Linn after the I-205 Bridge was completed in 1969. Dr. McLean died in 1972.
The City of West Linn purchased the McLean House for $27,000, using Federal Lands Water Conservation Funds (50%), Willamette River Greenway Funds (25%) and a donation by the McLean Family to the City for its 25% match. In the late 1970’s, the City had developed plans that included a two-lane boat ramp, small restaurant/concession building, tennis courts, parking and picnic areas. Neighborhood opposition to the City’s plan led to the City Council appointing the McLean Park Task Force in 1979 to develop an alternative plan for the property.
The Task Force felt it was important to restore the house and use it for historical purposes because West Linn made an important contribution to the early development of Oregon. The West Linn City Council approved the Task Force’s proposal and appropriated funds for the development of the park in 1980. The Task Force became the Friends of the McLean House and Park and continues to run the house today. The house is rented for community events, meetings, educational classes, art shows, weddings, receptions, family parties and other community uses.
The Friends of McLean House and Park
Twenty-five years ago, the historic McLean House in West Linn was a neglected site of peeling paint, broken widows and blackberry vines fifteen feet high. Today the McLean property is a beautiful 2.4 acre city park and a community center used for meetings, events, educational classes, art shows, weddings, receptions, family parties and other community events. This is all the result of a dedicated group of volunteers known as the Friends of the McLean House and Park, which is celebrating it’s 25th year of existence this year.
The West Linn City Council appointed the McLean Park Task Force in 1979 to develop a plan for the property. The City had purchased the property from the McLean Family in 1969. For ten years, the City rented out the house while deciding what to do with the property. In this time, the property had become overgrown with blackberries and the neglected house was in need of a lot of work.
The City Council approved the Task Force’s proposed plan and appropriated funds for the development of the park in 1980. The Task Force became the Friends of the McLean House and Park and they went to work fixing up the house and restoring the once beautiful grounds. Thousands of volunteer hours were needed for painting, wall papering, electrical and plumbing work, window replacement floor restoration, blackberry removal, lawn planting and many other needs.
The Friends received help from the Lions Club, Lions Auxiliary, the Seniors Citizens Group, Home Extension, Girl Scouts, area garden clubs, Clackamas County Corrections and the Community College Senior Job Center. Many businesses also donated materials and expertise.
Early members of the Friends include Alice Benski, Judy Nelson, Zell Adams, Betsy Crist, June and Ted McLean, George and Irene Warner, Bruce and Bonnie Willson, Jerry Herrmann, Bill Little, Ed and Judy Zuck, Mike Cullum and Elaine Yandle.