The Woodstock neighborhood is one of Portland’s oldest, first platted in 1889. Many of its oldest houses, some constructed as early as the 1880s, are located in the northern part of the neighborhood.
The northeast corner and southern panhandle contain mostly houses built following World War II. Urban infill is spread throughout the neighborhood but is concentrated in its eastern section. The land now occupied by Woodstock was wilderness until the 1850s. In 1848, Clinton Kelly and his extended family arrived from Kentucky. Kelly, a Methodist minister, and his brothers migrated their families to the Oregon Territory, fleeing the Civil War and taking advantage of offers for free land. The Kelly family sought land suitable for farming.
In December 1852, at the age of 21, Archon Kelly (Clinton and Mary’s third son) received 320 acres (1.3 km2) of wilderness on a plateau overlooking the underdeveloped area of land that now encompasses the Eastmoreland neighborhood and Reed College. Using current markers, Archon’s land was bounded on the north by Southeast Raymond, on the east by Southeast 52nd Avenue, on the south by Duke Street, and on the west by Southeast 42nd Avenue. Archon lived on the farm until he sold it to Clinton for $2,500 in January 1863. Ownership changed several more times and in 1889 the land was platted for residential development.
A group of five men, including trustee James Havely, purchased 194.5 acres (0.787 km2) of the land for $48,000. They named the subdivision Woodstock after Walter Scott’s 1826 novel of the same name (naming residential subdivisions after romantic novels became “en vogue” as family names were used and became more scarce over time; Woodstock is one of several subdivisions in southeast Portland named after Scott’s writings). In 1893, Havely built one of Woodstock’s first houses, a Queen Anne style residence on Southeast 40th Avenue now designated as a historic landmark. Havely is also credited for arranging to supply the neighborhood with electricity and water.
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