Photo ca. 1914, George and Maude Forty with twins, Nesta and Lottie in front of their original house.

In 1921, the Oregon State Highway Department began construction of Oregon Route 9 on the Oregon Coast. The new highway was to be known as the Roosevelt Highway, in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt. At the south end of town, the original George and Maude Forty house stood dead center of the new proposed highway. The highway department offered terms to remove the house. George demanded $2500.00. In May, 1921, after several offers and counter offers, the Forty’s settled for $2125.00. By June 1921, the Forty House was torn down. Douglas McGill was hired to build their new home across the street from Battle Rock Park, using materials from the original house. McGill’s daughter, Myrtle had married George and Maude’s son, Bob Forty a few years previously. Douglas McGill, with help from his son Walter, built the elder Forty’s a fine, spacious Craftsman style home. Truly a testament to McGill’s skill as a carpenter-builder. Ownership of the house went to George and Maude’s daughter Lottie. Lottie married Crawford Smith. The house later passed to Lottie and Crawford’s son Orris Smith. Orris was a well known Port Orford commercial fishermen. In contemporary times, the house became known as the Orris Smith House. Douglas McGill built several homes in Port Orford. Besides the Orris Smith House, he built, with the help of Bob, the Forty House on the corner of Oregon and 8th Street. Bob worked for David Crowley, a logger-lumber man. Bob traded labor for lumber to build the house. Other houses built by McGill were, the Schofield/Guerin House, corner of 7th and Washington Street, the Leutwyler/Gus Wallace House (Clyde gore’s place) on 8th Street and the Johnston/Nick Marsh House (Camp Blanco RV).

George and Maude Forty/Orris Smith House today.

Visit the Port Orford Historic Buildings and Sites Database for more information on the George and Maude Forty – Orris Smith House.