Pehr Johan Lindberg was a Swedish immigrant who relocated to Port Orford in the mid-1880s, bringing with him a wealth of building experience from thirty years of practicing the trades of carpentry, plumbing, bridge-building and more in San Francisco. He was the only documented building contractor during the mid-1880s to mid-1910s, which has led to his distinction of erecting many of the early buildings in Port Orford. Although Lindberg had no formal architecture training (he apprenticed to become an architect in 1870), he was responsible for many buildings in the community.
His extant buildings include the Masterson House at Jackson and 6th (also called the Painted Lady), the Charles Long House on Eighth and Jefferson, Leon White’s home on Fifth and Washington (in collaboration with Eugene White), the Nielsen/Bernal Forty House on Oregon Street, the McMullen House on 19th Street, the Patrick and Jane Hughes House built in 1898, the James Hughes House across the Sixes River from the Hughes House (also known as the Percy Sweet House) as well as the second lighthousekeeper dwelling built for James Hughes on the Cape Blanco Lighthouse grounds. Few people realize that Pehr built one of the early bridges over the Sixes River and helped to repair and rebuild an early storm-damaged dock in Port Orford. He also built the Lindberg Garage near his residence, The Masterson Store near the Masterson House, The Episcopal Christ Church on 5th and Washington, and the Mary Star of the Sea Chapel near the Hughes House. These buildings no longer stand.
Lindberg’s most famous home construction was the aforementioned Patrick Hughes House out at Cape Blanco north of Port Orford and now a part of the Oregon State Parks system. However, Pehr probably invested the most time into his personal residence known as The Lindberg House on 906 N. Washington Street. Construction took four years due to his presence being needed on other building sites in the area. It also was one of the most unique and ornate of his creations. Of particular note was the distinctive shinglework: “The artistry in his shingle work is outstanding, incorporating at least three different shapes into his patterns.” — (Restore Oregon)
The Building of The Lindberg House
His entire house is covered with unpainted shingles attached in various cut shapes, including both fish scale and diamond patterns. While the tower qualifies the house to be called Queen Anne, the projected decorative trusses in the gables suggest a secondary Stick Style designation. The polygonal tower is distinctive for its pronounced flair at the bottom, but this flair is not a “bell-cast curve” as it has sometimes been described. The tip of the tower always seems to have been flat, as old photographs indicate. While Queen Anne residences were typically painted in various contrasting colors, the Lindberg House has never been painted, allowing the shingles to age from their original golden raw wood color to a silver sheen fostered by exposure to sun and salt air. Though it has not been confirmed with microscopic analysis, it is believed that the Lindberg house is covered completely with Port Orford cedar.Leland M. Roth, Society of Architectural Historians
The Lindberg House Through The Years
According to Leland Roth: “Many of his Port Orford houses have fallen victim to fire over the years, and this residence is one of his few designs to survive.” Sadly, on December 26 2021, The Lindberg House caught fire. The following drone footage by Greg Tidey shows the extent of the damage of this Oregon Treasure.
Other Buildings by P.J. Lindberg
THIS PAGE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. We will be adding details about all of the homes and buildings (extant and otherwise when possible) that P.J. Lindberg built in Port Orford and the surrounding area. If you have any photos or details you would like to share, please send them to the Port Orford Historical Photos Project. Thank you!