If you know the history of Lake Oswego then you are likely surprised that this little town is one of the most affluent places in Oregon. This is where all the politicians, NBA players and local celebrities live in this state. Nothing says you have “status” in the city of Portland like having a home or condo in “Lake O.”
What is interesting is how this city go started. The city of Lake Oswego has a very humble beginning. It started off as nothing more than a rag tag town centered around iron ore mining with a small railroad going through it. It was started in 1847 and around its iron industry’s height it employed approximately 300 people in the area.
Now, I could be wrong, but I have never seen an iron or steel worker retire a wealthy man.
Its ironic because the iron industry never stood a chance in this area. That is just not an industry that could survive long term in this state compared to the powerhouse smokestacks on the East Coast. There was not enough manpower, infrastructure, demand or materials like there was in places like Buffalo or Pittsburgh. Sure, it worked for a while, but the owners of the major employer in Lake Oswego, the Oregon Iron and Steel Company, quickly found out that there was more money in land development than producing pig iron.
So in the 1930s they set out to change the whole image on Lake O. Their vision was to turn this blue collar town into a recreational community where you could “live where you play.” And, that is exactly what they did.
If you look at the topography of Lake Oswego it is in an ideal place for any resident living in the Portland metropolitan area. It is smack in the middle of highways I-205 and I-5 giving local residents two major corridors to get to work. The city wraps around a large freshwater lake that allows major water recreational activities like nowhere else in the area. Lake Oswego is also a very lush area, as far as trees go, providing homeowners with beautiful green surrounding to enjoy. I might also add that the whole area sits on rolling hills that just break up the scenery enough for fantastic hillside views.
Combine its ideal location with its picturesque surroundings and you have a recipe for a very desirable community that everyone wants to live in. Its no wonder why the population has doubled over the last fifteen years and home/ condo prices have soared. Even in the middle of the current housing recession a decent condo will cost you half a million dollars in Lake Oswego.
While these prices may seem steep to many, everyone who lives here just understands that it is cost of living in the absolute best area of town.