The prominent two-and-a-half story residence was built by Magnus Ek, and is recognized as a local example of the Queen Anne style. A Swedish immigrant, Ek began his career as a carpenter, cabinet maker, and millwright when he was 15, and immigrated to the United States in 1882 to pursue his ambitions. In 1885 Ek traveled to the West Coast, setting up a steam-powered sawmill near Silverton, Oregon during a period of economic prosperity in town spurred by the booming timber industry. He married his business partner’s daughter, Emma Johnson, in 1890, and that same year the couple constructed their home. Prominently located on a road leading into town, the home was a showpiece of Ek’s professional skills and the products available at his near-by mill. Characteristic of the Queen Ann style, the building features varied siding, including fish-scale shingle, wood board, and vertical and horizontal bands; two-story bay window; decorative spindle work; grand wrap-around porch (added l
ater), and a richly decorated interior. Recognizing the quality of the Ek House, it was one of three houses featured in the 1890 “Home Seekers’ Guide,” a publication intended to draw potential residents and businesses to Silverton. In 1901 the Ek family moved to Corvallis to pursue other business interests.
Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation recommended the building’s nomination in October 2012. Ten individual properties and the Silverton Downtown Historic District are now listed in the National Register, which is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
More information about the National Register and recent Oregon listings is online at www.oregonheritage.org (click on “National Register” at left of page).