He was known in Oregon City as the "Doctor" - a trained physician who once presided over British fur trade interests in a vast area stretching from California to Alaska. John McLoughlin, former Chief Factor at Fort Vancouver in the Oregon Country from 1825-1845, possessed both business acumen and compassion. He made money for the Hudson's Bay Company, but also assisted exhausted, starving American emigrants arriving into the region via the Oregon Trail. All his actions were set against the international stage of American and British politics and determination of national boundaries. Forced into retirement, he and his family settled into this home by the Willamette Falls in Oregon City in 1846.
McLoughlin built himself a new career promoting the economic prosperity of the Oregon Territory. He became an American citizen in 1851, and served as the mayor of Oregon City. He and his wife Marguerite were known for their hospitality and generous support of those in the community. McLoughlin loaned money to emigrants to help them establish commercial ventures and he owned sawmills, a gristmill, a granary, a general store, and a shipping concern. He also donated land for schools and churches.
McLoughlin's home, saved from demolition by the McLoughlin Memorial Association and moved to its present location in 1909, was added to the National Park System in 2003 as a unit of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. The house is restored to honor the life and accomplishments of John McLoughlin, the "Father of Oregon." The graves of McLoughlin and his wife Marguerite are next to the house, as is the home of Dr. Forbes Barclay, a Hudson's Bay Company associate, and his wife Maria.