Portland’s layers of street re-naming and re-numbering can some times cause a house to get lost. The Flanders Street home was found thanks to Local History Detective Slabtown team member Mike Ryerson.
When Civil War army veteran Captain Joseph A. Sladen retired from the military in the early 1890s, he built a beautiful home for his large family on Flanders Street. This structure is one of the last remaining 1890s mansions in the boundaries of the Alphabet Historic District.
After Sladen died in 1911, his family eventually moved to various locations, many of his descendants live in the east coast region of the country. When his descendants attempted to find the historic old house based on the address obtained on multiple sources including: historic letters, Polk directories and federal census enumerations, they determined that their assessorial home had been demolished. After being lost for 75 years, we’ve informed them we found it right where he’d left it.
We are always digging deep into the neighborhood history to enrich our walking tours:
In 2013 after this fun fact came out became fascinated with the remodeling being done on the Captain Joseph A. Sladen Home at NW 22nd Flanders. Mike Ryerson contacted the owners to learn more about their restoration project and what the current owner did or did not know about the history of the house. Co-owner Robert Wagner, a partner in the law firm of Miller & Wagner who occupies the building, told us the house was originally the home of Captain Sladen who had served in the Civil War. He went on to tell us that a book had been written called “Making Peace with Cochise” which was compiled from entries in Sladen’s journal during his military days. (More on the book later.) We didn’t recall ever having seen any old photos of the house, so we set out to find one. After searching historic Oregonian newspapers for facts on Captain Sladen, we posted a message on Ancestry.com asking Sladen family members if they had any photographs of the building. Within a few days, we received several replies informing us that the house had been torn down years ago. Over the course of many years, Sladen’s decentness had researched “722 Flanders Street” to see if they could find the old family house, only to conclude that the address no longer existed. We were happy to inform them that Portland addresses were changed in the 1930s and their old family home was safe and sound at 2210 NW Flanders Street. They now have current photos, and they have shared with us and the current owners many splendid images of the old Sladen house and the Sladen family.