Waverley Country Club: Morris H. Whitehouse Residence Queen Anne-style cottage design

US $2,550,000
9908 SE Cambridge Ln
Milwaukie, Oregon, United States
Status: Active

Step back in time to a home with an elegant sense of character derived from a century of tradition where timeless charm and a commitment to the integrity of its original Morris H. Whitehouse Queen Anne-style cottage design meet modern comforts. Nestled in the prestigious enclave of Waverley Heights near the private Waverley Country Club, this 2.5-acre property exudes the promises of a bygone era, an exquisitely reimagined home surrounded by private, parklike grounds filled with towering trees and fragrant florals. 

When it was originally built in 1912, Whitehouse and his partner J. André Fouilhoux were also at work designing the new Waverley clubhouse. Both structures, still being enjoyed and cherished today, are a testament to their elegant but understated designs. Over the past 21 years, under the stewardship of the current owners, the home has been masterfully returned to its original splendor with thoughtful enhancements that make this 114-year-old home a uniquely special destination.

The History

When Walter J. Burns arrived in Portland in 1877, his mission was to establish offices for Balfour, Guthrie & Co, a British import-export company. He was intent on becoming part of Portland’s social circles and is said to have asked a prominent Portlander what he needed to do to succeed. The advice he received was to “marry a Couch,” and he proceeded to do just that. 

He married Mary Caroline Wilson Couch, daughter of Captain John H. Couch and Caroline Flanders Couch. Captain Couch is known in the annals of Oregon history for navigating up the Columbia and Willamette Rivers to establish Couch’s Addition and eventually becoming the Treasurer of the Provisional Government of Oregon in 1846. In laying out the streets in his land claim, he named the east-west streets alphabetically – A Street, B Street, etc. Later, C Street became today’s Couch Street in his honor, and F Street became Flanders Street in honor of his business partner and brother-in-law, Captain George Flanders, another pioneering Portland founder. Mr. Burns followed advice and married into Portland history. 

Mr. Burns, a Scot, was a golfer and wanted to build a home close to the popular Waverley Country Club course along the Willamette River. He and his wife purchased Block 3 of Waverley Heights in 1911 and set about building a country house that could be reached by the Ardgour Line, an early interurban streetcar line with four stops along the Country Club property. They would call their home The Latch and hired Morris Whitehouse, later known for the design of the Gus Solomon United States Courthouse and the University Club in Portland, to design it. Mr. Burns also hired Whitehouse to design The Balfour-Guthrie Building, which still stands on Oak Street in downtown Portland at the same time.

The Design

Whitehouse designed The Latch based on Mr. Burns’ description of a cottage from his childhood in Brechin, Scotland. The home, a Queen Anne-style cottage, was unusual for the time because it was built on a concrete slab, but its most eye-catching feature was its roof. Constructed with shingles carefully rounded at the eave to imitate thatching, The Latch looked (and looks) straight out of the Scottish countryside. 

The simulated thatch forms a jerkinhead roof, a mix of gable and hipped roofs with a truncated gable that slopes downward with a clipped overhang. This style, originating in the Middle Ages, is an eye-catching feature coupled with the hard stucco and the rounded “eyebrow raise” dormer on the upper level, giving this home its casually refined appeal. 

Renovations in 2004 and 2005 seamlessly integrated a freestanding cottage with the main house, partially restored the sun porch, which was removed in a remodel in the 1960s, and expanded the kitchen. The result is a welcoming residence that is a testament to timeless design and an era of grandeur and grace.

The Grounds

This 2.5-acre property is part of the original 15 lots platted in 1902, and its heritage is immediately evident in its parklike grounds. Surrounded by tall trees, the property is a wonderfully private haven ideally suited for grand adventures, afternoon tea, quiet relaxation, and playing sports. The land is potentially subdividable, having started the project application process, though the plan was not completed. Additionally, the exceptional lot includes the opportunity for an ADU set amidst the verdant plantings.

Fourteen garden beds bordered by pea gravel pathways contain a myriad of flowers, including peonies, dahlias, tulips, and roses, surrounded by lush greenery. Primrose, hellebore, and rhododendrons add color and texture to the country garden surroundings. The pathways are lit with low-voltage lighting, and the irrigation system features 13 zones controlled via an app. The nearby greenhouse was originally used for orchids, but now, with the outdated heating and cooling systems removed, it is the perfect place for plant starts. A toolshed stands nearby, housing the Honda emergency generator.

A vegetable garden, abundant raspberry bushes, rhubarb, and a mini orchard containing Asian pear trees and espalier apple trees dot the landscape leading to the Old Garage. Now a finished workshop or studio with an epoxy floor and electricity, the structure is rumored to have once been the original Waverley fire station. The nearby magnolia tree is magnificent, and the specimen Witch Hazel tree has fragrant, yellow flowers that bloom in the winter after the leaves have fallen. Woodland paths meander through the property’s border, creating the perfect place for exploring and enjoying the beauty of this remarkable place. 

The Home

The front door and much of the home’s front facade are made up of large windows with traditional grid window grilles flooding the living space with natural light and casting a welcoming glow in the evening. Step inside to the living room, where warm maple hardwoods span the space designed to feel reminiscent of the original vision. The homeowners divided what was one large space and added two sets of interior French doors leading into the restored sun room from the original Whitehouse design. The living room features a woodburning fireplace with a classic marble surround and crowned with a grand, traditional mantle. Large windows flank the fireplace, adding to the open, outdoors-in aesthetic. The restored sun room is a welcoming den with a wide window seat overlooking the sideyard. The floors here were cleverly sourced from an old basketball court to match the original design. French doors open to the curved flagstone patio, perfect for sun-dappled afternoons and evenings under the stars. At the opposite end of the living room sits the dining room, perfectly suited for special occasions, with large windows framing the lush grounds.

The kitchen features eye-catching Italian-designed Boffi cabinetry imported from France and granite countertops. Inspired by time spent living in Europe, the homeowners incorporated the sleek, custom designs into their kitchen remodel. A bank of iconic red lower cabinets is integrated into the cherry cabinetry that spans most of the kitchen, providing a pop of color to the beautifully designed space. Matching Boffi hardware is used throughout. Top-of-the-line appliances include GE double wall ovens, a Dacor microwave, a Miele dishwasher, a SubZero refrigerator, and a Wolf five-burner cooktop in the stainless steel-topped island. The adjacent breakfast room is spacious and features a cozy gas fireplace with a classic brick surround and a crisp, white mantle. French doors lead out to the flagstone patio for easy outdoor dining and entertaining access. 

The hallway connecting the kitchen to the primary suite was part of the 2004 remodel. Featuring another bank of iconic red Boffi cabinetry and access to the laundry room, the passage is a seamless connector both inside and out. The homeowners worked with Judith Lindstrom Designs on the design of the luxurious primary suite, which now encompasses what was originally a freestanding cottage, creating exceptional main-floor living. The spacious bedroom features a vaulted ceiling, an inviting seating area, and French doors leading out to the patio. The ensuite bath features classic wainscoting, pedestal sinks, an inviting soaking tub, and a walk-in shower. The large walk-in closet includes customized storage features, including drawers and shoe storage, and a convenient entrance to the garage where built-in wine storage is located. The two-car garage has an epoxy floor and an electric car charger. 

The main house has three spacious bedrooms upstairs, one featuring an ensuite bath with a frameless glass shower. The bonus room is oversized, with space for desks and a seating area. The home features radiant heat with original radiators located throughout the main floor. Two heat pumps supplement the home. 

The Neighborhood

The Waverley Heights area was first settled in 1847, eventually becoming the homestead of Oregon Trail migrants who wanted to establish a fruit orchard. But by the end of the century, the orchards fell on hard times, and part of the land was cleared for farming. At the same time, prosperous Scottish businessmen in Portland wanted to find a place to practice their most popular pastime, golf. The Waverly Association was formed to create a golf course, Waverley Heights, the neighborhood, was born and soon after that, this home was built. 

The nearby, private Waverley Country Club was among the first golf clubs in the west with a course designed by Chandler Egan and restored by Gil Hanse. It is known for its incredible location on the Willamette River and its casually refined atmosphere centered around golf, but it also includes tennis, bocce, aquatics, and impressive culinary and wine programs. 

Among Waverley Height’s oldest, this home is designated as contributing on the Historic Resources Property List compiled by the city of Milwaukie. This recognition of its enduring relevance to the beginnings of Portland is well deserved. Its most recent owners, curators of its storied past, endeavored to reinforce its historical significance through restoration and ensured its future by modernizing it to fit today’s lifestyle. 

Its location is close to downtown Milwaukie, where the Farmers Market and historic Main Street are thriving. It is about 15 minutes from downtown Portland and about 25 minutes from PDX.

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Listing Agent


Terry Sprague

LIC.# 200509281

This unique 4 Bedroom home with 3 Bathrooms is a prime example of the luxury real estate available in Milwaukie, Oregon. You can visit our Oregon search pages for more luxury real estate choices in Milwaukie.