Osen House

The Osen family became involved in the automobile trade at an early point. Based in Northern California, the Osen-McFarland Auto Company opened a branch in Reno in 1915, opening a sales room and service station on Commercial Row. In 1921, George A. Osen, the son of company co-founder George H. Osen, took over management of the local interests.

The younger Osen had married his wife, Alice, in San Jose in 1920, and they initially lived in a house on Sierra Street. By 1921 they were living in this bungalow at 587 Ridge Street, and a few years later, the Osen Motor Sales Company constructed a beautiful new showroom designed by Frederic DeLongchamps at 600 South Virginia Street (see separate entry). In 1929, George was promoted to general manager of the company, which was headquartered in San Jose, California, where he and Alice moved.

The house was then purchased by P.H. McCullough, district manager for the Standard Oil Company. Upon his retirement in 1938, he sold it to Mr. and Mrs. Swanholm. Mr. Swanholm was an engineer for the public survey office. Around 1950 it sold again, to the James H. Colton family.

The residence is of the Craftsman Bungalow style consisting of 2,404 square feet plus a 480-square-foot basement, four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. Over time, the house fell into disrepair, and it was scheduled to be demolished when the current owners, Doug and Lisa Bennett, purchased it in 1983.

When the Bennett’s children arrived, the couple engaged an architect to create a harmonious second story that did not detract from the original integrity of the Craftsman design; they remodeled the kitchen in 2008. The interior of the residence includes the original woodwork in the living room, crown moldings, and a bay window looking out on the side garden. Carpeting during the period of disrepair preserved the original hardwood floors, and the dining room has original Craftsman paneling. This house was featured on the 2014 HRPS Harvest of Homes Tour.



587 Ridge Street, Reno, Nevada