After a reportedly disastrous voyage into the Arctic in search of a "northwest passage" and other exploits of his young adulthood, Dr. Forbes Barclay came from Scotland to Fort Vancouver as a Hudson's Bay Company physician in 1840.
He and his wife Maria Pambrun Barclay and seven children lived in Oregon City where they were prominent in community affairs. Dr. Barclay served variously as mayor of Oregon City, schools superintendent and first coroner in Oregon, as well as a physician.
Their home, built in 1849, remained in the Barclay family until the 1930's, when it was moved up the hill from the waterfront to its present location adjacent to the McLoughlin House. The former apothecary is now an office; the formal parlor, now a gift shop; dining room and everyday parlor, now a meeting room. These three rooms are now open to the public and serve as adjunct facilities to the John McLoughlin House Natl Historic Site.