Major Willard D. Wheeler arrived in Ouray in 1876 as the agent for the Uncompahgre Indian Agency. Meanwhile his brother, Lieutenant George M. Wheeler, supervised the famed Wheeler Geographic Survey, which first thoroughly explored, mapped, and reported on much of the American West. Willard founded the Bank of Ouray and presided over the Ouray Water Works. Over the years his hewn log home evolved into a charming cottage with a shingled second story.
Other Oak Street homes between the 3rd Avenue and 7th Avenue bridges range from a pioneer pre-fabricated house (1889) at 322 Oak to 1960s A frames, from cute Swiss ersatz to a 1980s log house. Representative homes include the Larsen House (c. 1901), 306 Oak, originally the home of a Swedish miner, and the Kimball House (1900), 516 Oak, a countrified four-square with a unique lookout that uses the old opera house fire escape as stairs mounting a side yard boulder.