September 2016 News

Welcome to our website about historic Garden Home. In the People and Places pages, you’ll find over a hundred stories and over a thousand photos of vintage Garden Home and residents attending our events.

Upcoming Events

1903-11-02 page 1 Morning Oregonian detail

We begin each regular meeting with a 30-minute history presentation at 6:30 pm at the Garden Home Recreation Center, 7475 SW Oleson Rd, on the second Monday of the month:

  • October 10, 2016 – Tom Shreve will discuss the 1903 Halloween night slaying of Adolph Burkhardt by Samuel Bauman on “the Garden Home road”, unusual capital murder trial proceedings, and the mystery of where the shooting happened.

New stories on website

We’ve posted a photo gallery and a collection stories collected during the August 13, 2016 Beaverton High and Garden Home School Reunion held on a lovely Saturday at the Garden Home Recreation Center. We estimated about a hundred people joined us for the event.

Our Beaverton High School Chronology story contains excerpts from an extensive chronology of Beaverton High School by Lisa Sandmire, derived from past issues of the Beaverton High newspaper, The Hummer, and other historical sources.

We have obituaries for long-time Garden Home resident Richard Hyslin (died 2016), former superindent of Garden Home school Wayne S. Thurman (died 1997), and former Beaverton High principal Bill Logan (died 2010).

Other News

We are researching the 1949 earthquake that damaged Garden Home School and the third floor of Beaverton High. What do you recall? Leave us a comment.

We have identified Century Homes in Garden Home that were built before 1916. The program is meant to honor and appreciate the older homes in our community and the role they’ve played in our history. The home owners have been notified that they may participate in this program of a small ceremony of placing a Century Home plaque beside the front door and accepting a nice pamphlet with the history of Garden Home and their home. The attractive plaque notes the age of the house and does not affect the sale or any changes in the property.

Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

Get your Historic Garden Home t-shirt now for just $14 for small to XL. Larger XXL and XXXL sizes are $17. There is an additional charge of $9 to mail your shirt. They’re fun! Available at the Garden Home Market Place or by mail from Patsy VandeVenter, 7520 SW Ashdale Ct., Portland, OR 97223. We thank Jan Fredrickson for a very generous donation to cover the cost of printing the shirts.

Historic Garden Home street sign

Historic Garden Home street sign

Historic Garden Home street signs: We currently have about 35 of the Historic Garden Home street sign toppers in our community. Each sign was purchased by a friend or family member to honor their loved one. Click here to view photos of the signs and for information about sponsoring a sign.

Our generous donors permit us to print and mail this newsletter ($140) for our non-e-mail people and for the Garden Home Recreation Center. We also replace the Historic Garden Home street signs once for signs that disappear, current cost for each sign, $60. With our latest order, we’ll have about 35 signs out in our neighborhoods. We also have website costs, printing, paper, plaques and many other costs of an organization. Donor names are listed on our History Bulletin Board at the Recreation Center. Thank you to all of our donors and to all of our volunteers for their time and skills.

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August 13, 2016 Beaverton High and Garden Home School Reunion

On August 13, 2016, about a hundred former students joined us for the Beaverton High and Garden Home School Reunion on a lovely summer day, outside, under the covered play area at the old Garden Home school, now the The Garden Home Recreation Center.  Thanks to the following alumnae for their memoirs of their school days.

The oral histories below were collected by Janice Logan and Patsy VandeVenter.

Judy Arndt Wise

I went to Garden Home School from 1st through 6th grade, Whitford from 7th through 9th grade, and Beaverton High School for sophomore, junior and senior years, graduating in 1971.  Our house was located east of the grocery store, where the Cedar Lane apartments are now.  There wasn’t a light at the intersection of Garden Home and Oleson Road, they put in the light in 1972.  My father did a massive amount of aerial photography of the area, as well as many small towns in the Willamette Valley.

My favorite teachers were Mrs. Miles in 2nd grade, Mrs. Harris in 3rd grade, and Mrs. Beamon in 6th grade.  I was a campfire girl.

I am now a guitar player with a few CD’s out.  I spend time doing handmade crafts and travel to California in the winter to sing in many church choirs.

[Editor: read more about the Arndt family here and Otto’s aerial photos here.]

Bob Koeber

Bob Koeber

Bob Koeber

I went to Beaverton High School from 1956 to 1960.  I took a business class from Mr. Boyce in high school, and I was hired by the Albertsons store on Shattuck and Beaverton Hillsdale Highway, I think due to the fact that I had taken Mr. Boyce’s business class.  I remember the Sock Hops at school, and the Pep Rallies.  Ted Wilson was the Basketball coach.  I remember taking an activity bus to the different games – Hillsboro, Jefferson and Milwaukie.  Beaverton was the only High School in the district at that time.  My uncle, George Richard Himes was in the 1st grade at Garden Home Elementary in 1916.  He lived on 74th, where the Dugout is now, and Louis Heffler lived across the street.

[Editor: read more about Mary Helen Himes Koeber, from a distinguished early pioneer family.]

Bob Day

Bob Day

Bob Day

I graduated in 1954 from Garden Home Grade School.  Our family moved here in 1943 and we lived on the other side of the Shell station in a small brown house, for which they paid $5,200.  My mother worked at Garden Home School, in the cafeteria, part time, before I started first grade, and I would come into the school with her because they didn’t have child care then.  My brother was 3 years older.  We went all the way through grade school and high school together.  In 2004 we had a reunion for the Garden Home Elementary class of 1954.  There were 30 kids in the class and 22 showed up. 28 were contacted and only one had passed away.  Beaverton High School had a class of 300 and a couple of dozen of us meet up every 3 months.  I currently live in Woodburn and am self-employed.  In 1999 the previous owner of our property built a duplex and painted it red and white.  He bought it, rented it out, redid it, and just moved out last year.

[Editor: read about Bob in our story about the veterans of Garden Home.]

Barbara Stephens Burke GHS class of 1962, BHS class of 1966

One of my favorite memories of Garden Home was that a friend and I would pick the neighbors daffodils, and set up a tent where the Dairy Queen is now and sell those daffodils.  I graduated from Garden Home Elementary in 1962.  The teachers I remember the most were Mrs. Pearson and Mrs. Malicoat.  Garden Home was so rural then and it felt strange to be thrust into the relatively huge Beaverton High School.

Kenneth Praml O’Connor GHS 1969–1975, BHS 1978–1981

I went to Garden Home Elementary from 1969 to 1975.  I loved recess…it was so much fun to throw the football.  Mr. Pierce could throw the football clear across the field which was very impressive.  I think he raised golden retrievers.  The playground was lots of fun.  There was a merry-go-round, swings, slide, and we played Tetherball and Four Square on the asphalt portion of the playground.  It was fun to run around the playground at recess.  We couldn’t go into the woods.  However when we were getting ready for Outdoor School, our teacher took the class into the woods to teach us about plants and trees.

I remember Mrs. Miller from 4th grade – she was such a good teacher.  Mrs. Sorbitz taught oceanography.

I got to be a crossing guard for the Garden Home Rd and Oleson intersection.  There weren’t stop lights then so it was a big deal to walk into the intersection and hold out the flag to stop traffic. I felt very powerful. We met in the basement to collect the flags (don’t remember if we had safety vests or not).  It was also a big deal to get out of school early to be the crossing guard.

During lunch I passed out the milk cartons.  I still remember the smell – some of the cartons leaked.  The food was good; no complaints there.

In 5th and 6th grades I took music classes, where we learned about music and composers – I liked those classes.

The first grade classrooms were at the beginning of the hallway and the higher grades were at the end of the hallway.  As younger students, we were afraid to go to the end of the hallway ‘cause we didn’t want to meet up with the older kids.  But as we moved through the grades we felt very proud to be in classrooms towards the end of the hallway.

I went to Beaverton High School from 1978 – 1981.  I played drums in the band at Beaverton High School – we marched at the football games and marched in the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade.  Mr. Schultz was the band teacher who played trombone.  I think he gave up a professional trombone career to teach high school music.

Ed Busch GHS 1950–1954, BHS 1954–1958

I graduated from Garden Home Elementary in 1954, then Beaverton High School in 1958.  My family owned the grocery store on the corner of Hall Blvd. and Oleson Road.  It was built in 1941 and sold in 1958.  I remember all the dairies and the store, and the old Post Office and Cannery in Garden Home.  I played clarinet in the high school band, and had Robertson as a band teacher.  I also played in two dance bands, the marching band, and the orchestra.  I was going to work for the government on a survey crew, but was drafted into the army.  I played in the army band for 2 years in Korea.  My career was in construction, surveying and carpentry work.  

Karen Poutala GHS class of 1954, BHS class of 1958

Karen Poutala

Karen Poutala

I graduated from Garden Home Elementary in 1954, and Beaverton High School in 1958.  In 1958 I was in Bill Logan’s economics class, in the first row in front of his desk.  I fell asleep.  Mr. Logan had everyone in the class pointing at me when I woke up.  I went to a meeting in the early ‘80’s and “Wild Bill” was there.  He came up to me and said “Karen Poutala, I remember you!”

[Editor: read more about the Poutala family and Firlock Paint here.]

Jean Flowers Stevens  GHS 1949–1957, BHS 1957–1961

Jean and Lynn Flowers

Jean and Lynn Flowers

GHS 1949 – 1957:  I grew up on 76th behind the school playground.  I was the lunch account girl and every day I got out of class to go to each classroom and get head count for hot lunches and milk.  Then I took them to Principal Wayne Thurman’s office.  Garden Home was an eight year school then.

BHS 1957 – 1961: I went to BHS and met my high school sweetheart Mike Stevens. We were married 45 years.  He passed 6 years ago (2010).

Lynn Flowers Banta  GHS 1954–1962

GHS 1954 – 1962:  We walked thru the woods from our house to school when the weather was nice.  Otherwise if the path was muddy we took the street.  We had horses which were old nags but we loved them – they were the greatest horses.  I loved Miss Proffitt, don’t remember if she was 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade teacher.  Mr Wakefield was a favorite teacher who taught 8th grade. My family moved to the Park Rose area after 8th grade.

This was the most wonderful place to grow up…we weren’t afraid of anything.  On Halloween we took a pillow slip to collect candy and walked to the Flemings House then we would call our parents to come get me and my sister and take us home.

My oldest sister Ann Flowers was married and expecting a baby.  When I was in 7th grade we were having a school dance; I remember the name of the dance–April Rain.  Our principal, Mr. Gustafson, played the records.  I saw my dad in the doorway coming to talk to Mr. Gustafson.  He stopped the record to announce that “Lynn Flowers is an Aunt and has a little niece”.  Everyone clapped and I was very popular the next day as I was the only student to have much older siblings.

Dorothy Frazer Jones   GHS 1939–1944

I went to Garden Home School through the 5th grade. We lived on Orchard Lane.  I remember running around in the fields, playing in the woods, and playing soft ball.  Our neighbors had goats below where I lived.  Neighborhood was full of fields and we travelled all over.  We didn’t have to worry about crime. My sister, Jean, graduated from GHS. I now live in Gresham.

Katy Grant Hanson  GHS 1944–1952

Katy Grant Hansen

Katy Grant Hanson

My dad, Paul Grant, graduated from GHS in the class of 1926.

GHS 1944 to 1952:  In grade school fairly often the teacher would write on my report card,  “Katy likes to look out the window too much”.  Now I’m an artist! I grew up on Hunt Club Lane and everything about living in Garden Home seemed wonderful.  I remember sitting in class with wet feet from walking to school in the rain.  I still have Garden Home friends.  My dad always loved Garden Home…we had 3 acres on Hunt Club Lane and he built a house.

Cindy Classen Durham  GHS 1964-1970, BHS class of 1976

My dad was a machinist and worked on old cars (rebuilding engines) which started out as a hobby. He owned several old cars – T-Bird,’36 Packard.  He rebuilt engines for cars that were displayed in the Concourse car show in Hillsboro. After retirement my parents toured all over with their old cars.

GHS 1964-1970:  We came out the back door and down fire escape to get to playground.  Boys would run down the stairs ahead of the girls and stand underneath to look up our dresses. But we fooled them and wore shorts under our dresses!  I remember twirling around on the bars on the playground.  The girls played house in the woods and we collected tree boughs to sweep the dirt.  Fifth grade Science classes were so fun, we got to play with microscopes and onions.

Mrs. Harris was my 3rd grade teacher the year my sister was born and I got to stand up on the table and announce her arrival.  All the girls thought Mr. Mattson was so cute.

In 6th grade, Outdoor School was a whole week.   Two days before coming home, I broke my collar bone doing the wheel barrow race.  I had to wear a brace and got special treatment– got to sleep in.  When we got home, I received lots of attention when I got off the bus.

Garden Home School went to 6th grade, then I went to Whitford and to BHS class of 1976.

Dick Harbert  GHS 1951-1959,  BHS 1960-1963

Dick and Janet Harbert

Dick and Janet Harbert

GHS 2nd thru 8th grades: I remember kissing a girl in the woods.  My step-father Frank Honey did the structural engineering on cafeteria and administrative office addition in about 1956-57.

BHS class of ‘63.

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Richard Hyslin obituary

[Editor: Richard Hyslin was a long-time Garden Home resident, growing up in Garden Home. His children, Lee, Zachary and Kirsten, also grew up in Garden Home. Richard was a noted artist in the Rio Grande area of Texas.]

Richard Hyslin

Richard Hyslin

McAllen – Richard Hyslin, aged 77, died May 9, 2016 in McAllen, Texas. Raised in Portland Oregon, Richard initially earned a BA degree in Chemistry at Oregon State University, and then pursued his true passion f

or ceramics and sculpture, earning his MA at the University of New Mexico. He accepted a teaching position in 1968 at Pan American College, now The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. During his 47 years at Pan American, he established and developed the ceramics program and facilities and later, during the UT-Pan American era, he oversaw the sculpture program and development of new facilities. Serving as Chair of the Art Department for 13 years he was critical in the overall excellence of the department. He was a recognized artist who exhibited his ceramics and sculpture nationally and internationally, including the creation of a 50 ft. Virgin of Guadalupe statue in Windsor, Ohio, and more recently a steel work accepted at Grounds for Sculpture, headquarters for the International Sculpture Center.

He was preceded in death by his parents Catherine and Thor Hyslin. He is survived by Nancy, his wife of 44 years, sons Lee Hyslin, Zachary Hyslin, daughter Kirstin Somsen, son-in-law Herman Somsen and beloved grandson Dylan Somsen.

Perhaps his most lasting and important contribution has been as a teacher. He has served as instructor, mentor and friend to generations of artists in the Rio Grande Valley. He will be missed.

A celebration of his life was held May 14, 2016 at Grace Presbyterian Church.

Those who would like to honor him may donate to Grace Presbyterian Church for the Richard Hyslin Memorial Garden. Grace Presbyterian Church, 4701 N. 29th Street, McAllen, Texas 78504 or contact rnedgarza@yahoo.com

Published in The Monitor on May 21, 2016

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Wayne S. Thurman obituary

Wayne S. Thurman, May 22, 1912 to February 16, 1997

At his request, no service will be held for Wayne S. Thurman, who died Feb. 16, 1997, at age 84.

Mr. Thurman was born May 22, 1912 in Elmira.  He graduated from Monmouth College and the University of Oregon.  He married Hannah in 1935; she died in 1991.  Mr. Thurman served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  He helped form Beaverton School District No. 48, where he taught for 39 years and retired as an administrator in 1974.  He married Lee Kovac in 1991.

Survivors include his wife; stepsons, Jeffrey Kovac of Knoxville, Tennesse and Kim Kovac of Washington D.C.; step-daughter Lisa Thrasher of Tigard; sister Grace Fisher of Eugene; and two grandchildren.

[Editor: School Days. A History of Public Schools In and Around Beaverton, Oregon, 1856-2000 by Gerald Varner. Published by Beaverton School District 2000.  Pg. 197: …Wayne Thurman, former superintendent of the Garden Home district (was) named to district office administrative posts.]

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Bill Logan obituary

This obituary provided by Bill’s daughter,  Janice Logan, as printed in the Beaverton Valley Times, January 6, 2011.

Longtime Beaverton Educator, Willimam Logan, dies

William D. Logan
Dec. 21, 1924 – Dec. 24, 2010

Bill Logan

Bill Logan

At his request, no services will be held for William Douglas Logan, who died Dec. 24 at the age of 86.  Mr. Logan was born Dec. 21, 1924, in Watsonville, Calif., the son B.J. and Vivian Logan.

The family lived in and around the Bay Area and Southern Oregon until 1929 when they settled in North Portland, where Bill attended Elliott Elementary School.  They moved to Southeast 25th and Powell Boulevard in 1935 and he completed eighth grade at Grout Elementary School.  In January 1920 he enrolled at Franklin High School, graduating in January 1943.

During his senior year, Mr. Logan was the center on Franklin’s city champion football team which was undefeated and unscored on in nine games.  He and four of his teammates were selected to the all-city team, and in October 2007, he and four members of the team were inducted into the Portland Interscholastic League Hall of Fame.

Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving until March 6, 1946.  He was a sergeant on the islands of Guam and Tinian and in the invasion of Iwo Jima in February 1945.

After his service, he entered Oregon State College, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.  He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in June 1949 and continued with education courses at Portland State College.

Mr. Logan married Mary Weigel  Sept. 10, 1949, at St. Agatha Church in Southeast Portland. They lived in Portland while he continued taking graduate courses at Lewis & Clark College toward a master’s of education.

In early June 1950, he transferred to the active Marine Reserves and joined the 4th  105 Howitzer Battalion stationed at Swan Island.  When the Korean conflict began on June 25, 1950, the battalion made ready for active duty which occurred June 25.  He completed all course work and received his master’s in August before the battalion left for Camp Pendleton, Calif.

From October 1950 to the following May, he served in Korea and attended Officers Candidate School at the Marine Base in Quantico, Va.  He was transferred to the West Coast for release and returned to Portland, in August 1951.

Hired for the last teaching position at Beaverton Union High School, his assignment included economics, algebra, biology and American history, as well as cafeteria duty and coaching junior varsity baseball.  The next six years he taught economics and coached the JV football and baseball teams.

Bill and Mary moved to the Beaverton area in the spring of 1952.

In 1958 he transferred to the new Sunset High School as assistant principal and was named principal in 1963.  In 1967 he returned to Beaverton High where he remained for 12 years as principal.  In 1969 he was one of the 40 secondary administrators from the U.S. to spend three weeks visiting schools in Denmark, Russia, Romanian, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and England.

In 1979 he moved to the central administration office and in June 1983 he retired from full-time employment but continued with the district until 1993 on a part-time contract, completing 42 years of service to the district.

From 1970 to 1987 Mr. Logan and his sons and daughter commercial fished an orange and black dory off the beach at Pacific City.  In 1973 the family purchased a beach cabin there, which they kept after the dory was sold.  Mr. Logan continued to spend about half of each year there fishing with friends  or cutting firewood.  In March 1001, he suffered a severe stroke which curtailed his activity at Pacific City, and the beach property was sold in 1007.

Survivors include his wife Mary, sons Tom of Scappoose and Quest of Hollister, Calif., daughter Janice Logan of Portland and grandsons Max and Rayce.

In lieu of remembrances, the family suggests “taking your wife, husband or friends out to dinner and enjoying the meal.” Disposition was by cremation with the remains to be interred along with his wife’s at a later date, at Willamette National Cemetery.  Arrangements by Springer and Sons of Aloha.

 

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Beaverton High School Chronology

Below are excerpts from an extensive chronology of Beaverton High School by Lisa Sandmire, derived from past issues of the Beaverton High newspaper, The Hummer, and other historical sources.

BHS 1874 building, circa 1900s (front)

BHS 1874 building, circa 1900s (front)

1842: First school in Washington County opens. It was an Indian mission and open to all.

1916: Beaverton High becomes a standard, 4-year high school.

1917: The US entered WWI, declaring war on Germany.

BHS 1874 building, circa 1900s (rear)

BHS 1874 building, circa 1900s (rear)

1918: The 1918 flu pandemic infected 500 million people worldwide, killing 50-100 million (3-5% of the world’s population.

1921: First Hummer published, “Beaverton Hummer Special”. First cafeteria established. Food is made by the Home Economics class. First football team. (Hummer, 5/1923)

BHS 1910 building, before 1923 addition

BHS 1910 building, before 1923 addition

1941: Evacuee Adopted by French Class. (Hummer 4/23/1941) Japan declared war on the United States by attacking the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor. Six U.S. ships were sunk, 2,402 Americans lost their lives and 1,247 were wounded. Blackouts in Beaverton. Evening activities moved to earlier times in order to observe blackout air raid evacuation drills. (Hummer, 12/17/1941)

BHS 1910 building, after 1923 addition (now a grade school)

BHS 1910 building, after 1923 addition (now a grade school)

1944: Enrollment: 431 (134 freshmen, 133 sophomores, 100 juniors, 64 seniors). (Hummer 9/27/1944). War bond sales: goal of selling 35K by 12/7 to buy a landing barge. Serviceman will be admitted free to sporting events during school year.

BHS 1915 building, under construction

BHS 1915 building, under construction

1945: Prom Tips: clean hair, Either pile neatly on top of head or put a velvet bow in to hold it back. Maybe a sequin beany. Only wear a small corsage as a large one isn’t appropriate during the war. Let the boy open doors for you. Tell your date he looks nice, too. Boys, help her with her wrap. Help her into the car. Dance the first two dances with her and at least every third dance.

FDR death, flag flown at half-mast. 15 BHS student soldiers have died in action so far in WWII. Within two weeks, BHS lost its student body president and vice-president, senior class president and vice-president, pep club president, Hummer editor and annual editor. (4/18/45 Hummer) May 1945 – VE day honored with special assembly.

BHS 1915 building

BHS 1915 building

1949: April 13, 1949, 11:56a, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake centered in Olympia, WA is felt all over the PNW. Building suffers some cracks in the brick facade and on the ceiling in one classroom. BHS closed school for the day “not because of danger but because the quake left them little concern for their studies,” according to IR Metzler.

BHS 1915 building with 1929 addition

BHS 1915 building with 1929 addition

1950: 3rd floor condemned. It is commonly thought that the instability of the third floor, causing its condemnation, was due to the 1949 earthquake, but the instability was actually caused by the removal of a support wall between two classrooms on the second floor sometime during the ‘30s or ‘40s which caused the floor to sag and shake. The engineers also proclaimed the floor joists to be inadequate and the concrete to be of poor quality. The removal happened during the summer of 1951. William Logan, future principal, first hired as teacher and JV coach. Enrollment is 898. (Hummer 9/25/1951)

BHS 1915 building with 1929 addition (rear view circa 1940s)

BHS 1915 building with 1929 addition (rear view circa 1940s)

1955: Article about Dorothy Johnson, Miss Oregon, runner-up to Miss America, resident of Garden Home. (Hummer 2/4/1955) Atomic bomb drill at school. Hoop skirts popular. (Hummer 5/27/1955)

1958: Class of 1958 has 339 students. 204 attend college, 23 attend vocational schools, 80 are employed, 24 join the military.

BHS 1915 building circa 1949

BHS 1915 building circa 1949

1960: District 48 becomes Unified Beaverton School District. Fashion fads: Girls wear kulots (bermuda length skirts made like culottes), bold colors, big plaids, pointed shoes. Boys wear wool shirts (Pendleton), khaki pants, big sweaters, corduroy suits, bright vests, continental trousers, low-cut tennis shoes, white sweat socks, green, green, green!

BHS 1951 building (removed 3rd floor after earthquake)

BHS 1951 building (removed 3rd floor after earthquake)

1962: Mass polio immunization at Beaverton High. (Hummer 3/9/1962) Bond measure passes to build 2 junior high schools. (Hummer 3/30/62)

1968: Hummers no longer retained and chronology ceases. (Please donate any you might have.)

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CENTURY HOMES: Sasha Kaplan and Matt Miner

Address: 7430 SW 76th Avenue
Originally Built: 1910
Original Owners: Margaret and Peter Bettendorf

Built in 1910, this house would qualify as an example of a suburban home built for a family at the turn of the century.  It is a two-story house with a basement, located in a small community and situated on property large enough to provide for a small orchard and a large garden.

The original owners, Margaret and Peter Bettendorf moved to Oregon when Peter accepted a job as Office Manager with Oregon Transfer, a company then located in northwest Portland.  A local newspaper lists Margaret as someone purchasing war bonds in 1918.  The elder son, Harold, attended the Christian Brothers Business School where he is acknowledged as a good student.  The middle son, Edward 13, made spending money by catching moles and rats for which the county paid him 10 cents each in 1920.  The couple had one additional son, Richard, who was born and grew up in Garden Home.

Peter Bettendorf later worked for Gardening Company. During that period a news clipping identified him as a “well known bulb specialist” who had been invited to speak to the Little Gardens Club monthly meeting at Central Library.  The Little Gardens Club was limited to women who did their own work in their own gardens.

Since moving in, the current owners, Sasha Kaplan and Matt Miner have remodeled the kitchen to meet the specifications of Sasha Kaplan, a professional chef. Matt Miner, a concert promoter, at times utilizes the property for concerts.

By Virginia Vanture, July 2016

[Editor: Sasha Kaplan has copy of the deed.  Family history from review of newspapers of the period.  The 1920 census shows the Bettendorfs living in Garden Home.  The 1910 census shows them in Multnomah County.]

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Godwin Family

Jannette Godwin (Wassenberg now) married Jack Godwin and had three children in the 1930s: Jalene, Jean and Jim.  Jalene has been our source for this Godwin material and it is used with her permission.

By Jannette Godwin Wassenberg,  2012  (wife of Jack Godwin)

William (Bill) and Mary Godwin had three children:  Jean, Jim, and Jack who was born in 1931 and died in 1969. They lived in the yellow home at 7765 SW 87th Ave, Garden Home.  This was a major street in early Garden Home and was called Westgard.

Mary Godwin’s parents (Jonathan and Charity Steele) and the Metzgers founded Metzger.  The Steeles (Mary’s parents) had the post office, grocery and feed store plus a dairy farm. William Zachary Grant Steele (called WZG) was the postmaster also, plus he sold and delivered milk to the whole area, including Garden Home, before the Feldman and Marugg dairies were started.

The William Zachary Grant (Jonathan’s parents, Mary and Jack Steele’s grandparents) and Lydia Steele family had 13 children:   Sarah, Louis, John, Ralph, Mary Sylvia, Stella, Henrietta, Fidelia, Rachel, Alice, Benjamin, Samuel, Grace.  John lived on Westgard.

They owned at least 35 acres in Garden Home plus acreage around Metzger, in all 300 acres.

Mary S. Steele went to Lincoln H.S. and rode the Oregon Electric train to and from school.  After graduation she went to Binky Walker Business College and there she met William A. Godwin and they were married in 1924.

William (Bill) got a job as a U.S. Postal Service employee on the railroad, in Grants Pass.  In 1931 they moved to Garden Home and bought a cute little three bedroom home on Westgard Ave, which is now 87th Ave.  Bill dug a basement under their house by hand and put in a wood burning furnace and clotheslines for drying clothes.

They had 3 children, Jean, James and Jack who went to Beaverton H.S.  At that time they had a choice to either go to Tigard H.S. or Beaverton.  Their neighbor Rosella Nebert chose Tigard High.  Rosella said she used to make cookies to entice Jack to come visit.  She said he would eat the cookies and immediately leave.

Jack went to Lewis & Clark College and was in the Oregon National Guard.  His unit was activated and after being discharged he was married.  They went to Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls and took carpentry, blue printing and drafting.  He came home and worked for a builder for a year, then went on his own as Jack D. Godwin Builder.

Jack and Jannette had 3 children, Jalene, Jerri and Bill, all of whom went to Garden Home grade school, where Jack had gone to school.  He bult their own home on Dolph St. off Westgard Ave. and went on to build over 800 homes in the Garden Home, Metzger and Tigard area.  He sponsored a men’s softball team called the Garden Home Tiger Lillies and in 1969 he got cleated playing second base.  He died in November of 1969 from a blood clot at age 38.

*The following notes are from an interview with Jalene Godwin, Oct. 4, 2012 by Elaine Shreve

Auntie Pat is William Alexander Godwin’s sister.  She came West on the Oregon Trail and married a Tiedeman.  She lived with Bill and Mary during her young adult life.

Godwin Court may have originally been called Godwin’s Glen.  It was in the Jannette Subdivision.  It is located south off of Alden and 87th.

Jalene traveled all over the U.S. with her dad, Jack Godwin.  They enjoyed having a family band, she played the accordion and Jack the guitar.

The neighbor, Franz Bome’s sister Ellen married a Wassenberg as did Jalene Godwin’s mother.

 

 

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CENTURY HOMES: Pat and Andy Dignan

Address: 7117 SW Hunt Club Lane
Originally Built: 1911
Original Owners: F.A. Martin

Built in 1911, the Craftsman style house was one of four original homes built in what is now known as the Hunt Club area.  Once a center of Portland’s riding community, over time the home stood close to the Portland Riding Academy, Nicol’s Riding Academy and the Portland Hunt Club. The home was purchased by the Dignans in 1966.

After 37 years with Northwest Natural Gas, Pat Dignan retired as vice-president, having joined the company after leaving the Air Force in 1956.  Andy’s most memorable moments of her early life are the years she spent as a child living in the Yukon Territories.

Since then life in their home has been filled with more wonderful memories.  Consider the winter they received a call from the owner of the local stable where their daughter’s horse, Chico, was being stabled.  He was sorry but the record snowfall had kept others from picking up their horses and he had no room for Laurie’s horse.  “Could they come get him?”  They could and they did, stabling him in their front hall for the weekend until the storm passed over.

By Virginia Vanture, 2016

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July 2016 News

Welcome to our website about historic Garden Home. In the People and Places pages, you’ll find over a hundred stories and hundreds of photos of vintage Garden Home and residents attending our events.

Upcoming Event – August 13 Reunion

Garden Home School - Final student body picture 1982

Garden Home School – Final student body picture 1982

Join us for our REUNION of graduates, attendees and friends of Beaverton High and Garden Home School. August 13, 10:am to 12 noon.  We’ll be out back behind the Garden Home Recreation Center (the former Garden Home School) in the covered area.  Enjoy Refreshments, old friends, displays of Beaverton High and Garden Home School.  Bring any mementoes, photos, albums, or year books that we might copy and return to you promptly.  Celebrating the Centennial of Beaverton High School and 105 years since Garden Home School began!

New stories on website

See the new stories about the Tom and Catherine Lekas Century Home, the Pat and Andy Dignan Century Home, and the Sasha Kaplan and Matt Miner Century Home. When Century Homes were built more than a century ago, the trains were running, the Hunt Club and Frank Farm were hosting horse events, and the parrot on Chris Jaeger’s porch greeting “Hello girls.”  Five major dairies operated in Garden Home, and most homes had a cow, rabbits, and large vegetable garden at that time.

Hunt Club from NW (Portland Golf Club in foreground)

Hunt Club from NW (Portland Golf Club in foreground)

The Hunt Club, “Memories of Horsing Around Years” by Patti Waitman-Ingebretson provide more insight to the role of the Hunt Club and horses to the community.

Memories of Whitney’s Custom Cannery, Circa 1954-56 by Patti (“The Ransom girl” ) Waitman-Ingebretsen recounts her childhood visits to Whitney’s cannery (today’s Old Market Pub).

The Terry Moore obituary (1949 – 2014) recognizes an important member of our community. Terry was active in the local “Crossing Committee” which first worked on the gardens at the intersection and the baskets at the Garden Home Recreation Center.  With the remodeling of Oleson Road, Terry spearheaded this group, now named the Garden Home Gardeners, into developing and maintaining the gardens along Oleson.

The Memoir of Dorothy Lois Upchurch (1919-2009) story about the Upchurch family was sent to us by Dorinda Troutman, from her home in Hamilton, Montana.  Her mother Dorothy Lois Upchurch Hogue Bates was a teenager and young woman when her parents Theresa Boyd Upchurch and her husband George Louis Upchurch bought the White Store on the southeast corner of the intersection in Garden Home (Dairy Queen now). They bought the store from the Larsens in about 1936.

Other News

THANKS for a wonderful June 4 Garden Home History and Garden Tour! Mike Babbitt, the manager at the Garden Home Market Place (formerly Thriftway), and his staff did a great job selling our tickets. Some 30 volunteers checked in the 170 visitors to the nine beautiful gardens on the hottest day so far, 100° F! A special thanks to the garden owners for sharing their gardens for us. We had an overwhelming positive response to the gardens and to the beauty of Garden Home. The $1,200 proceeds was split between our two sponsors, our History group and the Garden Home Gardeners.

Beaverton High School pre-1949

Beaverton High School pre-1949

Beaverton High School Centennial: We want your memoirs! When was the 3rd floor removed?

Stan Marugg remembers the 1949 earthquake that damaged the third floor of the High School.

“I was sitting in one of our milk trucks I’d driven to Beaverton High School and was bouncing up and down during the quake. My dad said he had never seen concrete bend until then. He said it was like a wave moving through the concrete in the dairy barn.”

Colin Lamb, ’62, recalls that there was an unmarked door to the third floor steps.

“A ham radio station was located up there and we operated from that location. Richard Platt was in charge of the ham radio program. We also had access to the roof so we could install antennas. That was in the old days. Our power supply had about 2,000 volts open to whoever was stupid enough to put his hand on it and we did not worry about such minor details.”

The BHS Centennial committee has designated a process to honor certain graduates for their Hall of Achievement. To date, this includes Rod Harman (Harman Pool), and Ross Fogelquist. Lisa Sandmire wants stories and photos of Beaverton High and can be reached at bhscentennial@gmail.com. Click here for a related article by the Portland Tribune.

We are researching the 1949 earthquake that damaged Garden Home School and the third floor of Beaverton High. What do you recall? Leave us a comment.

Kaplan/Miner Century Home (previously Bettendorf home)

Kaplan/Miner Century Home (previously Bettendorf home)

We have identified Century Homes in Garden Home that were built before 1916. The program is meant to honor and appreciate the older homes in our community and the role they’ve played in our history. The home owners have been notified that they may participate in this program of a small ceremony of placing a Century Home plaque beside the front door and accepting a nice pamphlet with the history of Garden Home and their home. The two-story house on 76th now owned by Sasha Kaplan and Matt Miner was our first Century home. The owners would like more information on early residents of the home. The attractive plaque notes the age of the house and does not affect the sale or any changes in the property. Virginia Vanture has chaired this committee of Stan Houseman, Nathalie Darcy, Janice Logan and Ginny McCarthy.

Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

Get your Historic Garden Home t-shirt now for just $14 for small to XL. Larger XXL and XXXL sizes are $17. There is an additional charge of $9 to mail your shirt. They’re fun! Available at the Garden Home Market Place or by mail from Patsy VandeVenter, 7520 SW Ashdale Ct., Portland, OR 97223. We thank Jan Fredrickson for a very generous donation to cover the cost of printing the shirts.

Historic Garden Home street sign

Historic Garden Home street sign

Historic Garden Home street signs: We currently have about 35 of the Historic Garden Home street sign toppers in our community. Each sign was purchased by a friend or family member to honor their loved one. Click here to view photos of the signs and for information about sponsoring a sign.

Our generous donors permit us to print and mail this newsletter ($140) for our non-e-mail people and for the Garden Home Recreation Center. We also replace the Historic Garden Home street signs once for signs that disappear, current cost for each sign, $60. With our latest order, we’ll have about 35 signs out in our neighborhoods. We also have website costs, printing, paper, plaques and many other costs of an organization. Donor names are listed on our History Bulletin Board at the Recreation Center. Thank you to all of our donors and to all of our volunteers for their time and skills.

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CENTURY HOMES: Tom and Catherine Lekas

Address: 7225 SW Hunt Club Lane
Originally Built: 1910
Original Owners: Ambrose & May Warden Cronin

The most recent home to be designated as a Century Home was the home of Catherine and Tom Lekas.  This house was built for an original member of the Portland Hunt Club, Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Cronin who then moved from Portland in 1911 to Garden Home.  The Century Home Committee members, Virginia Vanture, Stan Houseman, Garden Home History Chair Elaine Shreve, and Board Representative Sasha Kaplan were there to present the plaque and a booklet specifically written for this Century Home.  A special guest was Tom Hubka, member of the Architectural Heritage Center and architectural historian.  The group was joined by the Lekas’ daughter, their daughter-in-law and five of their grandchildren.  Catherine Lekas surprised everyone with a freshly baked lemon cake and coffee which was enjoyed on the tree shaded back porch.

History

Joseph Jacobberger, a Portland architect well known for his Craftsman style architecture, designed the home.   In addition to residences, Jacobberger along with his son Francis, designed a number of churches and public buildings in the Portland area.  The home was constructed in 1910 for Ambrose M. Cronin, Sr. and his wife May Warden Cronin.  Built as a summer home, the house allowed the Cronins to enjoy the social activities of the Portland Hunt Club. Ambrose was one of the original members and served as an early president.

Ambrose was the manager of the Cronin Company which was founded by his father P.J. in 1878 on Front Street in Portland.  The company was a leather, harness and saddle manufacturing firm.  The business was quite successful but as time went on, the popularity of the automobile forced the company to convert its merchandise to auto accessories and tires.   The Cronin Company continued and eventually split into two entities: one retained the name Cronin Company and is a wholesale supplier of flooring material; the other is Electrical Distributing Inc.  Both businesses are managed by descendants of Ambrose and Mary.

The current owner, Tom Lekas, is a retired attorney whose interests over the years have included hunting and fishing as well as being a bagpipe player with the Clan Macleay Pipe Band.  Tom and his wife Catherine raised five children in the house and when Catherine was asked what she might like future owners to know about their family experiences living in the house she suggested this be included:

Mysterious family bell from Lekas Century Home

Mysterious family bell from Lekas Century Home

The family owns a small bell, the kind of object that comes into a house for some forgotten reason and might be placed on a shelf and then forgotten for long periods of time.  For each of the five Lekas children, the bell has at one time or another rang when no one was there to touch it and with the ringing there were often heard voices, adult voices, again with no one present.  The voices might come from another part of the house, upstairs, in the hallway or from the basement but never in the same room where anyone could see someone standing.  Never could they convince their parents of what they had experienced.  But each child believed the others.  One frightening evening the bell rang and when those who were home investigated and found the bell had been moved from where it had been placed on the shelf.  Friendly Spirits?  Who is to say?  The younger Lekas’ experiences have become part of the family history.

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The Hunt Club, “Memories of Horsing Around Years”

By Patti (Ransom) Waitman-Ingebretsen

*The Hunt Club was located on or near the Frank Estate off SW Oleson Rd in the Garden Home area.  Being too young to drive, this writer has no details about location, transportation etc.

Teen aged girls love horses and we young girls of Maplewood were no different. It was in the mid to late 1950’s and a parent would drive us to the Hunt Club where we would meet a crusty old fellow with heavy Scottish accent.  His name might have been Bill.  As I was often tallest of the girls, I was always assigned to “Airway” as he was a big horse.  We rode English style around and around in a large indoor riding arena.  Bill would shout out instructions as we circled the ring putting our horses through their paces.  On one occasion, I decided to switch my little stick/crop from my right to left hand and immediately got stick and reins tangled.  Airway took off and we raced around the area, occasionally leaping over little fences not for our level of riding skill.  As I rounded the gallery area, my father shouted instructions which I could not understand.  Airway and I were making good time as we raced around the arena and by now everyone was shouting instructions.  Finally, Bill shouted, “just drop everything” which I did and Airway and I stopped our wild race and all was calm.  What I had failed to realize as I was tangled in reins and stick was the other end of the stick was in poor Airway’s ear!  Bill was grumpy as I thanked him for his good advice.  I later began to feel quite smug as I regaled others with the story of my racing and horse jumping experience atop Airway.  Someone else quickly pointed out that I was darn lucky not to have been thrown.

You can read more about the Hunt Club in the article by Sharon Wilcox or in the story by the Dignan family.

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Memories of Whitney’s Custom Cannery, Circa 1954-56

By Patti (“The Ransom girl” ) Waitman-Ingebretsen, Multnomah Village

My family moved to Maplewood in 1950 and our ¼ acre property allowed for a very large garden.  My father, raised on a farm in Corvallis, knew all about gardening and raising chickens.  We children considered ourselves “slave labor”.  To make things more interesting, he worked a few short miles and minutes away in Multnomah and he was home for lunch every day.  Imagine kids ready to sleep in and then lollygag around the rest of the day.  Now imagine father rousting the “kid laborers” before he headed off to work.  We were given our assignments and you can darn well betcha he would be checking when he arrived for lunch.  The other problem occurred when his work day ended at 3:30 or 4 pm.  That meant he was back again to see how his work assignments were coming along.  We tried various tricks, none of which worked very well.  A person could lounge under a tree and read a book most the afternoon and then throw some raspberries into the bottom of a pan and claim that’s all there were.  Of course, it never worked and by golly the second picking was much more bountiful.  It was not until I was a parent myself did I realize the strategy utilized by father.  He kept us busy and he knew where we were and what we were doing.  We were not at loose ends and certainly too busy to get into much trouble.  He was actually a very good role model and we developed a strong work ethic which has now been handed down to yet another generation.

Which leads me to managing the produce.  Father would gather the harvest and we kids and then to Whitney’s Custom Cannery for the day.  He would drop us off with instructions and of course, that included watch your little brother.  I have no recollection if he spoke directly with Mrs. Whitney or not but he was gone and we were there.  As I recall, we canned beans, tomatoes, plums and lots and lots of corn.  We followed the processes set out for the grownup canners and went through the various steps for each vegetable or fruit that was canned.  I do not recall getting a lot of help or direction nor do I think they were “baby sitting” us but perhaps I just didn’t notice.  Keeping brother involved and engaged was another matter.  Once we had the produce prepared and everything into the cans, we filled with the right amount of water, then onto the conveyer belt to begin processing.   A specific number was assigned for each of our family’s canning efforts and eventually stamped on the top of every can.   Just as we were completing our tasks, father would appear to give us the ride home.  At a later date, he would return to pick up our canned goods and at some point, paid Mrs. Whitney for the canning process.  By the end of summer, we were pro’s at Whitney’s but those were very long days.  It was very nice, however, to be sent to the storage area to grab whatever was needed for a meal and there stacked very neatly were rows and rows of tin cans, literally fruits of our labor.

Whitney’s is no more but those memories and skills learned have stayed with us over time.  We get a kick out of entering the Old Market Pub and seeing the Whitney’s signs and phone number prominently displayed.  That old concrete floor is still just as hard as it was back in the day.  Some things never change.

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Terry Moore obituary

The following obituary for our outstanding local activist Terry Moore is used with permission from her husband Willy Moore.  Terry was active in the local “Crossing Committee” which first worked on the gardens at the intersection and the baskets at the Garden Home Recreation Center.  With the remodeling of Oleson Road, Terry spearheaded this group, now named the Garden Home Gardeners, into developing and maintaining the gardens along Oleson.  See Terry Moore and Garden Home Gardeners on our website.

Moore, Terry Hofferber 64, Dec. 08, 1949 June 13, 2014. Terry Hofferber Moore died Friday, June 13, 2014, from heart failure. Terry spent her life on all sides of the public policy table, beginning as an activist to get laws changed, as a staff person to help change them and then as an elected official to vote to make positive changes to people’s lives. Terry was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., and grew up in Missoula, Mont. She graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland and taught French and Spanish at Sam Barlow High School in Gresham from 1973-1976.

She began her public service career as administrative assistant in the Portland Bureau of Planning and Office of Planning and Development and as secretary to the Planning Commission from 1977-1993, and was the citizen outreach coordinator for the Bureau of Planning from 1995-1999, during the contentious Southwest Community Plan process. Terry was elected as Metro councilor serving from 1992-1995 and worked to adopt the Region 2040 Growth Concept. She advocated for parks, trails, greenspaces and accessibility issues. She was elected to the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District board, serving from 1995-2003 and as chairman. From 1989-2008, she was a leader in the Raleigh Hills-Garden Home Neighborhood Association, working on the street design task force and the Oleson Road econstruction Project PAC. She also served on the Oregon Structural Codes Advisory Board and the Portland Audubon Society Board of Directors.  Using a wheelchair all of her adult life, she was a Governor’s Appointee of the State Disabilities Commission, on the Board of Directors of Quad, the assisted housing complex for disabled people and was a founding member of the Oregon Architectural Barriers Council board. She advocated for sidewalks and bike lanes on the improvements to Oleson Road, and then worked to keep the “garden” in Garden Home by spearheading the planting of three-and-a-half miles of Oleson Road with daffodils, trees and hanging baskets.

Terry is survived by her husband, Willy Moore; mother, Dorothy Hofferber; sister, Connie Hofferber Jones; and nieces, Megan Jones and Kimberly Jones.

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Memoir of Dorothy Lois Upchurch (1919-2009)

This story about the Upchurch family was sent to us by Dorinda Troutman, from her home in Hamilton, Montana.  Her mother Dorothy Lois Upchurch Hogue Bates was a teenager and young woman when her parents Theresa Boyd Upchurch and her husband George Louis Upchurch bought the White Store on the southeast corner of the intersection in Garden Home (Dairy Queen now). They bought the store from the Larsens in about 1936.  The “gram” referred to in the story was Theresa as described by the granddaughter Dorinda Troutman in an email to me. In the 1970s Theresa’s husband had died and she married her husband’s relative Mr. Williams.  I knew Theresa Williams in her old age as a member of the Garden Home Methodist Church. This memoir about early Garden Home and the Upchurch store was written by Theresa’s daughter, Dorothy Lois Upchurch Hogue Bates (married names).  The very beginning of this memoir is missing and presumably about the early life of Dorothy Lois Upchurch.

–Elaine Shreve, May 2016

Memoir by Dorothy Lois Upchurch (Hogue Bates, married names) daughter of George and Theresa Upchurch who purchased the White Store, 1936

[the first four handwritten pages were missing by 2013. Edits/clarifications by me, her daughter Dorinda Troutman, are in italics and between brackets]

[My dad – George Louis Upchurch]… was a great one for living in the past. Speaking yearningly of his life in California as a boy. I heard so much of how glamorous life in CA could be that I determined early on that I must experience it.

My father was born with a birth defect. He had a cleft palate and a hare lip. These things can be easily repaired now but not in 1886 when he was born, and this colored his whole personality and his life. [I was told that my grandfather had had an operation on his palate as a very young child in San Francisco]. I was always surprised when someone commented on it. Does a child ever really look at his or her parents? I doubt it. We just love them for what they are. My father was bright and accomplished and had the most beautiful handwriting. I heard that he was a wonderful dancer, especially his waltz. He was a member of the California National Guard, sent to San Francisco after the earth quake and fire of 1906 to help the people in Golden Gate Park and guard against looting. He volunteered for duty in 1917 and got as far as Angel Island when he was refused service because of his birth defect. It was claimed that he couldn’t wear a gas mask.

His speech was difficult to understand at times and he was often mimicked which really upset him so he developed and attitude which really fended off friendships and closeness. I’m sure he really loved me and was proud of me, but I can’t remember being told this or being cuddled and loved beyond my babyhood. He was a critical man, and as my mother remarked, “There is one right way and that is Louie’s way.” He was especially critical of my brother, and Bud was never allowed to bring friends home or play in the yard for fear that he would spoil the symmetry of Dad’s precious lawn and flower beds.

My mother, on the other hand, always had time for us. I can remember being in the kitchen with her, clearing the dishes after meals, while she listened to my endless chatter. It always seemed that I could tell her anything. She as a very wise, earthy woman and as her grandchildren can attest – and was that way until the day she died.

Front doors of School Dist. No. 92 Garden Home, circa 1940s

Front doors of School Dist. No. 92 Garden Home, circa 1940s

Because I was the older child in the family, being seven years older than my brother, and because he was a brother, we had little in common as children. I started at Garden Home School at 6, there being no kindergarten, already able to read. I asked Mother if she taught me to read – and she said, “No, I guess you taught yourself.” I have always been an avid bookworm, would rather read than do anything else, and suffering from near-sightedness, whether brought on by the reading or just because, I took to school like a duck to water. There were less than 80 children in the eight grades and with two grades to a room; I was soon learning second grade work. That accomplished, I as put in the third grade. I seem to have lost little except simple arithmetic, and have always had trouble remembering combinations.

School was a lovely dream. I loved all of my teachers, and we had much opportunity to express ourselves in music and the arts. It probably was not all that much fun for my brother to follow a big sister into the same arena. He was much more physical and full of mischief than I and not as eager to please.

1911 Garden Home Railway Depot

1911 Garden Home Railway Depot. This structure formerly stood on a trestle near where Multnomah Blvd and Garden Home now intersect, just east of the location of the Old Market Pub. Tracks to the left went south to Nesmith, Metzger, and Greenburg and beyond. Tracks on the right went northwest to Firlock, Fanno Creek, Whitford, and Beaverton and beyond.
Source: City of Beaverton

In our small community we were pretty isolated but also self sufficient. There was an electric railway (The Oregon Electric) with a station on a trestle. It was a transfer point, where one track went to Forest Grove and the other all the way down the Willamette Valley to Salem. Although only seven miles to Portland, it seemed so far. We went to the city at least once a week, and Mom was always in a quandary as to what to do with Bud. He was an escape artist – forever running away, and she couldn’t figure whether to get herself ready and then Bud – or the other way around. I remember one time when he was quite small she readied him, tied a rope in the loop of his trousers and fastened him to the clothes line. When we were ready, we found the pants on the end of the line, but missed the train looking for the boy.

Garden Home School was really quite progressive. Our principal and 7th and 8th grade teacher was Nellie Cochran, and her daughter taught 3rth and 4th. We explored all sorts of avenues for learning, had many art courses, and once a year put on a real production, involving the whole school. I remember one time being involved in a Victor Herbert operetta, a very ambitions procedure.

There were two stores in the Garden Home. The nearest was what we called the ‘White Store, although the paint had weathered off long before. It was owned by a widow, Mrs. Nichols, but run by a rotund German named Chris Jager. I think he had been hired help for the Nichols as he ran the store and took care of the old lady. This building was very old, probably built in the 1850s. The second floor had served many purposes, at one time being the school and then a community meeting hall. We bought very little at the White Store, and Mother would only buy things from Chris that were packaged as he was so dirty and the store so filthy.

1911 Garden Home Railway Depot

1911 Garden Home Railway Depot of the Oregon Electric Railway (Red Store in background)

The other store was the Red Store and was located across from the railroad station. It was owned by the Smiths and housed the post office. Marge Smith was the postmaster.

On the other side of our property was the T.E. Hills Victorian farmhouse. An orchard of filberts separated our places. We were fascinated by “Old Man Hills” as my father called him. He was a Civil War veteran, had a flagpole with brass cannon on the top and ran the flag up and down every day. I can still see him in the Memorial Day parade in his navy blue Union uniform with brass buttons, a campaign hat with a gold cord on his head. He also drove a spit and polished 1909 Ford. Quite a curiosity in the 20s when he drove it to Portland, it drew quite a crowd with its polished brass headlights and struts to the windshield from the fenders. It was in such a beautiful condition that Henry Ford offered to buy it and to put it in his Dearborn Museum and trade a new Mercury for it. Mr. Hill agreed, received the new car, drove it for a time and then demanded his old Ford back, and got it.

Another character that fascinated us as children was Mr. Weber, a mysterious man who looked as if he came out of Washington Irving’s imagination. He had long grey hair and a long grey beard. He wore knickers, heavy stockings and boots and walked everywhere with a long wooden walking stick. We even saw him walking in downtown Portland. I heard that this wife and children left him and he vowed to never cut his hair and beard until they returned.

Back to the White Store. It had a wide covered porch across the front and side with huge bread boxes on it. The bread deliveries where very early in the morning, so the bread was put in the boxes before the store opened. Chris also had a parrot in a cage hanging on the porch that laughed and talked, imitating dogs and cats and Chris’ German accent. As the store was across street from the school, this was great entertainment for the school children.

When I was a child our elderly friends and neighbors were always called grandma and grandpa and friends of my parent’s age were aunts and uncles. It took me a long time to differentiate between blood relatives and honorific relatives.

Anyway, where Gramma and Grandpa King sold their house to the Bartletts, I had a new set of Gramma and Grandpas. They had come to Oregon from Indiana with four of their five children. This all happened when I was about 10, I guess. Their youngest son was Virgil (Happy) who was in his teens. My special love was Marian who was in her early twenties and was the very epitome of a ‘20s flapper. She had a windblown bob, Cupid’s bow mouth, wore short beltless dresses, rolled her silk stockings and rouged her knees!! She had a windup Victrola and used to sit on her front porch with one or more of her numerous beaus, who played ukuleles, while I sat on our porch and dreamed of growing up to be exactly like her. She had time for me if no one else was around and I loved to be near her. I still remember what she used to play on that phonograph – “Sweethearts on Parade.”

The year I was 12 was very memorable. I was in the eighth grade and the year I first fell in love, cut my leg, won my bicycle and graduated from grade school.

Bill and Eleanor Powers were from the city. Their parents rented a house in Garden Home for two years, and we all became friends, but he was my first love. We spend as much time as possible together and everyone, including parents, watched us with much interest. We were the same age, except that he was in the seventh grade. When I went off to high school, we grew apart and by the time they returned to the city it was just a sweet memory. When I heard that he had been killed in an accident at 17, I was stricken, and will always remember how sweet it was.

That was the year I fell over the chopping block in the woodshed onto a double-bladed ax and cut a huge gash below my right knee. [Mom told me that Bud was chasing her around the yard and she jumped over the block and fell on the ax]. No doctor, just a little iodine and it took a long time to heal. Of course, it should have been stitched, but it wasn’t and it left a deep scar for the rest of my life. [Mom had lovely, shapely, legs with slender ankles — unlike myself and my daughters  who have sturdier appearing legs and ankles  – just like my grandmother’s —  and as a kid  I always liked the character the scar below her knee gave her].

I have always been ashamed of the way I won my bicycle. Albers Mills offered 50 bicycles to be given away in the three coastal states. Whoever had the most Albers box tops from their products and wrote a winning essay would win a bike. Because Dad worked in wholesale grocery, he made up a mix of grains and legumes, using Albers products. He could get me enough box tops to win all the bikes. To my credit, I did canvas the neighborhood and bugged friends for their box tops and I did write a good essay, but I didn’t feel good in winning that beautiful bicycle.

Before 1932, the high school students in Garden Home caught the train to Portland and attended Lincoln High School at the south end of the Park block. In 1932, when we were to start High School, we were given the choice of attending either Beaverton High School or the new High School in Tigard. I chose Tigard, so I climbed on a bus every day and even was bussed to evening and sports events. So few students had access to cars and hardly anyone owned a car so I can remember being dressed fit to kill in a long formal, going on the bus and meeting my date at school.

High School passed in a happy haze. I was especially fond of my art teacher and when she left in my second or third year, I continued lessons with her in her studio in Portland.

Mother was insistent that I have as many advantages as possible. At six, I started piano lessons with a 16-year-old neighbor girl as teacher. She had a crush on someone in the Portland Symphony so she took me with her on Saturdays to the Portland Auditorium to hear the orchestra under the baton of Willem Von Hoogesteaten. At eight I began lessons with a teacher on the east side of Portland. So, by myself, I took the train to Portland, walked to Broadway where I had my lunch at the Woolworth’s, all fifteen cents worth, and caught a Broadway street car to my piano lesson. Dad worked a half day on Saturday, so he came to pick me up and we usually stopped at Safeway in Hillsdale to grocery shop and then home.

I took piano lessons until I started high school when I had little time to practice. My last teacher was Jesse Lewis, niece of Victor Herbert, who had traveled with him and had wonderful stories to tell. Her studio was at the east end of the Broadway Bridge.

On those Saturdays, I had also discovered the wonderful world of the Portland public library and would walk to 10th Ave and pick up a load of books to read during the week. As I knew nothing about the filing system and was afraid to ask, sometimes I came up with some pretty adult books which puzzled me for years.

One summer when I was about 12, I discovered a twelve volume set of memoirs and letters of World War I, and I’ve never forgotten the feeling of the intense horrors these poor young men went through.

As I say, mine was a happy childhood, reading, riding my bike, going to the banks of Fanno Creek, and digging the clay to fashion fanciful animals – imagining strangers coming by and marveling at who could have done these wonderful things. I also had a tree house. Across the street, there was a huge old maple with a center cut out of it, probably to let the utility wires through. So there were stumps to sit on and quite a large area in the middle. I drove spikes into the tree so that I could climb it. A very bad thing to do, I now realize. I dropped a rope tied to a big bread basket to bring up supplies and my dog, Peggy, a black and white fox terrier. I would sit happily in that tree for hours, quite sure no one knew where I was, spying on the world going by.

The main roads in Garden Home were narrow and graveled. In front of our house were two immense black walnut trees that were the bane of my father’s existence. Over and over, he would try to graft them to English Walnuts and the grafts would never take. When Garden Home road was widened, I suppose the trees were cut down and probably cut up for fire wood. What a shame that beautiful wood was not used for furniture. And mother never used the black walnuts as she complained they were too hard to crack and pick out of their shells.

There was a wooden sidewalk going to the store, two planks wide, laid the long way, bordered by locust trees dripping their beautiful wisteria-like yellow and lavender blossoms in the spring.

There were all sorts of wooded areas around us and I spent a lot of solitary time in them. There were some especially deep dark woods past the store and down toward the Hunt Club across the railroad cut, where the walls were covered with delicious wild strawberries. I saved the tin Log Cabin syrup tins and would build villages in the woods, the floor of which was covered with wild ginger with its big heart-shaped shiny leaves and aromatic ginger buds. We picked too many wildflowers, bringing home armloads of trilliums and great bunches of violets both purple and yellow. We know now that we were stripping the bulbs by doing that but there was so much in those days.

Speaking of the Hunt Club. Dad was continually amused by the weekend riders in their jodhpurs and boots, posting in the English saddles, who passed our house following a paper trail, pretending a fox hunt through our woods and pastures. When I was older and making my own living, I took riding lessons at the Hunt Club, riding in the covered arena, being schooled by a Scot with a resounding Scottish burr that only the horses seemed to understand.

Graduating from H.S. in 1936, it was given that I find a job. I had no idea that I might attend college. In fact, I didn’t even investigate scholarships. No one had suggested I do so. And it was at this time my father was let go from his job and things were really tight.

The summer of 1936 was a special one. As a graduation gift, Mom and Dad sent me to San Francisco to visit. I stayed with Dad’s cousin, Maude Sewell Upchurch. She was the daughter of Aunt Samantha Upchurch Sewell, the aunt who had lured Dad to Oregon in the first place. Maude married her first cousin, Dad’s brother Robert, (one of her marriages). Auntie was still alive, but a very old lady. She and Maude lived together in a railroad flat in a Victorian building at the end of the panhandle of Golden Gate Park on Page Street, just below the Haight.

Maude was a very large woman with a beautiful creamy complexion who always dressed in black and seemed to really attract men. She had been married three times, never had children and seemed to want to live vicariously in me. I loved the attention. She took me to all sorts of places, and looking back, the strangest was to the El Patio Ballroom, down on Market Street. We would get dressed up in long dresses, no less, take the street car to the ballroom, dance with any and all who asked us, and come home by street car. I met an especially nice young man name Reggie Hearn, a law student at Cal, who became very taken with me, even asked me to marry him! Maude was all for it, especially as we had met the dean of Mills College on a ferry to Oakland who got me fired up about going to Mills. Of course, when I called my family to tell them my plans, they insisted I immediately return home.

I again visit San Francisco in 1939 to see and attend the World’s Fair on Treasure Island in the Bay. I can’t remember if I stayed with Maude then or not. I know I went to the Fair with other cousins of my Dad’s, Lulu and Bess McKinney. Lulu lived on Post and Jones in San Francisco and Bess was still teaching in Vacaville. The island was artificial, filled in off Yerba Buena Island In the middle of the Bay. The bridges had been built, but I can’t remember how we got to the fair. It seems as if it was by ferry. It was all so beautiful, the exhibits, the food, the entertainment.

A few years earlier the old White Store had sold to some people from Portland Heights, the Larsens, who did a lot of remodeling of the building. Sadly they tore off the wonderful old porch and louvered shutters, adding some windows and brick, turning the upstairs and part of the downstairs into living quarters. The people of the neighborhood didn’t take to the newcomers and they finally quit and put the place up for sale.

Wilson's Grocery (aka Throckmorton's or Upchurch Store)

Wilson’s Grocery (aka Throckmorton’s or Upchurch Store)

This was just the time Dad lost his job [1936] – and I was working in Portland at Meier and Frank. He had always wanted a retail grocery of his own – after all his experience in the wholesale trade, so Mom and I talked him into cashing in his life insurance policy and talking the Larsens into letting them have the store. His policy was only worth $1,000, so we bought the inventory and moved in, promising to pay for the store as we could.

We moved to the store, renting our house to a young couple, Mildred and Austin Stevens, with a small son, Richard. They became as close as family to us. Mother always said “Mildred is my other daughter.” Later, Judy was born, and Mildred’s mother came to live with them. When Richard was four and Judy two the children were put down for a nap and the grandmother was in her wheelchair. Mildred came to the store to shop. While she was gone Richard started playing with matches and set the house on fire. The children ran to the Bartletts, but the house went up in a flash and although Dad climbed in a window to try to rescue Mildred’s mother, she was burned to death and the house was a total loss.

There was no fire protection in that part of the country, and if a fire started there was no way of stopping it. So, as was the case before, when friends’ houses burned, we took the family in to stay with us until they got back on their feet. I remember sharing my bed with Judy when she was only two.

The garage and woodshed and the outbuildings were still standing on the property, so the Stevens bought the property for $1,500 and converted the buildings into a house, eventually selling the acre to a developer and it is now covered by apartments.

In 1940, my boyfriend, Don and his friend Irv McCarthy decided to seek their fortunes in Hollywood. Irv had an uncle, Bruce Manning, who was a producer there, so the boys opened a record shop.

My buddy, Betty Burdette, and I spent our vacation that year stopping by San Francisco, staying again with Maude, going to the Top O the Mark which had only been open for a couple of years. Betty even had a drink of hard liquor as she was already 21, and we felt very sophisticated.

We went on to Hollywood and all stayed on a ranch near Griffith Park, owned by friends or relatives of the boys. They had a pool and horses and the ranch was location for a lot of movies. Poor Bets was at kind of loose ends as Irv didn’t have much time for her. His Uncle Bruce had fixed him up with a starlet named Ava Gardner!

At Christmas 1936 I began working at Meier and Frank Department Store. I started in the sub-basement wrapping packages for shipping. I worked six days a week, and the starting wage was $58 a month.

Portland Hotel exterior circa 1897 (source PARC)

Portland Hotel exterior circa 1897 (source PARC)

The store was a huge place, a block square, between 5th and 6th Streets and Morrison and Alder, as I recall, and across from the old Post Office and the Portland Hotel. The Hotel was a huge black pile of stone with circular drive in front. Later, the hotel was torn down with the post office and is now Pioneer Square. The store was 14 stories high, the two top floors being stock rooms, and had two basements where the pneumatic tubes hissed and howled, bringing down the receipts and cash for transactions in the departments. There were 2,500 employees, many of whom had spent all their lives working there. There was a fleet of delivery trucks, dark green with red and gold lettering and a huge warehouse and garage in NW Portland.

There was also a big auditorium on the 10th floor for employee rallies and parties, and elaborate fashion shows for the public each change of season. Models were chosen from the store employees and as everyone in the city seemed to have worked there at one time or another, they had their pick of some beautiful girls, including the Rose Festival queens and princesses. So I was really pleased when I was chosen as a model. As well as modeling in the shows, complete with beautiful effects and an orchestra, we did “still-modeling” in the store display windows, confusing pedestrians as to whether we were real or mannequins.

I worked in the store from 1936 to 1940, progressing from wrapping to saleslady in the glove and hosiery departments. In all those years, my top salary was $65 a month for grueling hours.

In 1940, to try to better myself, I went to work for Pacific Bell in what was considered a cream of the jobs, as a service rep. These girls had always been college grads, but I broke the mold, and was hired not withstanding. My salary there was $38 a week. I think I worked there only a year, hated the constant monitoring and the war had begun, so our jobs mainly consisted of saying “Yes, we appreciate your call, but we can’t give you service.”

1950 aerial view of Oleson Rd and Garden Home Rd intersection

1950 aerial view of Oleson Rd and Garden Home Rd intersection; 4 corners, clockwise
1. Garden Home Grade School
2. Orchard
3. Throckmorton’s store
4. Johnson’s Gas station
Courtesy Carolyn Ernstrom Welch. See post.

I’m backtracking now. Our store became very successful. Mother was a wonderful businesswoman. In a short time, my parents had paid off the mortgage and it all belonged to them. It was a mini supermarket for those days. They converted two back rooms into a barbershop and beauty shop. There was a loading dock on the side for seed and feed. Mrs. Smith moved the post office into the store and we had a magnificent mahogany back bar complete with mirrors and beautiful marble counters – our soda fountain. The ice cream parlor table and chairs I have were original with the store. It was a credit and delivery system and Dad would go to the city to get any specialty items anyone wanted. There was a great monster of a nickel-plated cash register, and black beast of a safe in the back room. There was a meat case with perishable lunch makings and big red coffee grinder where Mom ground ‘Upchurch Special” coffee beans. There was a big wire basket of eggs and a store cat who slept atop them, only jumping down when the meat case was opened, hoping for a pinch of hamburger. There were notions, needles and pins and spools of thread. And then there was the candy case. It and the magazine stand drove my Dad up the wall. Mother had endless patience, waiting for the children from school across the street to make up their minds as to which penny candy to buy to get the most pieces for their money. Three were “2-fers” and “5-fers” and even “10-fers” so that you could end up with quite a haul for a nickel. The boys would sit on the step of the magazine stand, reading the comics and leaving them in a mess, for my neat Dad to straighten.

The store was open six days a week, and every Saturday night, the splintered pine floors were oiled so that the dark oil could penetrate over Sunday.

From the age of two, I was sent to Sunday School. The Garden Home Community Church was a plain rectangular white building with a steeple and bell, between the two stores, toward the station. Bud and I went every Sunday at nine. I even taught Sunday School in my teens and played the organ for the little ones. As I grew older, church service followed at 10 and then Epworth League on Sunday night. What with choir practice on Wednesday night, it was really our main social outlet. As kids, it got us out of the house, and a sense of freedom. I remember walking around in the dark with a group, just “hanging out,” (new expression) talking, catching glow worms and flirting.

Old Community Church

Old Community Church

The church was Methodist affiliated, but I can’t remember it being particularly secular. Everyone came. What few Catholics there were in the neighborhood came if they felt like it. My parents didn’t attend. Dad’s family was Christian Scientists.

Then in 1940 my father suffered a coronary thrombosis and almost died. After his stay in the hospital he moved to a nursing home and poor mom had the full brunt of everything. I was working, Bud was only 14, and Mom didn’t drive. So Bud got a special drivers license, and had to deliver groceries after school. He was a darling boy, and had some pretty hairy experiences with hungry housewives. Then after work, we would go to the city to see Dad.

When my father came home, he was never really well, and sadly, began secretly drinking and being unpleasant to the customers. It became harder and harder for Mom to cope, and as I was in California by this time and Bud had joined the service, the store was sold in 1944. In looking back, I think of myself as being very selfish. I should have stopped working away from home and helped the family keep the store. It was a wonderful opportunity to have kept it in the family and made a living for us all.

It was always a going concern. Was sold twice after that, but, sadly, burned to the ground later.

Throckmorton Store fire, looking east

Throckmorton Store fire, looking east

During the war, many things were in short supply, needed by the war effort, so we were rationed. Gasoline was rationed and rubber and cotton goods. Of course, many food stuffs weren’t available, especially dairy products and meat, so Mom ran a kind of bank. Mom turned in ration stamps they didn’t use and Mom doled them out to people who had to get around or had children to feed.

In 1941, I went to work in the First Aid Station at Henry Kaiser’s first shipyard, Oregon Shipbuilding. [The Kaiser Company bus service began in 1942 to serve workers who needed transportation to the shipyards.  Buses ran 3 roundtrips daily, serving Forest Grove, Hillsboro, and Beaverton.] The yard was open round-the-clock, building Liberty Ships, so I took my turn, working all the different shifts, riding with different groups as they changed shifts. It was in North Portland across the St. John’s Bridge. The Doctor in charge was Dr. Rieke, and various others. Staffed by students from the Oregon Medical School. People from all over the world were working there. Half of the musicians from the Portland Symphony, writers and poets, as well as men and women of all ages. My job was keeping records and filing claims.

In 1942 I was still at home and I guess they were tired of having me there. Everyone was in a state of flux – all the men I knew and many of my girlfriends were joining the different branches of the services. A boy I had been going with since I was 19, Don Chambers, went into the Army Air Force, washed out of training in Texas, went into the Glider Corps and wound up in the Battle of the Bulge, the debacle at Bastogne, but came out alive.

I was restless, there were too many different men in my life and Mother said, “You are not married, you are almost 23. You have always talked about San Francisco. It is time for you to go.”

[Mom’s memoir continued about her life in California, where I was born in 1945. – Dorinda Hogue Troutman, Hamilton, Montana (dorindatroutman@centurylink.net)]

[The following paragraphs were written by Dorinda Troutman about her grandmother Teresa Upchurch Williams and sent to me by email.  May 2016]

My grandmother went on as a widow in the early ’50s to work at the Peoples Market Co-op in downtown Portland. I spent a lot of summers with her, both there and at my Aunt and Uncle’s little farm near Tigard (and four cousins).

Theresa Boyd Upchurch in downtown Portland market booth, circa 1950

Theresa Boyd Upchurch in downtown Portland market booth, circa 1950

Here is a photo of her market booth. Theresa Boyd Upchurch is in the middle. Her family, the Boyds, were Oregon pioneers, and ended up living the latter half of their life in Newberg, with a prune orchard and ran a gas station.

Gram sold chickens and eggs that were grown, killed, and plucked by friends outside of the city, and brought in to her each morning intact including heads and feet. She would butcher them and put them on ice in glass fronted cases. It was fascinating for me to watch her butcher. I still see my grandmother’s hands when I do the same. Mom told me that Gram raised chickens for meat and eggs to sell at the Upchurch store during the ’30s. My mother disliked eggs but loved her mother’s cooking of home raised chicken. When Gram rode the train to California in the 50s to visit us, she always packed a fresh chicken in ice in her suitcase to cook for us.

 

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Glenn and Isolda Steele

Isolda Steele (left) with Mrs. Norris (right) at the Garden Home School

Isolda Steele (left) with Mrs. Norris (right) at the Garden Home School

In 1937, Glenn and Isolda Steele relocated to Garden Home from Antelope, Oregon. Isolda worked at the Garden Home School preparing lunches for the children and staff.  In 1939 she reported in the PTA minutes that hot lunches would now be served.

This photo was taken for the Garden Home Album and submitted by Louise Cook Jones of the Garden Home History Project.

Glenn was a general handyman with many talents.  He built the house that he and his wife lived in along with a second house on the same property.  Glenn would pick up odd jobs painting and fixing various things.  He was a master at repurposing and utilizing available material on hand.  His passion was rocks; not just any rocks but semi-precious stones that he would load into his polishing machines.  The garage had water lines that had been specially set up for the rock polishing machines that sat against the southern wall.  Once they were tumbled and polished he would place them in various barrels on the property.  The most beautiful stones were placed in glass display cases inside their garage.  Grandchildren who came to visit could always take home a shiny prize.

Glenn and Isolda Steele donating a Brazilian amethyst to the Smithsonian

Glenn and Isolda Steele donating a Brazilian amethyst to the Smithsonian

One of the many grandchildren of Glenn and Isolda is Barry Steele who resides in Beaverton with his wife Jeanne.  Barry’s strongest memories of spending time with his grandfather surrounded rock collecting.  Barry would go on rock finding expeditions with his grandfather searching the ground for treasures.  Both Barry and his wife Jeanne remember uncovering metal garbage cans full of stones at Isolda and Glenn’s home.  Once, Jeanne found an amethyst laden toilet seat in the backyard; the purple stones were set into a plastic resin material.  The collection over the years that Glenn amassed was so impressive that a portion of it, specifically the Brazilian Amethyst, was given to the Smithsonian.

Don Olson of Bend, Oregon, a cousin of Barry Steele, put together an excellent cookbook featuring the recipes of Isolda Steele.  A copy of the recipe book was generously donated to the Garden Home History Project.  The book features detailed recipes alongside black and white photos chronicling Isolda’s lineage from Antelope, Oregon in the early 1900’s, Isolda as a child, as well as some early pictures of both her and Glenn.  The book transitions to some more recent color photos, the last picturing Isolda and Glenn in 1986, the year that Isolda passed.

Besides recipes for cakes, puddings and cookies there are also home remedies for anything from ants, to soap, to removing nails and screws that have rusted into wood.  One of the more interesting home remedies is how to fix a leaking stove.  Since Isolda cooked all the family meals on a wood burning stove in the kitchen, this recipe must have come in handy many times to prevent ash from spilling onto the kitchen floor.

Louise Cook Jones, a member of the Garden Home History Project who attended Garden Home School from 1954-1962, recalls Mrs. Steele as an important part of the school.  She would visit each lunch table, encouraging those who were slow to eat to finish their food so they could have some time at recess.   Louise fondly recalls Mrs. Steele’s cooking.  “Her yeast rolls were amazing – you could smell them cooking all over the school.  And she made wonderful homemade chocolate pudding, served in tall glass dishes.”

Louise Cook Jones’ sister Patti Cook Davies attended the school in 1946-1954; Patti always looked forward to Mrs. Steele’s snicker doodle cookies and macaroni and cheese.  Louise’s brother Warren Cook attended the school from 1952-1960.  He remembers Mrs. Steele always being so kind and anything that she made was good.

Isolda and Glenn’s Garden Home residence is located to the north of the Old Market Pub.  The Pub once was Whitney’s Cannery, owned by Mark and Leona Whitney.

Aerial photo by Otto Arndt shows Glenn and Isolda’s home and cannery where Barry worked. Circa mid 1950s.

Aerial photo by Otto Arndt shows Glenn and Isolda’s home and cannery where Barry worked. Circa mid 1950s.

Taken from the aerial photos given to the Garden Home History Project by Otto Arndt (negative 19 of the series) shows Glenn and Isolda’s home at the very left edge of the photo.  You can see the cannery where Barry worked roughly in the middle of the frame near the bend in Multnomah Boulevard on the left side of the road.

Barry Steele worked in the cannery for six months at the age of 17 in 1947.  There he canned fruits like peaches and pears from the local orchards.  Barry said he must have eaten his grandparents out of house and home as Glenn told his grandson Barry that he needed to pay $50 per month board and room.

Barry stayed in the upper part of the garage, the ladder that Barry would climb to get up to the loft of the garage, stamped with E E Steele (Barry’s Great Grandfather) is still there.

The most recent owner of Glenn and Isolda’s home is Gordon Rice who purchased the home from Barry’s Aunt Gwen in 1991.  The house had been vacant for approximately six years.  Gordon remodeled the house over several years to make the home more up to date with modern comforts.  The outhouse was removed and a bathroom was placed inside a small addition that includes an entry way.  The home’s porches were also added on and a sliding glass door leading out to the back porch was placed.  The house is cozy with a kitchen, main living area and two bedrooms.  In 1993, Gordon placed the house on a foundation for it to be able to stand the test of time.

Gordon very generously gave Barry and Jeannie Steele (pictured below) a lock he has had for the past 25 years with the welded initials of Glenn Steele.

By Christina Mauroni, April 2016

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History of the early Patton family

[Editor’s note: Ole Oleson and his wife, Polly Philena Patton Oleson were early pioneers in Garden Home.  They owned a number of properties in the north Oleson Road area.  They had one son and seven daughters who married into various Schalk, Wolf, Stark, Ruhl, Ames and Dayton families. The Stark family later married into the Bighaus family who have given us these stories. The following stories were developed by descendants of the Simmons-Patton-Oleson families to share their family stories and to describe and illustrate their early history coming West. See other Oleson family stories.

Polly Philena’s father was John Patton whose early gruesome death is described.  This story begins with her mother, Margaret Lovisa Simmons who was widowed early and raised 4 children, including Polly. John Patton’s father was Mathew Patton, an early entrepreneur and philanthropist who is buried in the cemetery across from the Portland Golf Club. Mathew is spelled with one T in early accounts and on his grave headstone; however two T’s are often used in the stories below.See his story Mathew Patton.

Mathew Patton’s parents were William and Mary Patton who came out on the 1850 wagon train to Oregon. Mathew is reported to have brought a flock of sheep across the plains in 1847. The Simmons family came later in a 1853 wagon train.

Thanks to Debbie Bighaus-West for sending us this family history authored by family members, and is used with her permission.  Reviewed by Elaine and Tom Shreve, 2016]

The Life & Times of Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919

[This article was written by Granddaughter Reta Welch in 1986. Margaret was the mother of Polly Philena Patton Oleson.]

Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919

Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919

Margaret Lovisa Simmons was born 4 May 1838 in Linn County, Iowa, a daughter of Benjamin & Francis Ann (Sherwood) Simmons.  (Francis was a descendent of the North Carolina Sherwoods)  The Simmons family was among the first to arrive in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area, where a settlement was in its early stages.  Margaret attended school in Iowa and learned to read, write and chipper (math). For her day, she had a good education.

Margaret was 15 years old in 1853 when she and her family crossed the plains to Oregon.  Their wagon train was made up mainly of Simmons, Sherwoods and Crows, who were all relatives.  She walked all the way except for a few times at the start of the journey when she sneaked a ride on the wagon tongue between the oxen.  It was very warm and comfortable, as the big oxen walked along swaying her gently on the tongue between their warm bellies.  One day, shortly out of St. Louis, she went to sleep and her father caught her napping between the oxen.  That was the end of her ride.

Benjamin Simmons, 1799-1875. Father of Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919.

Benjamin Simmons, 1799-1875. Father of Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919.

After that she walked all the way to Oregon, herding the cows and young stock.  It was September when they got to the Umatilla Country. The Indians had just harvested a big crop of little dry hard white peas. 

These peas were the staple of their winter diet.  They were very glad to trade peas for things they liked from the white people.  The most popular items were sheets and shirts.  The wooden butter bowl that belonged to Margaret’s Mother was the unit of measure; so many bowls of peas for a shirt, so many for a sheet. Margaret’s Mom guarded her butter bowl very carefully as she had several times caught Indian women trying to make off with it.

The Indians, at that point in time, were not vicious and mean as they were later, when they became aware that the white man was stealing their land and destroying their freedom.  However, they did not understand the difference between mine and thine.  Anything not in use they would take.

Francis Ann (Sherwood) Simmons, 1803-1882. Mother of Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919.

Francis Ann (Sherwood) Simmons, 1803-1882. Mother of Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919.

The dried peas which the settlers received by bartering with Indians was a real blessing and probably saved them from hunger in the winter months.  They had used up more of their supplies than they had expected on the trip.  The farmers in the Pendelton area still raise these same white peas today.  Not as a big cash crop but to maintain the quality of the land.  They are very good for eating and the straw is excellent sheep feed.

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge

It took a month to make the trip down through the Gorge to Portland.  They were not at all impressed by the muddy messy town that lay at the junction of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.  It was called Mudville.  They had not traveled all summer to make their home in such a mess, so they continued on, and on October 1893, Margaret’s Dad, Ben Simmons, filed for his homestead in Yamhill County.  They had reached the promised land, where there was a good water supply and plenty of grass for the cattle.

On 15 October 1855, at the ripe age of 16, Margaret married John  A. Patton.  He was seven years her senior and was of the well-to-do Patton family, who had come to Oregon in the 1850’s.  He had a good farm and owned horses and cattle, so he was considered will-fixed.

 The couple had four children: Philena Polly, born 1856 (maternal Grandmother of Myrtle Stark Bighaus); Benjamin Robert, born 1857; John Newton, born 1860; and Emerson Grant, born 1863.  Their home was in the Beaverton, Oregon area.

One night in December 1864, Margaret’s husband, John Patton, came home from a trip to the wild and wicked town of Portland.  He had been hitting the bars too freely and was not able to get into their bed.  The beds in those days were quite high and trundle beds for the children were slid under the bed by day and pulled out at night for the little ones to sleep on. He couldn’t get into his bed so he slept on the floor.  In troubled sleep, he rolled into the fireplace and his shoes caught fire.  Before Margaret could get his shoes off, his feet were badly burned.  Infection set in and he died on 23 December 1864.  What a miserable Christmas that must have been for Margaret, and her four young children.  Philena was not quite nine years old and Grant, the youngest, was one and a half.

It must have been a very hard life for a young widow with four children and a farm to take care of.  Less than a year later she married D. E. Mills, a teacher, an educated man.  To this marriage one child, John Henry Mills, was born.  Henry always had such funny stories and kept us in a fit of laughter whenever he came to our house.  However, the Patton family, who considered itself to be the aristocrats of the Northwest, couldn’t understand how a woman who carried the great name of Patton could forsake that noble name and marry a commoner; although he probably had more “book Learning” in his head than all the Pattons put together.  They began to harass Daniel Mills; and he, being an intelligent, sensitive man, couldn’t handle it.  He disappeared in the great unpopulated area and Margaret never knew what happened to him.  In time she secured a divorce on grounds of desertion.

 According to the Simmons family history book, written by Helen Maxwell Graham, it seems that Mr. Mills joined Custer as a Chaplin and is believed to have died with Custer in the Battle of the Big Horn.

[Comment about the death of Mr. Mills, by his great-grandson:  The Simmons family history makes the claim that Daniel Mills then went on to be a chaplain in the US Army and died with Custer at the Little Big Horn.  This is clearly a romantic myth that Margaret fabricated to explain Daniel’s absence to her many curious children.  My father, John Mills, said his father, John Henry Mills, said that Margaret repeatedly relayed this story to her children to the point that it was regarded as absolute gospel within the Mills Family.

Joel Mills, descendant of Daniel Mills, states that “After leaving Margaret, he settled in Southern Wisconsin where he was a respected school teacher and lived to the age of 84”.]

Rostin (Rostum) C. Welch, 1849-1935

Rostin (Rostum) C. Welch, 1849-1935

Again she was a widow with a farm and now five children.  She obtained as a hired man, Rostin C. Welch, a young soldier who had just recently been mustered out of the Union Army.  He was a hard working young man and got along with her and her children, so on 21 February 1872, they were wed.  Their children were: Edwin, born 1872; Fredrich, born 1874; Daisy Dee, born 1877; and Rosie, born 1881.

Her marriage to my Grandfather Welch started off well but his skills seemed to be more in the line of carpentry than in farming; so they rented the farm and he hired out as a builder.  There was plenty of work available.

Early in December 1872, the family moved into the old grist mill at Cornelius, Oregon.  The old mill had been abandoned and remodeled into a dwelling.  It was the biggest building in the settlement.

Shortly before Christmas one of the settlers approached Ross Welch and asked if it would be alright if they held the community Christmas party in their home.  It seemed it was a custom to have the Yuletide festivities there.  Ross hesitated, saying, “I’ll have to ask my wife.”  Margaret had just freshly repapered the walls of her bedroom, with newspapers, so it was all bright and clean.  When Ross asked her about the party she said, “Sure, tell them to come.  I wouldn’t stand in the way of a Christmas party.”

The neighbor women came and helped put up the Christmas tree.  They decorated it with pretty paper chains made from colorful drugstore paper, strung popcorn and they had a lovely Christmas Eve Party.

Two days later, on 27 December 1782, the first Welch child, Fredrich R. was born.  Many years later when Ed left a door open and someonewould shout “Were you born in a barn?!” He would chuckle and say, “No, in a grist mill .” By this time the oldest daughter Philena was a young lady of 21 years and a great help to her mother.  However, Margaret was soon to lose her good helper as Philena attracted the eye of one big Swede, named Ole Oleson.   They were married 22 October 1878.

[Editor’s note: Ole Oleson is the namesake of SW Oleson Rd.]

The Patton family had started to harass the Welch family.  Young Ross Welch, although he could neither read nor write, had experience as a soldier for the Union Army, patrolling the north bank of the Columbia River from Fort Vancouver to Fort Walla Walla.  He was better able to cope with the situation than was Mr. Mills for his education.

In November 1894, Ross wrapped up the family affairs in the Beaverton area and took his wife, his three children and one stepson, Henry Mills, loaded them into a wagon and took off for Palouse, Washington, where good land was available by the Homestead Act.  The family, wagon containing all the necessities for establishing a home in the new area, their horses, and a few cattle were loaded on a barge and they headed up river.

River ferry

River ferry

On their first day on the river there was another family aboard. They had a child about the same age as little Fredrich.  The two little boys played together and had great fun.  The second day the other child was not feeling well and did not come out to play.  He did not show again for the rest of the trip so Fredrich had to play with his big brother Edward.  They traveled up river on the barge for about a week and then took another week traveling with the horses and wagon to their new location where they filed on their claim in the area of Sprague. By the time they got to Sprague and before they could get a shelter built, little Fredrich was a very sick boy. He died there of diphtheria and was buried in the newly established cemetery at Sprague.  Shortly after Fredrich’s death, Edward and Daisy both came down with the dread disease but they survived.  Fredrich died on 6 December 1879, just nine days short of his fifth birthday.

This was a very rough start to their life in the Palouse area.  However, they proved up on their claim, built a house and barn, dug a well, built corrals for their cattle to hold them at night.  In the spring they planted a garden and built a picket fence around it to keep the chickens and livestock out.

American badger

American badger

The chickens were a very important part of the settler’s livelihood.  They not only provided eggs but were always there to serve up as a quick meal in case of unexpected company.  One early morning Margaret heard a great commotion in the chicken house.  She started for the chicken house and on the way picked up a piece of lead pipe which was lying conveniently nearby.  A good thing she had it, as she met a badger coming out of the chicken house with one of her laying hens in his mouth.  She was furious and laid it on him with all her strength.  Badgers are notorious for being tough but he was no match for Margaret and her lead pipe.  She skinned him out, tanned his hide and made it into a carriage robe for one of her daughter Philena’s babies.  That is the way to meet the wolf at the door, only this time it was a badger.

They lived well on their homestead until a crooked lawyer “flim-flamed” Ross out of it.  The lawyer got him to sign his “X: on some papers which he couldn’t read.  They left the homestead and moved to a place which they rented.  Ross went to work as a driver on a freighter.  His older brother, Ed, owned and operated a freight line from Spokane Falls to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

Ross was quite depressed over losing his homestead and found comfort in whiskey.  He was a very friendly man and had lots of buddies.  When he came home from a freight run he would very often bring along one of his friends.  When that happened he would remember to bring home some supplies.  If he didn’t bring a friend he would quite often forget the supplies.

One year they had no snow in the winter, no moisture to produce a garden or a crop of hay.

In 1889 they had a very bad year and Ross forgot to bring home supplies too many times.  They had no garden and were on the verge of starvation.  Margaret loaded up her family, wagon, and belongings and they returned to Oregon, to her farm in Patton Valley.

Here they lived until the house burned in early 1890.  They then moved into a house with Margaret’s second son, Newton Patton.  Newton was a fireman with the Portland fire department.  One morning after a fire in downtown Portland, Margaret called her son Newton to breakfast.  No answer and after the second call she went to check.  Newton was dead; it was 25 September 1891.  He had left his property to two children of his brother Ben with Ben’s wife as administrator.  She gave them notice to move.

In the late 1890’s Margaret’s three sons, Grant Patton, Henry Mills and Ed Welch came to fish in the East Fork Lewis River.  They stopped at the Haggard place.  Haggards were former neighbors from Clark County.  He gave such a glowing account of all the wonders of Clark County that Ed was sold on this area.

In 1900 Margaret and her son Ed moved to Clark County to what was called the North Whipple Creek area.  Later it was known as the Pioneer area.  At first they lived in the Shonassey House and built a barn, then a milk house which they called the dairy, and a chicken house.  Ed had his sleeping quarters in the dairy and Margaret had her tier bed and belongings in the chicken house.

Rocking barrel butter-churn

Rocking barrel butter-churn

Ed milked a few cows.  The milk set in grey granite milk pans to let the cream rise.  Margaret skimmed the cream off the pans of milk and churned butter in a rocking barrel churn.  She worked it out carefully to get all excess water out and salted it well.  Once a week, Ed drove to Vancouver to trade the butter for supplies. Ed had a little green chest which they packed the packages of butter in to take to town.  Everything that came in contact with the milk, cream or butter was carefully washed and scalded with hot water from the black cast iron tea kettle.

It was said by some neighbors that Ed Welch had the fastest and fanciest team in Clark County.  He drove a pair of Morgan-Hameltonian mares, full sisters.  Once he is said to have driven from his farm in the Pioneer area to Vancouver in 45 minutes, which was a speed unheard of at that time.

Margaret had a little side line which earned her pin money.  Ed trapped moles around the farm.  Margaret skinned the moles and tacked the hides on shingles to dry.  After they were dried well she would pack them in a large shoe box and mail them to a fur company back east.  When her check came she would have the check converted to hard money and kept it in a flour sack in her dresser drawer.  She did not trust checks or paper money.  Money had to be solid and ring when you hit it with a spoon or fork.

Her greatest expense was thread, sewing thread and candlewicking thread.  She pieced many quilts and also made bedspreads from flour sacks, embroidering many fancy designs with candlewicking. Margaret has been gone since 1919 but some of her quilts and bedspreads live on.

Grandma Margaret was a woman hard of muscle and soft of voice.  I remember her holding me in her arms, rocking me to sleep while Mama held Raymond, my brother, who was 13 months younger than me.  Her arms were solid, firm, and very secure.

Grandma read to me from the children’s page in the Youth’s Companion, a weekly magazine that came in the mail every Thursday.  It was worth walking to the mailbox, three-fourths mile away, to get it. We had to go to Haggard’s Corners to our mailbox.  The mailman did not go past our place even though we were on the main drag, the Pacific Highway, until I was a senior in high school in 1929.

Grandma worked in the garden in the spring, summer and fall and in the winter she knitted or worked on her candlewick bedspreads or pieced quilts. Planting the garden was a family project.  We all worked at it.  I dropped seeds in the hills – 3 or 4 beans or kernels of corn.  It was fun. After the garden was planted Grandma took over.  She did the hoeing, weeding and harvesting.  Grandma picked, pulled or dug the vegetables.  The root vegetables were always taken to the well and washed before bringing them in the house.

Grandma cooked all the vegetables and the meats.  She usually cooked corned beef or salt pork and sometimes smoked pork.  Mama made the bread, biscuits, cakes, pies and cookies.  Grandma had three big black iron pots in which she cooked all the vegetables and meats.

Nothing ever tasted quite so good as the first mess of sweet corn.  She always brought in and cooked more than we would eat, as soon as the corn was to the firm plump kernel state; and what was not eaten, she dried.  The ears were held in her left hand and with her very sharp paring knife she split each row of kernels, she then made a second cut, then with the back of the knife she scraped the cob.  This was spread on the old ironstone plates and platters and dried on the open oven door, on the racks in the oven, on the warming oven and on the back of the old wood stove.  You might say that the old wood stove was decorated with plates of drying corn.  It was watched constantly and stirred often to hasten the drying process.  Grandma had her plates of corn which she had cut.  Mama had her plates and I had mine.  Mama was worried about me using a sharp knife when I was only about five years old but Grandma said, “She has to learn sometime.” After the corn had reached the hard rattle stage, it was put into cloth bags, flour sacks, and hung behind the kitchen stove for about a week.  Then the cloth bags were put upstairs.

We had a different method for green beans.  When there were fairly large white beans in the pods and the pods had taken on a purple color at the ends, the beans were strung and snapped. They had very firm strings.  The broken beans were spread on papers on the floor up in the attic where there was a good circulation of air but out of the sunlight.  Two or three times a day we went up to the attic and stirred the beans, rolled them over with our hands so they would dry faster.  When they were dry, hard and rattled, they were ready to store in clean, white flour sacks and hung on the wall in the long room.

Pumpkins were dried, also.  Papa would bring up several big pumpkins and cut them open on the back porch and scrape out the seeds.  Grandma would take the pumpkin halves and with her sharp knife cut them into big orange spirals.  The skin was peeled from the spirals and the big orange springs were hung on broomsticks which were suspended from the ceiling by baling wire, behind the heater stove in the dining room.  The spirals were turned on the broomsticks everyday so they would dry evenly and in about a week they were dry.

Pumpkin spirals, when dry, were broken up into pieces about an inch long and then also went into flour sacks and hung on the wall.  It was no fun to eat, cooked and seasoned with salt and butter, it was yuck!  I hated it, but it did make good pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread.

Apples and prunes were dried on racks made of lath with braced corners and flour sacks stretched over the bottoms of the racks.  These racks rested on the roof of the bay windows and were reached from the upstairs windows.  They were turned daily, too.  The clean apple peelings were cooked and strained and made into apple jelly.

Squash were brought into the basement and stored.  They never froze and we ate squash all winter.  If the squash had to be cut up with a hatchet, they were good.  If the squash had to be cut up with a knife I wouldn’t even taste them for I knew they tasted like pumpkin.

Potatoes, too, were stored in the basement.  They were the mainstay of our diet.  We had potatoes three times a day – boiled for dinner at noon and for supper and breakfast warmed in a frying pan with a little “drippings.”  We always had “mush” for breakfast and sometimes pancakes, but always potatoes.

In the summer blackberries were our big fruit crop; the little wild blackberries, of course, not the Himalayas or Evergreens.  We made almost daily trips into the woods; Grandma and Mama with their ten pound lard buckets and I with my little three pound lard bucket. Once when Grandma and I went out into the swale along the south side of Papa’s place, we took along a sandwich for our lunch.  We sat down on the ground with our backs to a big tree to eat and rest.  When we went to get up Grandma couldn’t get up.  I took her hand and pulled to try to help her, but no good.  I was scared.  She told me to go back to the barn and get Papa.  I was afraid I would never find my way back to the barn or, if I did I would never find my way back to her.  I wouldn’t leave her.  I pulled and she struggled and finally she got up.  We finished filling our buckets with berries and we went home. I was one frightened little girl.

Blackberries

Blackberries

We always expected to get about 100 quarts of blackberries canned.  The orchard behind the house was quite young then and we did not have too many apples but we made good use of what we had.  First the Yellow Transparent followed by Gravenstines, Dutchess and Astrachans.  Then came the winter apples.  The summer apples we ate all we could and then dried what we couldn’t eat, none were wasted.  The winter apples Papa picked and stored in the basement.

On winter afternoons before the darkness settled down, Mama and I made a trip to the basement and brought up a grey granite milk pan full of apples.  In the evening, either Grandma or Mama would read aloud to the family and the others would peel apples and pass the juicy, shiny apple quarters around.  Oh boy, was that fun!  That was our evening entertainment before radio and TV.  Most of the time, Grandma read.  I liked Grandma’s reading better than Mom’s because she read slower and I could understand it better.

While the war was on Grandma sat and knitted socks for the soldiers in France.  She made a few sweaters but mostly she knitted socks of ugly brown.  They called it khaki yarn.  But whenever I took one of my little story books or the Youth’s Companion to her and said, “Grandma read to me,” she laid aside her knitting and would read me a story.

One day she got a pair of No. 6, yellow celluloid needles and gave them to me and said, “It’s time for you to learn to knit.”  She held my hands and showed how to cast the yarn and take the stitches off the needle and so she started my knitting career; I still have the needles.

Papa sold the timber off his land to the Toby brothers about 1916.  They built a sawmill on the north side of the place complete with cook house, where Walter Toby’s family lived, a bunk house for the men who worked there, a barn for the horses which pulled the logs over the skid roads to the mill pond.  There was a good, strong, year-round creek that ran across the north side of the place.  Grandma warned us that when the timber was gone the creek would go dry and it surely did.  How did she know?

The mill was doing quite well until America got involved in World War I and labor costs went sky high.  The Toby’s had their lumber and railroad ties contracted at a set price and when the labor went up they couldn’t make it so they sold out to Walter Crabb and William Zimmerly.  Crabb operated the mill and Zimmerly was in charge of the logging.

On one dark, foggy day in November 1918 the news came over the phone, as all the news did in those days, that the war was over.  Grandma answered the phone and I will never forget her rushing out to the back porch and shouting “Hooray, hooray, the war is over!”

The pressure was off and she did not need to sit constantly knitting socks for the boys in France but the damage was done.  Arthritis had overtaken her.  They called it “rumatiz” but it was really arthritis, and she would never again tend her garden. As the winter progressed her condition worsened.

Once they called the doctor in Ridgefield, Washington.  Dr. Stryher was gone to the war to take care of our soldiers.  A kooky substitute doctor was in town at that time.  He came out once, but the second time he was called he never came.  He was a poor excuse for a doctor anyway. People said he was on dope.

Neighbors came to “sit with her.”  Aunt Rosa and Aunt Daily came, Uncle Henry came.  Mrs. John Johnson walked through the woods carrying her lantern to sit with Grandma.  It was at least two miles through the woods full of coyotes and all kinds of scary creatures.  The word neighbor was very meaningful back then. Oh yes, Uncle Ben was there, too.  He came from over in Raleigh Hills, area (Portland).  He was a wonderful uncle.  He wore a long tan duster coat with big pickets and always brought candy in those pockets.

On 13 February 1919, Grandma, Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, passed away.  The Ridgefield undertaker came and took her away.  He brought her back in a big grey box.  They put the box on the front porch.  A tall man in a long black coat stood on the porch and talked to all the people who gathered in the front yard.

Uncle Ben made a trip to Portland on the stage and brought back a floral piece made of white lillies and some green stuff.  I picked all the purple violets that grew on the north side of the front steps.  Mama took the lid to the big shoe box and filled it with moss from the woods, then she stuck all the violets in the wet moss.  That was all the flowers.

After the man in the black coat got done talking they loaded the big box into a fancy wagon, the  hearse, and put the flowers in too.  A pair of black horses pulled the hearse. The family followed in Uncle Fred’s Studebaker car and the other people followed in other cars as we drove slowly down to the old Pioneer Cemetery in Ridgefield, Clark County, Washington. 

Margaret Lovisa Welch headstone, 1838 - 1919

Margaret Lovisa Welch headstone, 1838 – 1919

They put the box down in a big hole in the ground and covered it with fresh dirt and piled the dirt up in a neat mound.  Then they put the lillies which Uncle Ben had brought and the pillow of violets on top of the mound.  Then a very pretty lady in a dark blue suit stepped up and laid some big, long sword ferns, from the woods, all over the fresh mound of dirt.  It was covered with the pretty green ferns.  I didn’t understand but I felt so much better.  Later I learned that the pretty lady was Emeline (Brothers) McKee, wife of Nels. She was a one-woman Red Cross Chapter.  She was always there, come fire or flood, sickness or death.  She always found a way to bring help and comfort when there was a need.  There was so much I didn’t understand.  Everybody was crying but I didn’t cry.  Not until after a while when Mama read to me, then I cried because I wanted Grandma.  Then I really understood that Grandma was gone.

 [These stories were written by Reta E. Welch, in 1986, for the heritage of the family, to remember how life was several generations ago. It took Reta four months to finish. The article was distributed to family via Lela Annette Sederburg-Miller, a granddaughter of Reta.]

A Long Hard Trip

[Written in 1986 by Reta Welch, granddaughter of Margaret Simmons.]

It was a long, hard trip across the plains in the summer of 1853.  The cows and young stock had a chance to nibble a little grass as they traveled, but the pair oxen only had a chance to eat when they stopped for the night or occasionally after a very hard stretch of road when they were unhitch and let to rest.

So by the time they got to the Rocky Mountains, the oxen were in really bad shape.  One by one the oxen died as their poor feet, cut by the sharp shale rocks, got infected.  The settlers skinned the fallen oxen, partially dried the skins over the back of the wagons, wrapped these half dried skins around the feet of the cows to make emergency boots, and the cows brought the wagons through the last of the journey.

Great Respect for Newsprint

[Written in 1986 by Reta Welch, granddaughter of Margaret Simmons.]

With the pioneers having great respect for newspapers it is easy to see why the printing press of early times seemed to rule the country.  Everything that appeared in print was taken for gospel truth.

No newspaper was ever burned as long as Grandma Margaret lived.  The weekly Columbians were piled up, back under the roof upstairs.

Newspapers were used in several thicknesses to paper the inside of houses.  This gave quite good insulation and gave the rooms a clean fresh look.  As the papers got yellow with time, a new layer could be tacked over it.

Newspapers cut in scallops and scrolls were used to decorate shelves.  Also, newspapers were sometimes cut for placemats at the children’s dinner places to save the tablecloth.  Nothing was wasted.

Where did all these dates come from?

[Written by Reta Welch in 1986 (granddaughter of Margaret Simmons).]

If you are wondering where all the dates of births, deaths and marriages came from, about the Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch family, I will tell you. 

They came from the pages of the Family Records – marriages, births, and deaths in the family Bible. The Bible was a wedding gift to Margaret from her parents when she married John Patton (Great-grandparents of Myrtle Stark Bighaus) on 18 January 1855.

The Bible and a few other precious belongings were saved from the 1890 fire that destroyed their home.

The Bible is faded and worn, and the lower front corner is burned off for about an inch. How lucky are we to have it!

Patton Valley, Oregon

Patton Valley is located in Washington County near Carlton, Gaston & Yamhill.

Patton Valley was named for William and Mary Patton who relocated there from Missouri.  In 1850 the Patton wagon train came to Oregon.  They all settled near Carlton where they took up their land claims.  They lived in a community they called “Puckerville” because they were all puckered up so closely together.

William Patton was a cabinet maker.  In 1859 he moved his family to a valley west of Gaston which was to be named for them and purchased 600 acres.  The first house on the William Patton farm was a log cabin.  It was “forted,” having holes at the corners for guns, in case of an Indian uprising.  None ever came, but the neighbors were warned to come there for protection if needed.

William Patton was born in Brown County, Ohio, 4 Oct.1807, and died 24 Aug.1888 in Forest Grove, Oregon. His wife, Mary Sherwood, was born in Indiana in 1814 and died in 1906. They were married in Montgomery County, Indiana, on 11 June 1833.  They had five children: Frances, Robert, Matthew, Sarah and Jane.  Their son, Robert Patton, continued to live in the area for many years.

It is interesting to note how much earlier that area was populated compared to the northern regions of the West Oregon Service territory.

[By: Tracy Kuloneli-Hanchett
Record added: Jan 05, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 23755928

Debbie Bighaus-West: I read that the house still exists and that it survived a car crash!]

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April 2016 News

Welcome to our website about historic Garden Home. In the People and Places pages, you’ll find over a hundred stories and hundreds of photos of vintage Garden Home and residents attending our events.

Upcoming Events

We begin each regular meeting with a 30-minute history presentation at 6:30 pm at the Garden Home Recreation Center, 7475 SW Oleson Rd, on the second Monday of the month:

  • May 9, 2016 – Colin Lamb will be presenting slides and discussion of the early days of their Thriftway grocery store and the mall.  Do you remember the Big Tomato pizza parlor of the 1980s?
  • June 13, 2016 – Shrubs, flowers, trees, a wonderful review of our History & Garden tour, comments about all this beauty in Garden Home!

History and Garden Tour in Garden Home:  Saturday, June 4, 10 AM to 3 PM. Purchase your $10 ticket at the Lamb’s Garden Home Thriftway to enjoy all of the nine lovely gardens on the tour in three areas of Garden Home.  In an effort to avoid “early birds” the tour brochures and map will be available after 10 AM on June 4 at the following locations:

  • Lamb’s Garden Home Thriftway
  • 8550 SW Holly Lane
  • 6619 SW Hickman Lane
  • 8445 SW 80th Ave

The nine gardens may be visited in any order. Look for the balloon posts which mark the gardens!  Sponsored by both the Garden Home History Project and the Garden Home Gardeners who maintain the Oleson Road gardens.

Garden Home School and Beaverton High reunion, August 13, 2016: We are planning a reunion event in the morning in the playground behind the Garden Home Recreation Center. More details to come.

New stories on website

SW Oleson Road Gardens updateReview of Terry Moore’s dedicatory speech in 2008 and new photos and update of the gardens in the medians and along Oleson Road.  If you’d like to work with this dedicated group of gardeners, check out GardenHomeGardeners.weebly.com

Living on Maplewood Road: Patti Waitman-Ingebretson tells about growing up in the neighborhood just to the east of Garden Home.  Home of the fabulous curved train trestle that was finally paved as a street. Great photos.

The other “Garden Home road”: While researching an upcoming story about a 1903 Halloween night slaying on “the Garden Home road”, we discovered the “Garden Home road” moniker was used for the route of Patton Rd to Shattuck Rd to Oleson Rd.

Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919, at age 34.

Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919, at age 34.

History of the early Patton family: Read about the amazing and difficult pioneer life of Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919. Margaret was the mother of Polly Philena Patton Oleson, wife of Ole Oleson, the namesake of SW Oleson Rd.

At age 16, Margaret married John Patton and had four children before John died in a tragic sleeping mishap. John was the son of Mathew Patton, a noted Portland business man and philanthropist. Margaret’s second husband either vanished during a trip to the unpopulated areas, died at Little Big Horn with Custer, or fled to become a Wisconsin school teacher, depending on which family member is asked.

Glenn and Isolda Steele donating a Brazilian amethyst to the Smithsonian

Glenn and Isolda Steele donating a Brazilian amethyst to the Smithsonian

Isolda and Glenn SteeleMany Garden Home School alums remember the wonderful lunches that Isolda Steele cooked. A number of these recipes and household tips are featured in a lovely memoir cookbook.  Glenn became known for his rock hobby which culminated with amethyst specimens going to the Smithsonian!  Christina Mauroni has researched this story with the assistance of the grandson, Barry Steele.  Wonderful photos by Stan Houseman.

Other News

Beaverton High School pre-1949

Beaverton High School pre-1949

Beaverton High School Centennial: We want your memoirs! When was the 3rd floor removed?

Stan Marugg remembers the 1949 earthquake that damaged the third floor of the High School.

“I was sitting in one of our milk trucks I’d driven to Beaverton High School and was bouncing up and down during the quake. My dad said he had never seen concrete bend until then. He said it was like a wave moving through the concrete in the dairy barn.”

Colin Lamb, ’62, recalls that there was an unmarked door to the third floor steps.

“A ham radio station was located up there and we operated from that location. Richard Platt was in charge of the ham radio program. We also had access to the roof so we could install antennas. That was in the old days. Our power supply had about 2,000 volts open to whoever was stupid enough to put his hand on it and we did not worry about such minor details.”

The BHS Centennial committee has designated a process to honor certain graduates for their Hall of Achievement. To date, this includes Rod Harman (Harman Pool), and Ross Fogelquist. Lisa Sandmire wants stories and photos of Beaverton High and can be reached at bhscentennial@gmail.com. Click here for a related article by the Portland Tribune.

We are researching the 1949 earthquake that damaged Garden Home School and the third floor of Beaverton High. What do you recall? Leave us a comment.

Kaplan/Miner Century Home (previously Bettendorf home)

Kaplan/Miner Century Home (previously Bettendorf home)

We have identified Century Homes in Garden Home that were built before 1916. The program is meant to honor and appreciate the older homes in our community and the role they’ve played in our history. The home owners have been notified that they may participate in this program of a small ceremony of placing a Century Home plaque beside the front door and accepting a nice pamphlet with the history of Garden Home and their home. The two-story house on 76th now owned by Sasha Kaplan and Matt Miner was our first Century home. The owners would like more information on early residents of the home. The attractive plaque notes the age of the house and does not affect the sale or any changes in the property. Virginia Vanture has chaired this committee of Stan Houseman, Nathalie Darcy, Janice Logan and Ginny McCarthy.

Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

Get your Historic Garden Home t-shirt now for just $14 for small to XL. Larger XXL and XXXL sizes are $17. There is an additional charge of $9 to mail your shirt. They’re fun! Available at the Garden Home Library’s Community Store or by mail from Patsy VandeVenter, 7520 SW Ashdale Ct., Portland, OR 97223. We thank Jan Fredrickson for a very generous donation to cover the cost of printing the shirts.

Historic Garden Home street sign

Historic Garden Home street sign

Historic Garden Home street signs: We currently have about 35 of the Historic Garden Home street sign toppers in our community. Each sign was purchased by a friend or family member to honor their loved one. Click here to view photos of the signs and for information about sponsoring a sign.

Our generous donors permit us to print and mail this newsletter ($140) for our non-e-mail people and for the Garden Home Recreation Center. We also replace the Historic Garden Home street signs once for signs that disappear, current cost for each sign, $60. With our latest order, we’ll have about 35 signs out in our neighborhoods. We also have website costs, printing, paper, plaques and many other costs of an organization. Donor names are listed on our History Bulletin Board at the Recreation Center. Thank you to all of our donors and to all of our volunteers for their time and skills.

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SW Oleson Road Gardens update

See also our original story about the 2008 dedication of the Oleson Gardens.

The Garden Home Crossing Committee was formed in 1996 to create three “island” gardens at the busy intersection of Oleson and Garden Home Road.  Volunteers hung hanging baskets, installed irrigation, and planted daffodils and other plants.  Later, they began providing hanging baskets for the Garden Home Recreation Center. Terry Moore, the leader of our group, worked tirelessly with Washington County, local businesses, and gardeners to keep the “garden in Garden Home.”

In 2006 Washington County began plans for a major remodel of Oleson Road.  The Crossing Committee worked with the County to gain permission to plant gardens in some medians and in the right-of-way along the widened road, going from Hall Blvd north to Dover Street.  An impressive volunteer effort began—we designed nearly 14 areas, raised money for plants, irrigation, and thousands of daffodils.   In May 2008, the gardens were installed and are flourishing today.  In 2014, the group reorganized and became Garden Home Gardeners.  Volunteers continue to care for the garden beds, and hanging baskets— planting, weeding, pruning and watering to keep our Garden Home neighborhood beautiful.

Visit the Garden Home Gardener’s at  GardenHomeGardeners.weebly.com.

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Living on Maplewood Road

Growing up in Maplewood meant that we rode the “Blue Bus”, Tualatin Valley Stages- either Garden Home – Maplewood, or Garden Home –Metzger.  My family lived on the southwest end of Maplewood, which was the closest to Garden Home.  In fact, at one time, we were part of the Garden Home Water District.

 – Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen

Mildred Ransom in front of 4608 SW Maplewood Rd house

Mildred Ransom in front of 4608 SW Maplewood Rd house

In 1950, my parents, Don and Mildred Ransom, purchased a new ranch style home at 4608 SW Maplewood Rd. An almost identical house was built at the same time next door at 4620. The builders were the Orth brothers and each property was ¼ acre. This land has been part of the William Borsch mail order nursery property. Saxton-Wilson and later, just Warren Wilson, operated a mail order nursery next door at 4600 SW Maplewood Rd. That parcel of land continues to be owned by the Wilson family today. In order to landscape our new property, my father hired a man with a horse and equipment to grade the embankment into a sloping front yard. We children were put to work picking pieces of glass left from when the old greenhouses had been destroyed during the building process. It was not fun.

Garden Home Rd was still the main route to Garden Home at that time. The last stretch Multnomah Blvd had replaced the railroad tracks to SW 45th at the Maplewood Rd. intersection only.of Multnomah Blvd was probably paved to Garden Home Rd by 1952.

Our neighbors on the west side of Maplewood Rd included Mrs. Catherine Borsch (4804), the Warren Wilson family (4600), the Eby family (7821 SW 47th) and the Eggleston/Bernick family (4763). A variety of families lived in the house next door at 4620. I recall the Fleenors, Stricklands, Butts, and Kelly’s in the 1950’s. The families on the east side of Maplewood Rd were Ingraham’s (4559), Morris Schlaifer (4577), Joe Ehler (4611), Miss Olive Brown (4621) Donald Devine (4641) and Harry Reynolds (4719).

Sanborn Map 1949

Sanborn Map 1949

Maplewood Rd had been paved and part of that road had been the railroad trestle. The road had no shoulder or sidewalk but there were houses on both sides of the street until SW 48th. The road from SW 48th to SW 51st was the section that was paved trestle and that was scary. There were no homes on this stretch. It did have a guard rail on the east side. It was straight down on the west side of the roadway. A path was added after a young girl had been hit and killed while walking on the shoulder of Maplewood Rd. As I recall, the path/walk way was a brownish material and slightly raised from the road way on the west side of the street only. It was a long way down from the top of the paved trestle and we children felt anxious and unsafe walking to and from school each day. Many years later, fill was used to level out the steep area on each side of the trestle. There are homes built on that fill and several roads have been added as well. The familiar curve of Maplewood Rd can still give one a sense of train tracks and trestle even today.

Maplewood trestle for the Oregon Electric Railway. Note Maplewood School in background.

Maplewood trestle for the Oregon Electric Railway. Note Maplewood School in background.

My first year in the old Maplewood School was 3rd grade. I have often thought of the layout of the old school and believe it had two sets of stairs going up to the second floor. The lower level classrooms were upper grades with the primary grades in the upper level. Class rooms had cloak rooms and upper story outside wooden stairways as well. I have no idea where the bathrooms were located. Primary teachers were Mrs. Dorothea Fix, Mrs. Juanita Amspoker, Mrs. Dorothy Blaylock (later known as Miss Nelson) and Mrs. Ramona Alsman. The old school grounds included a real tennis court. An area on higher ground was known as “the grove” because it had fir trees and also picnic tables and a large stone fireplace. It is probably an area that was used by the Maplewood community at large. Portable classrooms are found in this area today.

Old Maplewood School featured on the cover of the Multnomah Historical Association newsletter, summer #2 2002

Old Maplewood School featured on the cover of the Multnomah Historical Association newsletter, summer #2 2002

The first section of the new Maplewood school was built behind the old school and students moved into the new school when my class was in the 4th grade. The old building was then torn down. There were not enough classrooms that first year so Mrs. Gate’s 4th grade class spent the school year in a basement room below the gymnasium. The lack of sizable windows would not allow that room to be used as a classroom today. At least we were close to the cafeteria and lunch each day. The back door of the new school opened into the south end of the school property and a wooden path/walkway was built so that students who lived on the south or west side of the school could easily exit in that direction. It was also safer than walking along 52nd and around to Maplewood Rd. Safety Patrol was at 51st and Maplewood Rd so that students could cross safely. As it rains a lot in Oregon, the wooden walkway was often just about under water and evil boys took great pleasure in jumping up and down to get the swaying walkway to periodically submerge into the swamp area. I am not sure if the school used that land as right of way or perhaps the land owner allowed the walk way to keep students safe. There are houses in this area today and students no longer exit at the back of the school property.

Maplewood School celebrated 100 years of school in the community 2012

Maplewood School celebrated 100 years of school in the community 2012

The second stage of the new Maplewood School added on the two class rooms across the front of the building and those were initially a combined 7th and 8th class and Kindergarten. It also completed the link from the building to the passage way to the gym building and cafeteria in the lower level. The school office and principal’s office were also in the area that connected the phase 1 and phase 2 of the new Maplewood School. A porch was added on the north side for entry into the school. My 4th grade class came out of the basement and joined the rest of the school as 5th graders in the last room on the right side of the hall. Upper grade teachers were Mrs. Billie Gates, Mrs. Martha Hennen and Mr.George Little. Principals often taught the 7th and 8th grade students. Mr. Les Buell, Mr. Ole Wold and Mr. John Cannon were principals in the 1950’s. Maplewood was a Multnomah County school and many of our fathers served on the Maplewood School board which certainly did keep that small school/community flavor.

I never got over being afraid of the walk to and from school. The paved trestle with little shoulder, and nowhere to go, made it a very scary and lonely daily journey. It did not help that only a small portion of Maplewood students lived south of the school.

It is hard to imagine how things looked in that 1950 era. The older homes are still there and new ones have filled in the gaps. New roads have been built but the small community feel is still there. Although my route to and from school each day was anxiety producing, the innocence of the 1950’s, coupled with the closeness of the little Maplewood community, made it an ideal place to be a young girl.

Maplewood School celebrated 100 years of school in the community in 2012. The writer was invited to give a brief recorded video history of Maplewood School and the community as well as speak briefly to the students.

Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen (2012) speaking to Maplewood students at assembly to celebrate 100 years of school in Maplewood

Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen (2012) speaking to Maplewood students at assembly to
celebrate 100 years of school in Maplewood

By Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen, 2016.

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