Spring 2015 News

Spring brings us into summer, lovely flowers everywhere. Our large platted lots feature so many beautiful gardens.

We’ve overhauled the website! We migrated to the WordPress platform with a whole new look and feel. We hope you enjoy the new format. The site features over 130 posts with over 650 photos. We have ceased updating the old website.

Balloon release on the closing day of Garden Home School

Balloon release on the closing day of Garden Home School

Bill Gellatly has written the story of the closing of Garden Home School in 1982, one of the biggest events in Garden Home history.

Thanks to Debbie Bighaus-West for the Simmons, Patton, Oleson family story  in a fascinating account of coming West. Garden Home was officially named in a legal document in 1881. We will post the story soon!

We have completed the IRS requirements for non-profit designation. Nathalie Darcy and Colin Lamb at Lamb’s Markets have been our guiding lights. We now have By-Laws for our non-profit association, officers, Board of Directors and formal organization.

Marie Pacella is the new Treasurer. Patsy VandeVenter has done a wonderful job since we started in 2010. Patsy will now be Secretary. Marie will continue keeping the database and mailing out our infrequent emails and newsletters. Thanks to two very dedicated members.

Historic Garden Home street signs are again available. Learn how to order a sign for your street.

Virginia Vanture, Stan Houseman and Nathalie Darcy are developing a program to identify the CENTURY Homes in Garden Home. This promises to be very interesting, probably over a dozen homes were built before 1915. The Hunt Club area has several that were built in the early years of the last century.

Mystery sign found along Fanno Creek Trail.

Mystery sign found along Fanno Creek Trail.

The January 2015 Gazette (PDF) featured the three lovely signs on the Fanno Creek Trail detailing the history of the trail usage with trains, horses and today. Now a mysterious sign has appeared with directional signs of the last century. No, we didn’t do it.

The Scandinavian Cultural Center is nearing completion, on the southern strip of Oleson Road beside Fogelbo. Huge, will be wonderful!

Louise Cook Jones just finished the new History bulletin board at the Garden Home Recreation Center. This board celebrates the history of SW Oleson up through the road remodel and this spring’s clean-up efforts by over 50 volunteers. Thanks to Stan Houseman for the volunteer photos and thanks to all the volunteers for working on the 13 Oleson gardens, The Garden Home Gardeners.

We’ve updated the story of the 1944 crash of a P-63 Kingcobra fighter plane in Garden Home. We also describe other notable fighter plane crashes in the area.

Historic Garden Home 2015 Calendar and note card sets are available now. These calendars are great just for the historic photos and text. Order by mail for $12 each. We still have some 2013 and 2014 calendars, $5 for the package of two. Calendars are available locally for $8 at Lamb’s Garden Home Thriftway and the Garden Home Library.

Thanks for your comments and memoirs. Your comments at the bottom of each page go directly to our email.

Attend our regular meetings, the second Monday of each month, 3 to 4:30 pm at the Garden Home Recreation Center. We enjoy the 2 minute history lesson from each member and then get on to our business. Please let me know so I can assure seating: Elaine Shreve 503-246-5879.

About Us!

The Garden Home History Project records and preserves the History of this area. Historic Garden Home is a suburb southwest of Portland, Oregon and mostly contained in unincorporated Washington County. It extends roughly one mile out in each direction from the intersection of Garden Home Road and Oleson Road.

This non-profit organization is chaired by Elaine Shreve, 503-246-5879. Special thanks to our Advisory Group of dedicated volunteers.

We encourage you to send us your stories, photos or artifacts. We can scan photos and return them to you.

Join the Club!

Your donations and calendar sales provide our funds for signs, printing, research, postage and other costs. Our emails (and U.S. postage ) will keep you informed.

Click here to support the project!

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Bulletin Board Stories

Our History Board at the Garden Home Recreation Center features a changing display of historic Garden Home stories. All of these stories can be found on our website.
Virginia Vanture created these boards for several years. Louise Cook Jones is now in charge, 2014.

#14 The Gardens of Garden Home

#13: Music and musicians in Garden Home, Church, Joe Dardis, Jim Bastien, others.

#12: Baseball and softball teams in Garden Home, Portland, and Alpenrose.

Ever since the playing fields appeared at the new Garden Home School in the early 1900s, ball players were there, with pick-up games, recess play, team and league events.
Baseball was very popular. Click to read more.

#11: Memorial board detailing the 1944 fighter plane crash here in Garden Home. The poster for the Armed Forces Day celebration where we took photos of our veterans and saw a slide show of “our” pilot who crashed here. Click to read more.

#10: Garden Home Extension Study Group: This group of local homemakers has been meeting for over 55 years to learn good home making practices and enjoy fellowship.

#9. Ross Fogelquist, Fogelbo.

#8. Dr. Hetlesater, tuberculosis treatment.

#7: Garden Home School information from the P.T.A. newsletters, Gazettes and student notes.

#6. 2012. Memorial board honoring some of our early residents and their histories: Ernie and Melba Cook, Dr. Hetlesater, Richard Stevens, Vivian Bosley, Peter Gertsch, Andreas and Magdelana Von Bergen, Charles and Musetta Amelia Adams, and the Morris Pallay family. The list of our generous donors and the street signs of Historic Garden Home that have been purchased in memory or in honor of friends or family was also displayed.

#5: Lamb’s Thriftway opened in 1957. Obituary for Forrest Lamb’s wife, Neva Lamb.

#4: History and photos of some of our early families: Gust Johnson, Ole Oleson, The Newton family, William Skyhar, Aaron Frank.

#3: 2011 and 2012: Resources for researching the history of your home. The Oleson family and their original home history was also displayed in addition to the Historic Designation of the home. (Compiling poster and photo of board with the Olesons.) (T/C)

#2: The Gertsch families and their early dairies were highlighted in our second History Board.

#1: 2010: Crescent Grove Cemetery was established in 1852 and is the oldest maintained cemetery in the Portland area. Many of the early pioneers in the Garden Home-Tigard area are buried there. We have provided several cemetery tours featuring our early residents and their histories.

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Partlow-Kickbush Home

This history was written by Louise Jones in response to queries regarding the large Colonial house with white pillars that faces south and is situated between 77th and 78th Avenue, the address being 7440 SW 78th. Opal Kickbush, the most recent owner, died in February of 2015. See also: Gabriel, Olive Stott.

History of family home on 77th-78th Avenues:

The house was owned by Dede’s great aunt Olive Stott Gabriel, who lived there in the 1930’s. For a time it was occupied by renters, who became squatters, who had to be removed. At her death, the house was willed to Dede’s father Jim Partlow, whose family moved in around 1945 and lived there until they moved to Klamath Falls in 1961. Jim was a coach at Lincoln High School and Athletic Director of Oregon Institute of Technology. The family consisted of Jim, Dede’s mom Yvonne, Dede, and her younger brother Jim. The parents Jim and Yvonne have died. Dede lives in Newberg and her brother Jim lives in Forest Grove.

The property was large, with the house, a freestanding garage, a caretaker’s cottage (known as the nuthouse – a playhouse for the kids and their friends), a barn, and large parcels of land, both north and south of the house, several blocks long along 77th and 78th. The grounds had a circle on the 77th side, park-like, with a circular drive. There were gardens with fruits, vegetables, and flowers, a filbert orchard, and a large picnic area on the 78th side, with evergreen trees.

Aunt Olive willed some of the land to Jim’s brother Bill Partlow. His family – wife Fama, children Linda, Susan, Chuck, and Laura – lived for a time in a small house across from the Poutala house, on Partlow land. Their new house was built on the corner of 78th and Garden Home Road, completed in the 50’s. Currently, Fama and Laura live in Newberg, Linda in Boring, Susan in Hawaii, and Chuck in Goldendale. Bill has died.

Jim and Yvonne had the big house remodeled soon after moving in. Center steps and porch were removed and a large porch was constructed across the entire front side, with side steps on each end. The sliding wooden doors between the parlor and the front room were also removed. Fritz Reinhardt was the contractor for the remodel.

The house itself is large and wonderful. There is a large entry hall, with stairs off to the left going to the second story. Another set of steps are accessed through a door in the hall, also reached through a door in the dining room – a sort of hidden staircase, up to the second floor and also to the basement.

The living room is large, a combination of the former parlor and living room, with fireplace and lovely windows. The dining room is next and then the kitchen – Dede says not the best room in the house, rather small. A door off the kitchen leads to steps down to the yard. The upstairs has a large semi-circular hall, with doors leading to a den, three bedrooms, and a bath. There is another bath in the large basement.

The house was purchased by John and Opal Kickbusch. John was a motorcycle officer with the Portland Police. (I remember seeing him several times in Rose Festival parades.) They had three children, William, Diane, and Carla; Carla was still at home when John and Opal lived in Garden Home. John died on March 24, 2004, Opal recently.

from phone conversations with Dede: Diann (Dede) Lynn Partlow Porcelli
March 2015
Louise Jones

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The Closing of Garden Home Elementary School

Balloon release on the closing day of Garden Home School

Garden Home Elementary may have been newer than McKay or Raleigh Hills elementary schools, and there is no doubt that it played a crucial role in making our cross-roads community a memorable part of eastern Washington County. It had a rural start, grew quickly to meet the commuter train-facilitated suburban demand for quiet living, and yet was a center of independent country living. As a single-school “district,” there were also quickly emerging advantages to joining the Beaverton School District. Who might have realized, at the time of that merger, that in about three generations, the school could also be very vulnerable to being closed? This story is about more than the closure of a neighborhood educational facility; it is also a statement about the resilience of the Garden Home community.

Development of Garden Home quickly led to demand for a school closer than either McKay or Raleigh Hills. The first school was located in the second story of a store owned by Chris Jager, he had opened in a former residence. The first dedicated school building opened in 1912 and the evolving structures kept pace with quickly changing needs.

closing Bill GellatlyDeclining enrollment – Politics of Predictions

In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Beaverton’s new residential housing was rapidly growing on its western borders and the district’s reputation for quality was being “marketed” through association with new homes, desirable developments and new buildings. Having a quiet, friendly neighborhood with older roots wasn’t the hot image of the go-go 70’s, or the upscale destination of Oak Hills. A comfortable neighborhood has aging owners who enjoy their homes and generous lots, and over time houses on the eastern borders of the district had fewer students. With a slowing economy, many aging neighborhoods were not having the high turnover that normally kept schools filled. These are the fundamentals of declining enrollment and there is nothing unique to Garden Home in this regard. All districts face this dilemma.

As a design engineer working with high quality products built at Tektronix, I became adept at the use of statistics to assure first-time quality and sustainable production, and very early in my living in Garden Home, Joy Pierce, my predecessor on Local School Committee, encouraged my involvement in bringing business sense to community issues. As soon as the district formed a study committee, I was most interested in getting intimately familiar with the data processes used to make decisions about building utilization. My company had begun expansion throughout Beaverton and I was working in the new Wilsonville campus.

closing Farewell poster, last sch dayAssumptions about older school buildings

When the Beaverton School District was growing quickly, there was desire to keep buildings up to date and to replace older structures. This had some play in the concerns of the committee selected to study the declining enrollment, but with selection of decision criteria, this was technically relegated as having little or no value. McKay and Raleigh Hills were brick-faced structures and looked very formal and solid. Garden Home, built under its own state-sanctioned district, was an all wood structure like its original 1912 building. It was obvious that other schools in the study area looked more formidable. Committee members from McKay, Raleigh Hills and Raleigh Park were not going to give up their schools and have the older style Garden Home remain. The committee had very typical biases, and to work through and around them was challenging. It was ironic that Garden Home’s heating system was actually the most efficient building in the study area. Heat loss was lessened by having multiple stories, and it was obvious that Montclair had been built with lots of windows and with little concern for heating fuel costs, so it ranked poorly
As an engineer with a side hobby of residential design, I enjoyed doing some analysis of the gains that could be made with improved windows and insulation, and after doing a cursory study, I found that the energy efficiency rankings of the considered schools changed rather dramatically. That created a bit of consternation on the part of committee members representing the newer schools. The popular assumption was that newer schools were more efficient, but room layout was a large factor. Montclair elementary was about to get a lot of unpopular scrutiny.

closing last sch day, big badge 1911-1982Single classrooms and open-classroom areas

The outlier in the study area was Montclair. It was built at a time when open-classroom areas were enjoying a brief national popularity. Beaverton, like many districts tried to follow the trends and to demonstrate leadership by being in the middle of innovation. Their facilities could also take advantage of commercially available school construction plans. It looked like smart cost avoidance if architectural services merely adapted a stock plan to a given site. Montclair’s floor plan had detractors and fans, and discussions about the plan were very heated. Several Garden Home parents felt the open style was distracting and faced with transfers into Montclair, they feared the prospects of requesting transfers to adjacent schools.

closing last day cakeCommunity Involvement versus Administrative Decision-making Processes

When a controversial topic faces a public organization like schools, the image-conscious administration likes to keep challenging emotionally-charged issues at bay. Voter memory is good when budgets and building bond measures hit the ballot, so it was no surprise that the local school committees in the study area were asked to sit on a panel convened for an “open process.” The committee can take the heat and publicly wrestle with the many emotional factors that come into play.

Decision Criteria – Were we leading or following the District’s decisions?

When Local School Committees in the five-school study area were first seated, fellow GardenHome members Sue Miner and Charlene Land and I listened to the presentations, looked around to assess the representative of the other four schools, and felt, just like the others, that there was a sense we might just be putting lip service to a slam-dunk, pre-planned district decision. I had to acknowledge that I was probably the least politically savvy guy in the room. After all, when faced with the guillotine, the engineer in me wanted to make sure the blade was well lubricated so it could be fast, painless and that whoever’s school was closed could regroup and move on.

Camps had been forming before I had even moved into the neighborhood, and our peaceful little Mayberry RFD was already under serious threat by well-meaning parents representing the neighboring schools. In reality, Montclair had members who felt their open-classroom style was under attack. McKay, bordering on Vose district was feeling that their location on heavily traveled Scholls Ferry Road, and more modest neighborhoods were pair their pair of Achilles heels. Raleigh Hills was the school with “senior statesman” status. Even though it was equally faced with heavy traffic and safety on Scholls Ferry, the sight lines were less vulnerable to pedestrians and busses than McKay. Raleigh Park was its own neighborhood, had upscale homes, professionals as parents and was in the enviable position of being more of a smug group of “safe observers.”

The almost instantaneous reaction in Garden Home to the formation of the Study Committee was the formation of a citizen’s action group calling themselves Garden Home Community Action Association, Inc. (a non-profit organization could rightfully raise money for the defense of their cause). Local insurance businessman Ken Evanson was president, and Tom Walt, a public safety engineer for PGE was named vice-president. Local long-time school district observer and attorney Henry Kane was drawn to the cause, and had a plan to seek internal information from the District. All it took was for a couple of firebrands to raise the sense of self-defense. Great! “We’ve got a cause, we’ve got the energy, and by golly we’re not going to take this laying down” was a very natural reaction from entrenched fans of the Garden Home community.

An early fact presented by the District was that there were only 1,336 students attending five schools with the capacity for 2,016. It was obvious that fiscal responsibility on the part of the District called for action, and it was equally obvious that each affected school would mount its own effort to defend its turf, traditions and to assert their “community rights.”

Finding Reason in the midst of Emotion

The task force selected by the district was composed mostly of Local School Committee members and Garden Home was represented by Sue Miner and Charlene and me. We had several months of work to achieve, and the task was facilitated by Thelma Reuppell, herself a school administrator in the Hillsboro district. We requested many documents and presentations from budget committee members, finance, facilities and a range of other Beaverton district staff. It took lots of dedicated work to study the reports and information, but eventually, criteria were developed to compare each of the facilities, and to carefully consider the impact on neighborhoods if any of the schools were closed. The facts were not initially clear, and the emotions ran strong throughout the process. Enrollment projection accuracy was questioned, and a short reprieve was granted, but the committee was called back in just a year. The final recommendation went against Garden Home.

At the End – A Silver Lining

As soon as the conclusion of the task force was ratified by the School Board, discussions began in earnest with Tualatin Park and Recreation District and within a year, the buildings deemed too inefficient for use as a school were being remodeled to create a new Recreation Center. Today, the building is more active than ever, and provides a wide range of classes and community space.

About the author. Bill Gellatly grew up in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in the 1940’s and 1950’s attending the small elementary school there, a year at Multnomah elementary, a year at Benson Polytechnic, and the balance at Wilson High. He had several paper routes, and grew an interest in local history by visiting with customers. In those kid-friendly days, you could just tell your mom or dad that you wanted to go play and then be gone for hours at a time exploring ponds, watching construction or hanging out with a buddy when it was raining. With a career as a designer and then engineer for Tektronix, Bill saw the importance of friendly neighborhoods as an environment to raise his family, and moved into the Vista Brook neighborhood in 1976. He knew the Garden Home area after riding his bicycle to the home piano teacher Maude Steen in the late 1950’s.

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Rummer Homes

By Stan Houseman

My wife, Susan, and I live in a Rummer-built home coming up on our 9 year anniversary. Our prior home was also built in the early 60s and was also a one story Mid Century Modern home. Though smaller in size, it had all the characteristics of them: walls of glass, blending the indoor / outdoor, exposed beams, open floor plan, etc.

Our home is one of the 63 intact Rummer-built homes in Garden Home in the development just north of Garden Home Road between 87th and 84th. Bob Rummer built homes in several other areas in the Portland metro area but this is the largest of his developments. These were built in the mid 1960s to early 70s.

On March 20, 2014, the Think Out Loud program of Oregon Public radio broadcasted a show from our living room about Rummer homes and featured Bob and Phyllis Rummer.

To quote the Think Out Loud program:

“At the heart of a Rummer is the natural light that comes in through the large floor-to-ceiling windows. Sliding doors throughout the house connect all the rooms, but also open them to the outside world. And then the rest varies. There are the roofs — which can be flat, single or double peaked. There are also other features like atriums, Roman showers/baths and vaulted ceilings.”

To read or listen to the program, here is the link to the audio archived Rummer program on OPB. While some of the photos are from the Oak Hills Rummer development, the red arrow will bring the actual broadcast to you:


ARTS | NW LIFE | LOCAL (Press release)
Think Out Loud Home
OPB | March 20, 2014 12:15 p.m.
The Lives Inside Oregon’s Rummer Homes

Think Out Loud is exploring why modern style architecture built in the 50s and 60s, like Rummer homes, became so popular. During the conversation, we will talk with Robert and Phyllis Rummer, inside a Rummer home. In anticipation of the show, we toured four of the 29 Rummer homes inside the Oak Hills neighborhood and asked the owners to share memories about where their midcentury modern homes and lives intersect.

Guests included:
Robert and Phyllis Rummer, Stan Houseman, Peggy Moretti, David Wolski, and Jim Brown.
Dave Miller/host

Also, there is an additional article written by nearby Rummer home owners, Paul & Polly Herman.

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Veterans of Garden Home

Al Azar

Al Azar

Al Azar

Al and Lou Ann Hickman Azar live in SE Portland. Lou Ann grew up in Garden Home along with her brother Doc, in the Hickman area just north of Hideaway Park.

Al served in the Army, Corp of Engineers and trained at Camp Abbot, OR where Sun River is now located.

Al spent 2 years in Europe: England, France, Germany & Belgium. He still has 3 pieces of shrapnel in his knee from a grenade that exploded behind him. He was in France at the time and they did not have x-ray machines and the doctor thought that it had gone through his leg. It wasn’t until about a month later when he could no longer bend his leg that they sent him to England. By then it was too late to remove the shrapnel. He spent 4.5 months in the hospital but could only have about 15 minutes a day treatment because there were not enough resources to handle all the wounded soldiers.

When Al returned to service, he went to France and then onto Namur, Belgium to find his unit. About 10 miles down the road, the Battle of the Bulge was going on. One day, a buzz bomb flew over heading to the battle site. Later General Patton’s army came through between them and the battle and the war was over. It was almost 6 months before he earned enough points to come home.

See Hickman for more family information.

George Babbitt

George Babbitt

George Babbitt

George served in the Army Air Force as a gunner on B24s & B29s from 1943 to 1945. He joined the service to follow an older friend who had joined and he thought it was the patriotic thing to do.

George went into the cadets and went to Denver for 8 months to go to school. He also did KP. Then he was sent to Ft. Myers, FL in the Gunnery. He spent a short time in Georgia in the Motor Pool. While there, two planes crashed because 2 of the 4 engines died on the same wing and 11 people were killed.

On a flight from Georgia to Los Angeles in 1945, the guys were having a poker game on the plane and George didn’t like to play so he went up front to talk to the pilot & co-pilot.  The co-pilot wanted to join the poker game so he had George sit in his seat. The pilot was not happy about it but George enjoyed sitting there. At one point, he saw flames coming out of the engines exhausts and asked the pilot about it. He was not happy because the co-pilot had not changed the fuel mixture after take-off and it was too lean, so the pilot had to make the adjustment. After it had gotten dark, George noticed that the tops of the trees were very close and asked the pilot about it. It seems they were flying too close to the side of the canyon and again the pilot had to make adjustments that the co-pilot should have been there to do.

See Babbitt for more family information.

Bert Campbell

Bert Campbell

Bert Campbell

Bert moved to Garden Home in 1952 when he was five years old.  He went to St. Anthony School in Tigard and then to Beaverton High School.  He was in the Garden Home Boy Scouts.

Bert had two tours of Viet Nam in 1965 and again in 1968.  He served as a forward observer and was shot at a couple times.  He also worked in intelligence and was sent to jump school with the 82nd Airborne.  He took demolition training at Fort Leonard, Missouri and long range sniper training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Bert served in the Army, rank E-7, from 1965 to 1972.  He also served in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Fort Riley, Kansas.  Bert says “I did it, hope to never do it again.”  He says alcohol was a problem when he came home.

Bob Cram

Bob Cram

Bob Cram

Bob was born in Bay City, Oregon, on the coast, and moved here in 1973.  He was drafted into the Army and trained at Fort Lewis in special electronics repair.  He was sent to Germany where he was involved with processing soldiers returning from Viet Nam as part of the NATO operations.  He served less than two years and found the military experience and the travel to be good.

Dean Day

Dean Day

Dean Day

Dean grew up in Garden Home, living on Oleson Road, near the intersection, along with his brother Bob and his sister Joanne.  Dean was born in Kelso, WA and arrived in Garden Home as an infant.

Dean recalls his father talking about the scarcity of sugar during WWII.  Dean didn’t want to go on to school and felt that the military, the Navy, was a good option.  He was stationed in Europe and Asia, mostly in the Far East, serving in the Mediterranean and Indian Oceans.  He was an aviation electrician and instructor and loaded bombs, a job he loved. Dean was in the Navy for 20 years and attained the rank of 1st Class Airman Electrician.  The squadron disbanded in 1959 with members scattering far and wide.

One of Dean’s friends, loaded down with ship equipment, got blown off the side of the aircraft carrier. After he stripped the equipment away and came to the surface, he was picked up by a destroyer.  The rescue response was not “How are you?” but “What did you do with the bag of tie downs?”

Robert Day

Robert Day

Robert Day

With brother Dean and sister Joanne, Bob’s family moved to Garden Home in the early 1943 and lived next to the gas station at the intersection.  After one term at Portland State College, Bob and friend Danny Reinhardt decided to join the Navy together.They flew for the first time in a 4 engine prop to San Diego for boot camp. He was sent to Key West, FL for sonar school.  The barracks were right on the beach and he enjoyed snorkeling and swimming.  He was then stationed on the USS Courtney (de 1021) which left from Newport RI for the North Atlantic.  The seas were so rough that everyone got seasick.  Bob worked as a mess cook for the Chief Petty Officer, receiving pay and tips.

He traveled to the Caribbean, Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, and circumnavigated the continent of South America and the Panama Canal twice.  They practiced looking for submarines using sonar.

During the October 1962 Cuban Missile crisis, they intercepted a Russian ship headed to Cuba.  The ship claimed they were going to the Black Sea with sugar cargo but probably had missiles instead.  Altogether, the Navy was a good experience.

Don Dunbar

Don Dunbar

Don Dunbar

Don was born in Gilliam County, OR and later moved the Cedar Hills area.  He became Principal of Garden Home School from 1968-1974.Don was training for the landing in Japan when WWII ended.  A bad back prevented him from joining the Navy but the Army trained him to be a combat engineer for the front lines.  He had basic infantry training at Fort Ord and Fort Lewis. He then served with the 13th Combat Engineers of the 7th Division.  He had lots of responsibilities in the 1946 rebuilding of the infrastructure in South Korea. He became an assistant to Lt. John H. Holdridge, the S-3 Officer for the Battalion.  Mr. Holdridge later in civilian life rose through State Department ranks and retired as U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia.

Overall Don felt the Army was a good experience for him.  We appreciate his time in service to our country and to Garden Home as school principal.

Bob Feldman

Bob Feldman

Bob Feldman

Bob served in the Air force as an air policeman. He trained in Lackland Airforce Base, TX and Camp Gordon, GA. He spent three years in Germany and six weeks temporary duty in England.

They would travel on time off by hitch-hiking wherever they wanted to go. One time he and a buddy decided to go to Amsterdam. At a border crossing checkpoint, they met a man who was the representative for Wrigley Chewing Gum and he drove them to Amsterdam and “wined & dined” them, putting them up in a hotel room.

Bob still has a friend from the service who lives in Multnomah and they get together a couple of time a year.

See Feldman for more family information.

Gerry Frank

Gerry Frank

Gerry Frank

In the mid 1900s (1927-1965), Gerry spent summers on their family horse farm off of Oleson Road, the current Frank Estates property. He attended Alameda School in Portland, going on to Stanford and Cambridge in England.

Gerry was our Senator Mark Hatfield’s Chief of Staff for his long tenure and due to Gerry’s effective service, he was often called Oregon’s “Third Senator.” He continues to be active in philanthropy and service to Oregon.

In 1942 Gerry was a student at Stanford and participating in the R.O.T.C. program. Many friends were enlisting in the service and since he was unhappy at Stanford, he reported as a private to Fort Bragg for active service in April, 1943. He served in Field Artillery, 89th Infantry Division with Patton’s 3rd Army in Europe.

Gerry was an acting Sgt. Major of a division artillery headquarters. His most memorable experience was the division’s liberation of the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp.

Gerry served in the Army from 1943 to 1946 becoming a Staff Sergeant. He looks back on the military years as a great learning experience about our fellow man.

See Frank for more family information.

Dr. Ben Jones

Dr. Ben Jones

Dr. Ben Jones

Ben was born in Pittsburgh and went to medical school in Philadelphia.  He did his internship at University of Oregon Medical School in Portland.  He moved to Portland permanently in 1959 and lived in NE Portland.  Ben and Louise moved to Hideaway Hills which was part of the old Hickman place in Garden Home in 1977.  Ernest and Melba Cook raised Louise, Patti and Warren in Garden Home on Firlock which became SW 78th.

Like other young men, when he knew he was about to get drafted, Ben joined the Navy instead during the Korean Conflict (1950-’53).  Ben went in as a physician departing the U.S. out of  Parris Island, S. Carolina, and transferring to sea duty at Norfolk, VA.  He had a training cruise to Cuba.

Ben shipped out to the eastern Mediterranean as a squadron physician and served as a safety officer for firing practice in a 5 inch gun mount, with severe dangers from loading and unloading live shells.  He travelled to Greece, Turkey, Italy, Switzerland, Jordan, Israel, Rhodes, France and was sent to Quantico Naval Hospital, Virginia.

Ben says, “The experience was interesting, I never saw combat and was impatient to finish my residency and establish my practice as a physician.”

Hal Pallay

Hal Pallay

Hal Pallay

Hal’s parents and great grandparents lived in Garden Home in their home on Garden Home Road.

Hal was completing his first year at Oregon State College when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps after turning 18.  Everyone was patriotic in those days after the Dec. 7, 1941 bombing.   He was then called up in 1944 and sent to Amarillo, TX, then Merced Army Airfield in northern California and on to Gila Bend, AZ as an Aviation Cadet learning to fly AT-6 training planes, the same type of plane Japan used to bomb Hawaii.

In 1945 Hal was sent to Victorville, CA. With an engineering background, he served in the Weights and Balances section. One job was to weigh each giant bomber every two months.  Hundreds of these bombers were returning to the U.S. after VJ (Victory in Japan) Day and needed processing.

On VJ Day, August 15, 1945, a grand celebration was held in Hollywood, just miles from Victorville. Hal and his buddies enjoyed the Hollywood Canteen, the center of the festivities, where many celebrities performed and socialized with the veterans who were mostly young men. “The most wonderful day of my life!” says Hal. Servicemen could stay there, socialize, and party. Hal remembers dancing with Gloria deHaven to the Jimmie Dorsey orchestra.

At the conclusion of WWII, the Aviation Cadet program was stopped and Hal mustered out of the Army Air Corps in October of 1945. He returned to Oregon State College using the veteran benefit, the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1948.

See Pallay for more family information.

Harry Pinniger

Harry Pinniger

Harry Pinniger

Harry and Jan Pinniger have been long-time participants in Garden Home school events, sports and church. Harry was born in Grants Pass and he and Jan lived on Oleson and now on Florence Lane since moving here in 1962. As a young man, he had a choice of working in the lumber mill or joining the Army.

Harry was sent to the Army’s Fort Knox Kentucky to train as a radio operator and then served 2 years in Germany in the 3rd Armored Division. He wore civilian clothes off base to protect his identity. They worked to keep Russia from taking over the rest of Europe. “We thought we were going to war again when the rioting hit Hungary.”  He attained the rating of Specialist 3rd Class and served from 1955 to 1958.

Harry left the U.S. out of Brooklyn, NY on a troop carrier.  He returned on another carrier, The Bruckner. He feels it was a fairly good experience and enjoyed the ability to travel on leave to England, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Norway and Sweden.

Lee Reding

Lee Reding

Lee Reding

Lee was born at St. Vincents Hospital and first lived in Maplewood. When he was about 3 years old, his family moved to Washington Drive and lived next door to the Roshaks.

When he received his draft notice in 1951 he chose to join the Air Force. He trained at Lackland Air Force Base at San Antonio, TX and then at Scott Air Force Base for electronics school. He served in Okinawa, Japan for two years, then two more in the states and in Germany for two years. He then went to New York and re-enlisted.

Lee served doing high speed testing of monkeys, Eglin Air Force Base, FL. He was also involved with the 53 decoy missile project and the gam 77 missile project and re-enlisted again.

Lee was married in 1956 and went back to Germany. He returned to the Portland Air Base and Garden Home 20 years ago, retiring from the military after 28 years.

Lee recalls, “It was a good experience, I was never in a war zone and saw the world.”

A. Eugene Shirley

Gene Shirley

Gene Shirley

Gene was born on his uncle’s farm in McMinnville. The uncle had traded gold land claims and bought a quarter section of farm land.  Gene’s family moved to Garden Home in 1942 to live in a home where the current 7-11 store is located.  Gene was eleven, his mom Thelma worked in the ship yards, his father Allan as an electrician. The family later moved to the intersection of Taylors Ferry and Washington Drive.

Gene heard a talk in class about the draft and he decided to join the Marine Reserves to avoid the Army.  In 1950 he was called up for the Korean war and sent to Camp Pendleton. He shipped out of San Diego one month after the war broke out, going to Inchon, Korea. He served as a combat engineer whose jobs were to come in after the infantry.  A very difficult time, came close to being wounded several times.

After spending two weeks in Japan on temporary duty, the Army needed a water distillation specialist for the invasion. Gene served in the record cold (30 to 80 degrees below zero) of the Chosin Reservoir march and suffered frost bite to his feet. One of the Chosin Few. He was shipped back to Japan and then on to San Francisco, and serving from 1948 to 1974. He was in the Reserves for 24 years and worried about being sent to Viet Nam but they used draftees instead of Reserves.

The Korean experience was bad and many men died from the cold weather.  He is disabled from the frostbite, hearing loss and P.T.S.D.  Gene and his wife Bert raised their family in Garden Home.

George Raymond Shirley:

Gene Shirley remembers his brother George who served in the Air Force for 20 years. He was stationed all over the world such as Alaska, North Africa, France and many places in the U.S. George and his wife lived on SW 87th. He died of a heart attack.

Paul Vanture

Paul Vanture

Paul Vanture

Paul and Virginia have lived in Garden Home since 2003. Virginia has been our Co-Chair of our GH History Project.

Paul was commissioned a second lieutenant in Field Artillery after graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York  in 1958.  He completed parachute and Army aviation training after finishing the Artillery Basic Course.  Assignments included command and staff positions in field artillery and aviation throughout his career. His assignments included Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Fort Benning, Georgia, Oregon State University (ROTC), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Armed Forces Staff College, Virginia, Fort Belvoir Virginia, Vietnam, Fort Wainwright, University of Alaska (Professor of Military Science-ROTC) and Fort Snelling, Minnesota.

The highlight of his career was as a battery commander in the 2nd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery in Germany.  He retired in July 1978 as a lieutenant colonel.  “I enjoyed most of my postings and have many former colleagues with whom I keep in touch.  I keep in constant touch with my West Point classmates and attend many reunions.”

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Judy George

Judy George, 2014

Judy George, 2014

7625 SW 87th Avenue  (Westgard Ave.)

Judy lives in the oldest house on the portion of 87th going south to Alden from Garden Home Road.  Judy agrees with the County records which state that the home was  built in 1900.  Judy moved here in December of 1989.  She is known to the neighborhood as a compassionate lover of animals.  She shares her home with several cats, a Quaker parrot, and many representations of animals in miniatures and paintings.  Judy is holding Marmalade, her big tabby cat, in the photo.

Judy understood that the original house was a one room log cabin, possibly her current dining room.  The walls in the living room are knotty pine which has, over time, darkened so beautifully.  A well-built fireplace is on one wall and a beautiful stovepipe flue cover is on the opposite wall, near the ceiling where it would be used for a cook stove or heating stove. The back porch bears witness to the log cabin construction of the house.  The logs were not peeled of their bark and the bark has slowly eroded over time.  The chinks between the logs are visible in the photographs.

The exterior of the home has been sided over.  Decorative faux log siding covers the north exterior wall.  The home is currently pink but due for new paint this year.

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Mollie Miles – The Years After 1945

Mollie Miles, 2011 (photo Virginia Vanture)

Mollie Miles, 2011 (photo Virginia Vanture)

Thomas Miles was a consulting engineer with an office in Portland and in need of a home for his family.  Housing was difficult to find after WWII.  One day he and Mollie were driving in the country and ended up in a lane at the end of which stood a milk house belonging to the Denny family.  They inquired if the building was available and were told it was. Also available was the tenant house which the Miles quickly rented moving the family of five into a building then 14X20 feet wide. The milk house became Thomas’ office.

The Denny family shortly sold the property to the Kaiser Company, which had plans to develop housing on the land. Only 6 or 8 houses were built at Pinehurst before Kaiser decided to move the project to Oakland.  Just off of Jamison Road, the property was not easily accessible as there was no bus service and those coming from Portland relied upon Canyon Road as the major road between Beaverton and the city.

By Virginia Vanture, written from notes taken while visiting with Mollie Miles in her home on May 10, 2011.  The following is written by Mollie Miles.

Garden Home in the period just after World War II was a small sprinkle of homes, orchards, horses, and a school.  I do not recall a grocer, post office, gas station or doctor; the prerequisites of village life.  The Frank Estate was tucked away in a deep wood near the railroad and off of Oleson Road. The homes of typical American businessmen seeking relief from the bustle of the city were singly arranged along a railroad connected directly to Portland, with small lanes leading to the family homes lining the lanes between the rail line and “Garden Home Road.”  And that was, basically, all there was.  The small Garden Home elementary school was at the intersection with Oleson Road.

And that was the Garden Home Forrest Lamb discovered when realtor gossip told of a mall to be like Lloyd Center that would occupy undeveloped acreage not far from Sawyer’s Viewmaster plant at the crossing known as Progress.  In Progress was a venturing produce sales, and beyond Garden Home toward Portland southeasterly, was an open shed cannery where area grade school mothers could can the peaches from nearby orchards.

Beaverton’s village then housed the new Birds Eye plant for processing strawberries and peaches.  The plant provided free Marshall strawberry plants to local residents to grow, and local children from Garden Home, McKay, and Raleigh schools were taken by school bus to pick the berries to be then taken to the Birds Eye plant for processing.

Garden Home School was the center of the community and northeast of there was the western beginning of vast pastures for Alpenrose Dairy which was the principal source of local milk then delivered house to house locally as well as in Portland.

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Carlo Andrew Poutala and Firlock Paints

Poutala, Firlock Paints

Poutala, Firlock Paints

Carlo lived on SW 78th in Garden Home and manufactured Firlock Paints in his garage. This paint was used on many homes in Garden Home.  The following was his obituary published in the Finnish Brotherhood newsletter.  Reprinted by permission from daughter Karen Poutala Garner and son Arnie Poutala.  E.S.

September 24, 1914 –October 8, 2007

He made it to age 93!! That was his goal.  Carlo Poutala passed away at his son Arnie’s home Oct 8th, 2007. Carlo was born in 1914 to George and Anna Poutala.

When he was 25 he married a school teacher, Iris Hankins and he enrolled at Oregon State College. He graduated in 1943 with a degree in chemical engineering.  A daughter, Karen, was born in 1940 and a son, Arnold, in 1944. Carlo established Firlock Paint Company in the garage behind his home until he retired in 1979.

During those years Carlo acquired the nickname “Johnny Appleseed” because he would graft as many as 20 different apple varieties to one apple tree stock to have a variety of fruit. He also raised honeybees in the backyard and the kids at Halloween would receive a jar of honey.

Carlo’s love of Finnish culture caused him to join the West Coast Finnish American Historical Society where he served as president in 1966. He, along with Iris and many members, led the dismantling, moving and rebuilding of the historic Erik Lindgren pioneer home, which still resides at Cullaby Lake near Seaside.  Iris wove authentic rugs on her loom and helped to furnish the cabin in traditional Finnish style. Iris passed away in 1986.

Carlo loved to dance and it was at a dance that he met Elvie White, and they were married in 1991. Elvie passed away in 1999.

Carlo was also an active member of the Portland Finnish Lodge # 23 until he was physically not able to attend.

Left to mourn his passing are his daughter Karen Garner and her children, Kendall and Curtis. Also son Arnold and his wife Sandi along with their two daughters and sons-in-law, Deedra and Jerry Thompson and Heidi and Hugh Taylor. And last but not least, Emilia Thompson (age 6) who lovingly called her great grandpa “Isä”.

Firlock Paints Shed

Firlock Paints Shed

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Winter 2014 News

  • Did you get our Winter 2015 Newsletter? Check it out here!

  • Historic Garden Home Calendar through the Decades – we’re moving into February with the wonderful photo of the huge trestle the early trains used to get to Garden Home. These calendars are great just for the historic photos and text.

    Calendars are available locally at Lamb’s Garden Home Thriftway, the Garden Home Library and Powell’s Beaverton store, all for $8 each.

    Get your calendars or note cards by mail from our treasurer: Make check payable to GHHP/Patsy VandeVenter. Mail to 7520 SW Ashdale Court, Portland, OR 97223 Calendars and note cards (set of 8) are each $12 by U.S. mail.

  • We still have some 2013 and 2014 calendars, $5 for the package of two. Send email request.

  • We’ll be walking the old Occidental Street, now called SW 76th, on Friday afternoon, Feb. 3 with Ward Nelson, learning about the early families and homes.

  • Richard Thompson- Railroad expert
    Richard will present information and videos from his book, Willamette Valley Railways and the Oregon Electrics that ran through Garden Home in the early years of the last century. March 17, 7:00 PM at the GH Rec Center.

  • Thanks for your comments and memoirs. Your comments at the bottom of each page goes directly to our email. Thanks also for your donations and your $10 for postal mailing of newsletter. Thus far we have free membership and hope to continue.

  • Attend our regular meetings: The second Monday of each month, 3 to 4:30 pm at the Garden Home Recreation Center. We enjoy the 2 minute history lesson from each member and then get on to our business. Please let me know so I can assure seating: Elaine Shreve 503-246-5879.

About Us!

The Garden Home History Project records and preserves the History of this area. Historic Garden Home is a suburb southwest of Portland, Oregon and mostly contained in unincorporated Washington County. It extends roughly one mile out in each direction from the intersection of Garden Home Road and Oleson Road.

This non-profit organization is chaired by Elaine Shreve, 503-246-5879. Special thanks to our Advisory Group of dedicated volunteers.

We encourage you to send us your stories, photos or artifacts. We can scan photos and return them to you.

Join the Club!

Your donations and calendar sales provide our funds for signs, printing, research, postage and other costs. Our emails (and U.S. postage ) will keep you informed.

Click here to Join The Club!

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2015 Calendar For Sale

2015 Calendar: Historic Garden Home through the Decades

2015 GH through the Decades Calendar

2015 Calendar

Each month describes a different decade in the history of Garden Home. These calendars are great just for the historic photos and text. Calendars are available locally for $8 at Lamb’s Market, Garden Home Library, and Powell’s Books in Beaverton. Or you can order by mail for $12.

Note card set with vintage photos of Garden Home

Set of eight note cards with vintage photos of Garden Home (envelopes included, not shown)

Set of eight note cards with vintage photos of Garden Home (envelopes included, not shown)

Order a set of eight note cards with vintage photos, with envelopes, by US Mail for $12.

Buy our old calendars


2013 and 2014 Garden Home Calendars

We still have some 2013 and 2014 calendars, $5 for the package of two.

To purchase by mail

Make check payable to:
GHHP/Marie Pacella.

Mail to:
Garden Home History Project
c/o Marie Pacella
7240 S.W. 82nd Ave.
Portland, OR 97223

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Spring 2014 News

  • Garden Home Remembers Our Veterans.
    May 17, 2014 from 1 to 4 pm at the Garden Home Recreation Center, 7475 SW Oleson Rd. Portland, Oregon Some 70 years ago, this young 2nd. Lt. Robert H. Strong (photo) spent a memorable morning in Garden Home as he parachuted safely to the ground while his King Cobra fighter plane crashed and burned. Some of you dashed over to the crash site to pick up souvenirs. Let me know if you were there. We’ll be telling this fascinating story with eye witnesses, military reports and early aviation experts. May 17 is Armed Forces Day and we’re inviting and honoring all of our Garden Home veterans. A Garden Home reunion of sorts! Photographs, compilers to record your Garden Home stories, refreshments, displays of Garden Home’s war efforts and more. All of our Garden Home families are invited. Children are invited to post their patriotic drawings on the wall; art supplies will be available. See Plane Crash.
  • People are enjoying our 2014 Historic Garden Home Calendar. March photos and stories feature the opening of Garden Home School in 1912. April features “Horse Play” with a wonderful photo of Mrs. Aaron Frank driving a hackney harness pony. In recognition of Spring’s arrival, the price has been reduced to $9.50 for calendars at Lamb’s Thriftway and the Garden Home Library. Calendars by mail may be ordered from our Treasurer Patsy Van deVenter, 7520 SW Ashdale Court, Portland, OR 97223. Make check payable to GHHP/Patsy Van deVenter for $7 per calendar. These calendars make a great gift for kids who have moved on or for new neighbors.
  • Vintage Garden Home photos on note cards: Use these interesting cards for your greetings and notes. They feature old homes, cattle, a well house, the baseball team, etc. Eight note cards for $10.
  • History Bulletin Board on the local Extension Study Group: We have featured Dr. Hetlesater’s family and will be putting up the new display on the local Extension Study Group. Oregon State University (Oregon College of Education) developed these groups in 1914 to improve our homes and women’s lives, particularly in rural areas. And the Study Group continues today! See Garden Home Extension Study Group.
  • Westgard (SW 87th) story is completed: Anne Olson did a great job with this big story, we’ve supplemented it with lots of photos including one of Tiki, the elephant who enjoyed a night on SW 87th Ave. See Westgard Ave.- SW 87th Avenue.
  • We are sad to note the passing of several of our early pioneers: Joyce Mapes, Lloyd Knudsen, Sharka Becvar and Stan Radovich. We’ll be developing a Remembering list of our residents who have passed on. Keep us posted.

About Us!

The Garden Home History Project records and preserves the History of this area. Historic Garden Home is a suburb southwest of Portland, Oregon and mostly contained in unincorporated Washington County. It extends roughly one mile out in each direction from the intersection of Garden Home Road and Oleson Road.

This non-profit organization is chaired by Elaine Shreve, 503-246-5879. Special thanks to our Advisory Group of dedicated volunteers.

We encourage you to send us your stories, photos or artifacts. We can scan photos and return them to you.

Join the Club!

Your donations and calendar sales provide our funds for signs, printing, research, postage and other costs. Our emails (and U.S. postage ) will keep you informed.

Click here to Join The Club!

Special thanks to Webmaster: Stan Houseman, local Broker, Realtor. HousemanHeritage.com

© 2014 Garden Home History Project. Our Garden Home History Project materials are used with permission of the related persons or organizations. All photos and documents are copyright. Please ask permission to use or reproduce any material. GardenHomeHistory@yahoo.com

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Baseball in Garden Home

Baseball narrative posted on the History Board in 2014, featuring baseball in historic Garden Home,

Ever since the playing fields appeared at the new Garden Home School in the early 1900s, ball players were there, with pick-up games, recess play, team and league events.

Baseball was very popular.  In Portland, the Pacific Coast League was established in 1903.  The local team was known as Portland Baseball Club, Portland Webfoots, Portland Giants, and finally was named the Portland Beavers in a newspaper contest in 1906.  Folks took the streetcar to the Vaughn Street Stadium to see them play.  Located at NW 24th and Vaughn Streets, the stadium held 12,000 fans and games were well attended.  For a short while, an all-Black team, the Portland Rosebuds, played at the stadium.  In 1956, the Beavers moved to the Multnomah Stadium, which became Civic Stadium in 1969 (now Providence Park).  Games were a major event for the city, with all the trappings – lights, announcers, news coverage, organ music, and the 7th inning stretch with everyone singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”  In 1961, legendary Satchel Paige was signed to pitch for the Beavers.

Young ball players practiced their skills and dreamed of the majors.  Early organized ball centered around church teams.  The Garden Home Methodist’s team played against churches from West Portland and West Linn.  School teams competed with other Washington County schools.

Established in 1939 by Carl E. Stotz in Williamsport, PA, Little League became a sensation.  By 1946 there were 12 leagues, all in Pennsylvania, and by 1955, Little League organizations were in all 48 states.  In the 60’s, the league went international.  Girls were excluded until 1974.  The  Little League Softball World Series for girls has been played at our very own Alpenrose Field since 1994.

Alpenrose Dairy became synonymous with ball playing.  During the 50’s, the Cadonau children wanted their grandfather to see them play, so they talked their dad into building a regulation field on dairy grounds.  The Cadonau family opened it up to community play.  Countless kids and adults have enjoyed the ball games at Alpenrose under the lights, watching young ball players hit home runs and pitch no-hitters.  In 2012 Alpenrose Stadium was selected as Softball Field of the year by the Sports Turf Managers Association, providing a safe playing surface for both Boys and Girls Little League play.

Alpenrose and other businesses sponsored teams.  Moms and dads volunteered to manage and coach.  Any Saturday in Spring and Summer kids in matching uniforms would be playing T-ball, softball, and baseball.  The Garden Home field was always busy.  Second and third generation Garden Home folks found themselves on the field once more, with their kids and grandkids – coached by people who used to play ball with them when they were young.

One local baseball star was Jim Partlow.  He and his wife Yvonne lived in Garden Home on Firlock Lane.  His children, Dede and Jim, went to Garden Home School.  Jim had played for the Grant Generals in high school, went on to Linfield College and was on the all-American basketball team  He was drafted by the Boston Redsox as pitcher, but declined the baseball draft for the army draft.  He went on to coach the 1952 PIL Champions, the Lincoln Cardinals, plus a winning basketball team.  In the 60’s, he became athletic director and coach for Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls.

Here’s hoping you enjoy this year’s World Series.  And as you watch, may you remember all those Garden Home kids who also love the game.

-Louise Jones, 2014

Ed.note:  This narrative was posted on the History bulletin board at the Garden Home Recreation Center in the summer and fall of 2014. Photos of several of the 1930s Garden Home baseball teams and their stories were also shared.

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Winter 2013 News

  • Just published! The 2014 Historic Garden Home Calendar. This third edition features historic events that changed Garden Home: Advent of the trains, the Post Office, the school, library, shopping center and much more! Vintage photos and wonderful memoirs and history.
  • Lillian and Olive Oleson, nurses in the first World War. They both graduated from Good Samaritan Hospital in 1915, the very early days of professional nursing.
  • Adventures on Westgard Avenue, now SW 87th south from Garden Home Road. Anne Olson has documented the families who lived on Westgard in the last early and mid-century complete with a log home built around 1900 and an elephant surprise story!
  • Continue to improve the website. Notice that a second click on People will produce a page listing all of the families for whom we have stories. Likewise under Places, we’ll soon have the list of all the places and subjects which we have researched. Thanks to Stan Houseman for his dedicated work as our webmaster.
  • Stop by the History Board H at the GH Recreation Center to enjoy the interesting story of the Dr. Hetlesater and his family who lived on Mayo. Their girls were in the 1911 and 1912 school photos. They also gave the property to the community church people for their first church in 1918.
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Olive Philena Oleson and Lillian Oleson Harris Ruhl

Olive Philena Oleson and Lillian Oleson Harris Ruhl

Olive Philena Oleson and
Lillian Oleson Harris Ruhl,
Oregonian, Oct. 19, 1980

Olive Philena Oleson 1891-1985 and Lillian Oleson Harris Ruhl 1893-1995

Talking over old times . . .

Of the eight children born to Ole and Polly Oleson, the sisters Lillian and Olive may have been the most adventurous. Lillian, two years younger than Olive, was one of 69 students receiving a diploma from Lincoln High School in 1912. It is assumed Olive had also graduated from high school but it is not known if she attended Lincoln.

Following graduation Olive and Lillian entered the nursing program at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Family history states that they graduated and became Registered Nurses in 1915. The following year the Medical School began plans to organize a Base Hospital to be transported to France as a support for the soldiers serving in WWI.

Base Hospital No.46 was readying itself for overseas duty when Lillian applied for active service in February 1918. It is assumed that Olive also applied at this time. WWI was the first war to allow women to serve as members of the Army Nurse Corps. Of the some 1,000 local women who initially volunteered for service only 100, including the two sisters, were chosen.

On March 26, 1918 a number of events were organized to honor the young women who would be leaving Portland for France. The day began with a communion service in the chapel of the hospital and included a luncheon at the Meier and Frank’s tearoom.

On April 8, 1918 the nurses along with the other members of Base Hospital No.46 departed Portland on a train bound for the east coast. Some 500 Portlanders showed up to wave good-by to those leaving for France.

In March Lillian was administered the oath of office as a member of the Army Nurse Corps. While we don’t have documentation of Olive having taken the oath to become an Army Nurse we do know from family interviews she traveled to France along with Lillian, sailing on the RMS Aquitania.

The RMS Aquitania traveled the Atlantic with all lights out and camouflaged against submarine attack. Upon leaving Liverpool the ship was escorted to France by five destroyers. Upon landing at LeHavre, the hospital personnel then traveled through Paris ending up at Bazoilles-sur-Meuse near Argonne.

The 100 nurses of Base Hospital No. 46 shared the voyage with some 6,000 troops. Perhaps to assure that appropriate behavior was maintained, dancing was not allowed. However the captain did allow other amusements such as singing, afternoon tea and listening to instrumental music. Lillian’s granddaughters remember hearing their grandmother saying that she and Olive were proud to do their patriotic duty. This reflected the general mood of the American public at this time.

The sisters’ daily experiences would have been much like the reports we have from others serving during that time. Nurses were expected to work from sunup to sundown. Food was simple, sometimes scarce. Winifred Reinig, another nurse serving with Base Hospital No. 46, recalled a time when they had nothing to eat but hardtack and catsup. Base Hospitals received only severely injured soldiers. Being so close to the front, many of the casualties were the result of gas attacks. The nurses were required to wear gas masks to handle those who had been hit by chlorine gas. Methods to treat mustard gas burns had to be developed as neither the doctors nor the nurses had had experience treating these types of burns before this. In spite of the difficult conditions and the severity of the injuries the doctors and nurses of No.46 lost only 131 of the 8,366 patients served by the hospital between July 1918 and December 1918.

The war ended in November of 1918 and the duty of the nurses then was to ready their charges for transport to other hospitals or to return to the United States. On April 4, 1919 Lillian and Olive left France and returned to the United States traveling on the Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. Lillian’s final paycheck as an Army Reserve Nurse, dated May 24, 1919, was $60 dollars and included a bonus of $178.20.

After the War Lillian worked at a children’s hospital saving money to travel. In 1922 Lillian bought a 1922 Chevrolet and she and Olive along with another sister, Lovisa, drove it across the United States, stopping at one point at Glacier National Park.

In 1930 and 1931 Lillian and one of her sisters set out on a world tour buying furniture in such places as Japan and Shanghai. The planned round-the-world trip took them to Canada, Japan, China, the Philippines, Singapore, Egypt, Italy, France and New York City.

On January 18, 1931, Lillian married William Harris in The Church of the Transfiguration in New York City. A son, William S. Harris, was born to the couple on December16, 1931.

It is not known how long or where Lillian may have practiced as a nurse. Research done by the WWI Research Institute, St. Helena High School, states that Lillian’s obituary indicates she had a fifty year career as a nurse and nurse instructor. We found no record of Olive continuing as a nurse but it is likely she did, as she never married.

William Henry Harris died in 1975 and in 1978 Lillian married Kenneth Rhul. Lillian died in St. Helena, California in 1995 at the age of 102. Olive was the last of the Oleson children to live in the family home on Ames Way in Garden Home. Olive was 84 when she died.

Nurses of WWI, J. Keenan, St. Mary’s High School, Annapolis, Maryland

Lillian Oleson, WWI Research Institute, St. Helena High School. St. Helena, CA- material in part, provided by William Henry Harris, son of Lillian and William Harris.

The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon. Articles from the following:
March 27, 1918, Nurses are Honored
March 31, 1918, Women’s Council of Defense is Active, pg.10
April 8, 1918, 37 Nurses Depart, pg.10
October 19, 1980, Army Hospital Unit Plans Reunion
October 19, 1980,a newspaper clipping from the Oregonian. picture with article, with heading under the picture, Under the Trenches,

A clipping, believed to have been written for The Napa Valley Register written by Jennifer Taylor. Date of publication unknown but most likely November of 1995. “CELEBRATING A CENTURY- St. Helena Woman Marks 100 Birthday With Long Ago Memories.”

By Virginia Vanture, 2013

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Westgard Avenue – A Short History Of SW 87th Avenue from Garden Home Road to Alden Street

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Compiled by Anne Hanford Olson With special contributors Dan Nebert, Carol Sturtevant Pratt and Nancy Sturtevant Dachtler Revised March 2014 The Atfalatis Hunt and Gather Here For 10,000 years, native people called Atfalatis, a band of the Kalapuya, inhabited our area. … Continue reading

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Dick Vonada

The Most Awful Class at Garden Home School

Our home was on SW 83rd, which was then called Orchard because of the apple and peach orchards growing along each side of the lane. My parents moved here from Portland in the 1940’s and my Dad built our house sometime around 1947 or 1948. When I was a kid the west side of the lane was mostly undeveloped and there were pheasants living in the field. It was a great place to grow up, as there were woods to explore, the creek to play in and lots of neighborhood kids to play with.

There was a hitching post still standing near the school entrance when I started school in the early 1950’s. I became part of a class composed mostly of boys. There were six girls in the class and for the next eight years the boys always outnumbered the girls by a wide margin. The class gained a reputation as a difficult class to control and by the time we graduated the teachers and staff must have breathed a sigh of relief. Leonard Gustafson was the principal and our eighth grade teacher. He was a nice fellow and kind of quiet in demeanor. By the end of that year he had completely lost his voice from yelling at us to keep us under control. It was so bad he couldn’t speak and had to have someone else come in and do the lessons. At our Graduation Mr. Leonard got up and told everyone there that this was absolutely the worst class of kids he had ever had in his whole career! He told everyone we were awful! And we were awful; there is no doubt about it.

7th grade class, Garden Home School. Dick Vonada, 2nd from right, first row, 1957

1957 Garden Home School, 7th grade. Dick Vonada, 2nd from right, first row.

The Great BB Gun Caper

Down at the end of Orchard Lane, off in the woods, there was this old shack. We played there a lot. This would have been about 1958. One day someone had this brainstorm: we could get together to have a BB gun war! We divided up the group with everyone living on the east side of Oleson Road on one side and everyone living on the west side Of Oleson Road on the other side. One Friday after school when our parents were still working and our moms were busy, and we figured they wouldn’t have a clue what we were doing, we all got together in Gordy Johnson’s garage. We were dressed in long pants and long sleeved shirts to protect our bodies. Then we thought that we needed to protect our faces. To do this we made masks out of tin coffee cans flattened with openings for our eyes. Ready, we marched down to the woods. There were probably 30 of us, virtually every guy in our school at that time.

These were the rules. If a BB hit you you were out, meaning you had to drop out of the game. We were preempting paint-ball battles! Anyway, one group got inside the shack down there and the others were outside, and then someone said,” OK, Let’s go!” and everyone started shooting BB’s. After awhile, someone shouted, “Change sides!” and those of us inside the shack moved outside and those outside, moved into the shack. The BB’s were going every which way. We knew if our parents ever found out about it we were going to be in hot water big time! But we decided we could do this for a couple of hours and then we could slip home and no would ever know what happened. And that would have worked except for the fact that a few kids got hit in the face. The tin masks didn’t work as well as we hoped! The BBs left big time welts.

All seemed to be going well until one of the parents got wind of what was happening and the word got out. I think someone told Mr. Gustafson. Parents started showing up and we were busted! This was absolutely the talk of the community. We really hadn’t thought having a BB war was such a bad thing. In those days everyone had BB guns. We figured no one would die from getting shot with a BB. But our parents knew better. Everyone was grounded for a length of time and some of us got paddled for it.

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Henry and Elizabeth Tucker


Henry and Elizabeth Tucker, along with the youngest 5 of their 6 children and Elizabeth’s father, Samuel McKay came to Oregon as part of a wagon train in 1852.  The southern section of the Tucker Land claim of 320 acres lay in what is now the western section of Garden Home lying south and north of Garden Home Road and bordering each side of 92nd Avenue.  Their claim continued farther north from there bordering the east side of the Thomas Denny land claim.

Their neighbors to the east, also occupying north and south of Garden Home Road were William and Sarah Clemmens whose land claim continued east of Oleson Road toward Portland.  The southeast corner of the Tuckers claim adjoined the James McKay claim.  James was Elizabeth’s younger brother.

Henry and Elizabeth are buried at Crescent Grove Cemetery.

More information on the Tucker family can be found in “Traces Of The Past” by Jill MacWilliam & Virginia Mapes and the Oregon Biographies Project on the internet.

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Bernie Rice recalls working at Whitney’s Cannery

Bernie Rice

Bernie Rice

Bernie Rice worked at the Whitney Cannery the two summer seasons after he graduated from Beaverton High School in 1962. The tasks varied but primarily he worked as a “cook.”  This meant he was involved in the actual processing of the food, which was either boiled or processed in large pressure cookers, called “retorts.” In addition to acting as a cook he also trained others in these skills. He was a maintenance worker for the various machines, and like the others employed at the Cannery was asked to do just about anything that needed doing. The loading dock, which still stands toward the northeast end of the building, was a job he took on at the age of 19. He says that because he had never built anything like that before he made a few mistakes but the dock is still there in 2011.

The days were long. When crops were ready to be harvested they needed to be processed quickly to retain top flavor. Once the canning process began the crew worked until it was finished. It wasn’t unusual to work well beyond eight hours. Sometimes the crew worked from twelve to fifteen hours to get the day’s work done.

The cannery actually served two different groups of customers. The first were people who came wanting to can their own produce. The second were groups or businesses for whom the Whitneys had contracts with to provide canned fruits and jams. Individuals who brought their own fruits and vegetables were allowed to process any amount. This could mean canning anywhere from one to over one hundred cans. The second group consisted of local schools or businesses. These orders were canned under the label Nattie-Ann. The cannery also sold gifts packs of preserves under that label.

Each contract had its own set of problems to solve. One such was a contract to can water. The reason for the contract has been lost in time. This occurred during the period of the Cold War in the early 1960’s. At this time a National Civil Defense Plan stipulated the stockpiling of large amounts of food and water in case of war and this may have been the reason for the contract. But what is remembered is how much trouble it was to can the water properly. The problem was that if the cans filled with water were not kept extremely hot throughout the entire process, the cans would rust. It took a considerable amount of time to figure out how to prevent this. In the end the cans had to be kept shrouded to keep the heat at the boiling point. Leona Whitney remembers the shrouding being of a heavy material the weight of a carpet.

The 2-½ lb. and number 303 cans were purchased from the Continental Can Company in Salem. The Whitney’s son, Doug, would drive to Salem in a closed Dodge truck to pick up the cans and transport them back to Garden Home. Canning produce for the school system was also a part of the market the cannery served. Waste material such as the cobs from corn and the ends from the green beans where sold or given away for animal feed. Almost everyday large loads were taken to a pig farm on Scholls Ferry Road. This resulted in some rather excited pigs when they noticed the truck driving into the farm yard. This agreement benefited both the farmer as well as the Whitneys.

The procedure for canning went like this. Beans, or whatever was being processed, were packed into cans which then went down a conveyer belt to the “capper” where lids were marked in such a way as to identify the customer and the contents. From there they went onto a conveyer belt and were put either into the boiling bath or into the retort. After this they were put on trays and sent back to the cooling racks. As the cans cooled, those that were safely processed imploded making popping noises. Different sized cans made somewhat different sounds. When this occurred the cannery “sang.” The cans acted as a melody overlaid by background sounds coming from the machinery and staff voices!

Safety standards required that cans not properly sealed were deemed unsafe andwere not released to the public. An improper seal could result in air getting into the can and the food spoiling. Additionally, this could result in pressure building up inside the can. One morning a woman brought in enough berries to fill twenty of the larger cans available. She left the berries to be processed and planned to pick them up later in the day. After processing it was found the cans had not sealed properly. When she returned to pick up her order she was informed of the problem and told that because of the potential health hazard the cannery could not release the canned fruit. This resulted in a very displeased and angry customer who insisted in having her cans given to her. Reluctantly the cans were released but only after the woman signed a form absolving the cannery of any liability for problems arising from eating the fruit. The cans were placed in the woman’s car and off she went. A short time later she returned madder than ever. A few miles down the road, one of the cans had exploded. Another followed this, and then another, until all 20 cans had discharged their syrupy berries throughout the car. She now claimed it was the fault of the Cannery that her car was such a mess. And she threatened to sue the cannery. That didn’t happen, but the event was long remembered by those there that day.

Those using the cannery represented a true cross section of the community: local homemakers, children with parents, and virtually anyone with a large garden or orchard wanting to preserve the fruits of their labor. Bernie remembers one group in particular. These were a group of nuns who in the 1960’s still dressed in floor length black habit. The Sisters were a curious group and would often crowd as close as possible to see how the different machines worked. To prevent accidents, a line was painted on the floor beyond which only staff could work in the area occupied by the large pressure cookers and steamers. One day several of the Sisters was standing very near to the retort, right on the painted line, and had leaned over as close as possible to observe Bernie working next to a retort. Part of this task required Bernie to check on the amount of pressure building up in the retort and, if needed, release some of the steam buildup by pulling up on a valve situated on the top on the huge vat. When this was done a noisy cloud of steam would be released. Being young and feeling a little mischievous that particular day, Bernie watched the Sisters and when they got right on the line, he reached up and pulled up the valve. With the area fillied with steam and a loud hissing sound, Bernie watched with amusement as the nuns lifted their long habits scattered every which way as noise and the steam cloud filling up the area they had just occupied!

Accidents did occasionally happen. One day when Bernie was working a bearing on a conveyer belt quit moving. With the conveyer belt out of order everything came to a stop. The staff was just about to take a break and Mr. Whitney told Bernie to get it fixed before the break ended. To replace the bearing required Bernie crawling under the conveyer belt, which lay close to the floor. He reached the area needing to be fixed only to find he had the wrong size wrench. This meant he had to crawl back out, find the right size wrench somewhere in the boiler room and crawl back under the belt. Knowing he had only a short time to finish the job, and rushing, he suddenly felt the top of his scalp hitting the underside of part of the conveyer belt. Not realizing how badly he had gashed his head he continued on and repaired the problem in record time. But now he realized that blood was running down his face and he was feeling somewhat confused. He started toward the office thinking someone there could bandage his head and he could continue working. But now he found himself faint and so he dropped down and crawled until he reached the office door. As he reached up to open the door he began to feel faint and suddenly found himself falling face first into the room. His most vivid memory is of the looks of shock on the faces of the women gathered there.

It was a while before the gash down the top of head healed. In the meantime he took a lot of kidding for his strange haircut, a bare pathway from front to back down the middle of his scalp!

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Past Pastors of Garden Home Community Churches

Past Pastors of the Garden Home Community Churches

Past Pastors of the Garden Home Community Churches

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