Henry Sturtevant Family

Sturtevant home

Sturtevant home at 7575 SW 87th Ave

Henry and Carol Sturtevant and their three children Carol Jean, Bob and Nancy moved to Garden Home in 1946. They lived at 7575 SW 87th Ave., just south of Garden Home Road on 87th, previously called Westgard. They purchased the home from a Mr. Ketchum. Washington County taxation rolls indicate the home was built in 1930.

Carol recalls, “The property was about 3/4 acre, with the house in the middle and a garage, shop, chicken coop adjacent, between house and the Heltzell’s log cabin to the south. There was a large barbecue with chimney and plumbed sink next to the shop with a brick patio as well. There is another house there now, as the property was subdivided years ago. On the back side of the house, the dining room opened through a French door into a greenhouse, which my folks used a good deal, and it opened to the back yard.  When it finally had to be torn down, Hank built a new big greenhouse in the SW corner, and he had a small nursery business there. I used to help him work on cuttings, etc. The house had a dug-out basement, where the furnace was, and we also stored some food there in the winter. The basement ran from the stairway toward the north, where it emerged from a tunnel-like extension with two doors.  Great place to play!”

Henry, usually called Hank, bought Scotty’s Garden Supply on Bertha Beaverton Highway about 1951. He was a fierce competitor to the Raleigh Hills Fred Meyer. They used plant material from their small greenhouse out back of their home for some of their stock.  In the 1950s he sold the Scotty’s Garden Supply to buy Canyon Bowl, a popular bowling alley. Carol started working there when she was 16.

The father, Hank, was the chief electrical engineer at the radio station KALE which later merged with KPOJ which stood for Portland Oregon Journal. Once, while we were still using “gas cards” from the war effort, he didn’t have enough gas to get to work so he borrowed Bob’s bicycle and pedaled up to the station on Sylvan hill. Hank taught classes in electricity during the war in the shipyards so he did have access to tires and gas at least during the time he was teaching.

Bob was in fifth grade when they moved to Garden Home. He remembers the Principal’s discipline of ten whacks on the bottom with a ruler. Mercifully he’s forgotten the man’s name. He figures he must have purchased rulers by the case.

Nancy remembers about the rabbits.  “My sister is correct about the chicken-coop — it was situated along side that old ramshackle workshop/shed — and I had forgotten about the plumbed-in sink that was outdoors.  I believe Mom & Dad had kept rabbits in that same vicinity as well.  My memory is that each week, Dad would slaughter either a chicken or a rabbit for Mom to fix for Sunday dinner.  Re the chicken dinners, I recall Mom scalding the chicken carcass and my sister & I plucking the pinfeathers.   My mother told me that we gave away or sold the last of the rabbits eventually, as she said that Dad lost his will to slaughter the little critters — she said they would look up at him from the chopping block with their sweet brown eyes, and his empathy would no longer let him take their lives.  I guess the chickens didn’t engender the same sympathy!”  This story has been told by other rabbit growers.

Bob was well acquainted with the neighborhood because he delivered the Oregon Journal every day after school in the Garden Home and Raleigh Hills area.

The Harry Feldman family lived across Garden Home Road and had the Fanno Creek Dairy. When they sold their property, about 59 acres, and moved down to the Woodburn area, Bob went with them and worked several summers there.

Ralph Hamilton lived in the log house which is now 8550 SW Garden Home Road.  Ralph sold off a portion of this farm to Bob Herzog. Ralph played accordion at a reality-type show hosted by KPOJ in about 1946 and 1947.

Carol Sturtevant Pratt recalls that Herb and Thora Heltzell lived just south of them in a log house, then the Bome family next in the 1950s.

The Bome (proper Dutch spelling was Boom) property at 7733 SW 87th, has been subdivided to contain the original home and a large 3-story home on the back of the lot. The eldest son was named Frans.  He was in the Freshman Class during 1956-57 at Beaverton High School.

The Holman family lived just south of the Bomes at what is now 7735 S.W 87th and their son Roger was in Carol’s class all the way through elementary and high school.   This home has been beautifully remodeled and restored.

Tad Fyock’s family built the house at 8500 SW Holly Lane in 1950.  The Fox family built the 8550 home on Holly in 1952. Dolph Lane was a dirt track, just a path. When they first moved to Garden Home there was a large grass field all the way from Garden Home Road south to the Dolph Lane area. The owner cut and baled the grass. Robert Herzog purchased a large section north of Holly Lane.

Information from Carol Jean Sturtevant Pratt, Bob Sturtevant and Nancy Sturtevant Dachtler.

By Elaine Shreve, June 2012.

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One Response to Henry Sturtevant Family

  1. Pingback: Westgard Avenue – A Short History Of SW 87th Avenue from Garden Home Road to Alden Street | Garden Home History Project

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