The following Garden Home history was written by seventh grade students in 1962. It was apparently presented publicly by the PTA at a Founder’s Day event, 1964. We have an original quite faded copy with the name Dorothy Meisner at the top. This document has been briefly edited for clarity and spelling. In 1962 Garden Home School was a first through eighth grade school and had just joined the Beaverton District 48 in 1960. The photos are from our archives that we’ve added to the student histories.
Garden Home History Project, 2017
Garden Home is a small community in the northwestern portion of Oregon and in the suburbs of southwestern Portland. Its population is approximately 1,500 persons. I would like to note that errors may be made in the spelling of names and in the placement of places.
The data in this book has been compiled by the students of the seventh grade of 1962. “We would like to thank all of those who helped us in the making of this history by sharing us a minute of their time in order to give us this information.” And we, the program committee of your PTA are pleased to present you with a copy of this worthy document in its complete “unabridged edition” – exactly as our 7th grade students wrote it two years ago. FOUNDERS DAY 1964
(Ed: These two paragraphs apparently were added by a PTA typist. We have this in the original typed document but do not have the “book” referred to in the first sentence.)
THE COMMUNITY OF GARDEN HOME
In the year 1911, the community of Garden Home consisted of a post office, a train depot, two stores, the beginning of a school and eight dairies.
The post office has made five moves since it established itself. Its first location was the Red and White Chain Store, originally owned by Bob Smith. It was moved from this location to the garage owned by the Canautesons (ed.Knudsens). Its last three moves were: the train depot, Throckmorton Store, and the Cannery and in the new development on Garden Home road. The Throckmorton store was demolished by fire in 1955. The post office was moved temporarily to Whitney’s Cannery, where the train depot once stood.
The first two stores were: The Red and White Chain Store and Chris Jager’s Store. Bob Smith was the original owner of the Red and White Chain Store. After his death, his wife Margarie (by nickname), took over. She later sold the store to a man named Carpenter so that she may pay all her debts. She moved after she accomplished the sale. Chris Jager’s Store was at the corner of Oleson and Garden Home Road. It had five managements: Chris Jager, Nichols, White, Upchurch, and Throckmorton.
Shorthorn, Elco, Kosmalski, Feldman, Brown, Fuhrer Brothers, Shattuck and Marug were the names of the dairies in the vicinity. Marugg Dairy was later changed to Garden Home Dairy which was established in 1930. The last dairy sold out in 1940.
The old Knudsen’s garage was sold to the Johnsons. His daughter became Miss Oregon and runner-up for the Miss America title in 1955. She now occupies herself as a movie star. In 1956 the garage was torn down.
In the old community there was a small stage (bus) depot owned by Mr. Galiger. Later came the Grange and Community Halls, the church, the newer garages, the cannery, and the shopping center.
Later came the ladies aid who started church services in the upper level of the Red and White Store. Later a man named (Dr.) Hetlesater donated a plot of land on 71st and Garden Home Road for the construction of a church. The Garden Home Community Methodist Church was completed in 1914. In 1961 this church was moved and is now known as the West Hills Unitarian Church. A new Garden Home Community Church was built in 1960. It is located at 81st and Garden Home Road.
In recent years, the Garden Home community has added two new gas stations and a shopping center. Work began in 1957. The dry cleaners was added in 1962.
By Geraldine Kildow and Nancy Ewen
THE GARDEN HOME WATER DISTRICT
R.H. Floyd and other persons started the Garden Home Water District. The water was carried through iron pipes from Maplewood to Garden Home. At first it supplied a mere 24 owners; today it supplies more than 600 home owners. The water comes to us directly from Portland.
By Kenny Woodard
The first people of Garden Home had no community school to attend. They had to walk from Garden Home to Progress School, or Whitford, which is in the district of McKay. It is known as McKay School. Later, school was held in the upstairs of the Throckmorton store in Garden Home. In 1911 the first Garden Home School was founded. In 1923 the first addition was made; in 1936, the second; in 1950, the third; in 1955, the fourth; and in 1958, the fifth. When the school was first built there were two rooms holding twenty students. For grades one to four there was one teacher, and there was also one teacher for the upper grades. Adelaide Beebe, was one of the first teachers.
The children brought their lunches and arranged themselves in order while they ate at their desks which had iron frames.
In 1924 or ’25 six acres were bought for the school at the cost of $3500. The school has in the past few years a great many additions. It stands on Nichol’s property. Instead of having basketball, baseball or football seasons, they had seasons for tops, marbles and hoops.
By Brenda Jones
THE HOMES OF GARDEN HOME
Three of the oldest homes we have found, yet have their dates concealed.
The Oleson’s house claimed to be around 85 years old, is further down Oleson Road towards Raleigh Hills. The Partlow’s house is also said to be 85 years old. The name it has acquired today is the Kickbush house. Margaret Smith’s house is in the near vicinity of 70 years. There is another house said to be older but it has not yet been located.
Pam Campagna’s house was once a store. The bottom half was the Red and White Store and the post office in which Margaret Smith worked.
Marjorie L. Smith, manager of the Red and White Store once lived in Steve Hayslet’s house. She moved when her husband died.
The site of the old community house and Johnson’s garage is the lot where the Mobile Station now stands. Mr. Johnson , father of Miss Oregon, 1955, was the manager of the lot. When their house burnt down the community built them a new one.
In 1953 Whitford Park was nothing but a tract of mud and Bohman Park or Vista Brook was nothing but weeds. In the spring of 1954 water mains started the housing development.
By Randi Vermillion
The Oregon Electric was built through Garden Home on the way to Forest Grove from Eugene in 1908. Six years later they built a track from Garden Home to Portland. Garden Home then became the main thoroughfare for the Oregon Electric. The track ran along Multnomah Blvd. There were about 65 trains running, one every twenty minutes through Garden Home.
In the first year approximately 70,000 persons rode on the Oregon Electric.
The passengers reduced on a large scale until 1934 when they had only 85 passengers that year. During the years between 1934 and 1935 the trains carried only freight, except for one, a special train that carried 416 passengers.
The reason for the downfall in traffic was the S.P.& S. It bought the United Railways and the Oregon Electric, then re-routed the tracks.
By Kenny Woodard
THE SAWMILLS OF GARDEN HOME VICINITY
In 1905, Herman Metzger, a noted lumberman, built a sawmill where 80th and Taylors Ferry Road now meet. Another sawmill was built where Wareham Circle is now located. It was built about 1912; the owner unknown. This sawmill was much smaller than the Metzger mill. Today both of these sawmills are in ruins.
(Ed. A hand written note was added here: “Built on the creek at what is now Florence Lane”.)
By David Stauff
ROADS OF GARDEN HOME
Before Oleson road was finished in 1886, the road was very rough from Greenburg Junction (Bradley Corners, now Hall) to Garden Home. It wound around to the very few farms in the area between Progress and Multnomah. In the winter, this rough road was inaccessible except by foot. In about 1884 to 1886, to pay for the road on Oleson’s property, the other people who lived in the community had a poll tax charged to themselves. “Poll Tax” is when all the people have to work a certain number of days a year without wages on the project.
In 1886 the road from Raleigh Hills to Garden Home was finished and the rough path roads on the other side of Garden Home were straightened and then smoothed.
The road was named Oleson because the road, when finished, covered more of Oleson’s property than any other farmlands.
Garden Home road was the only cut-off on Oleson Road until 1930. Before Oleson Road was improved the dust on the road was about three inches thick. The county would not provide the money for wooden sidewalks, so the people in Garden Home had to pay for them.
Jager Avenue is now 74th, and Royal Avenue is now 71st, the store along Garden Home and 74th was owned by Chris Jager. About 50 years ago, 74th was only a small path. On the opposite side of the road was a small apple orchard owned by Mary Smith.
Nicols Road was once the name of Garden Home road. Mr. Nicols used to own Nicols Road until the district bought it and named it after Garden Home. In 1931 Garden Home Road was resurfaced. It was the first road to be blacktopped in Garden Home, which was in 1938. In the near future, (1962), a path will be built along Garden Home and Oleson Road.
(Ed. Garden Home Road was first listed as Nicholl street on the Millers Ferry survey of 1886, referring to the Nichols family who owned the first store and P.O. The name Nicol referred to the Nicol Riding Academy.)
It is also being considered to widen both roads in the year of 1965, although no definite plans have been made.
By Christine W., Shari Noble, Geraldine Kildow
THE RESIDENTS OF GARDEN HOME
Some of the first persons of Garden Home were: The Nicols , Chris Jager, Mrs. Margaret Smith, Mrs. Fuller, R.D. Smith, Mr. Floyd, Ole Olesons, the Browns, Blossicks, Petersons, Nicolsons, Herfbakers, Morgansons, Gertsch, Sherners, The Feldmans, and Mrs. Nichols.
The Nichols had a land grant of 300 acres. Their adopted Danish son, Chris Jager, started the first store in Garden Home. The land on which Garden Home School stands was owned by the Nichols. Mrs. Nichols was no relation to the former Nicols. She loved plants and gardening and when asked what this junction was called she replied, Garden Home.
Chris Jager established Garden Home’s first water works. In the back of his home he dug a 600 foot well and constructed his own wooden plumbing.
Mrs. Fuller taught the first Sunday School which was held in Jager’s store.
R.D. Smith was the first owner of the Red and White Store.
Mr. Floyd ran an ice business in the summer and a wood business in the winter. He was also a delivery man for the Red and White Store.
Ole Oleson is one of the oldest residents of Garden Home. Oleson road was named for him because he put more work into it and it extended over more of his land than any other farm.
Mrs. Margaret Smith was and still is the postmistress. Her maiden name was Sherner, one of the older families of Garden Home.
By Mark Oleson