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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