CENTURY HOMES: Sasha Kaplan and Matt Miner

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

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

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

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

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

By Virginia Vanture, July 2016

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

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Godwin Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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CENTURY HOMES: Pat and Andy Dignan

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

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

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

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

By Virginia Vanture, 2016

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July 2016 News

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

Upcoming Event – August 13 Reunion

Garden Home School - Final student body picture 1982

Garden Home School – Final student body picture 1982

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

New stories on website

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

Hunt Club from NW (Portland Golf Club in foreground)

Hunt Club from NW (Portland Golf Club in foreground)

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

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

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

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

Other News

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

Beaverton High School pre-1949

Beaverton High School pre-1949

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kaplan/Miner Century Home (previously Bettendorf home)

Kaplan/Miner Century Home (previously Bettendorf home)

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

Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

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

Historic Garden Home street sign

Historic Garden Home street sign

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

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

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CENTURY HOMES: Tom and Catherine Lekas

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

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


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

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

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

Mysterious family bell from Lekas Century Home

Mysterious family bell from Lekas Century Home

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

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The Hunt Club, “Memories of Horsing Around Years”

By Patti (Ransom) Waitman-Ingebretsen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Terry Moore obituary

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

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

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

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

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Memoir of Dorothy Lois Upchurch (1919-2009)

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

–Elaine Shreve, May 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1911 Garden Home Railway Depot

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

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

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

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

1911 Garden Home Railway Depot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Portland Hotel exterior circa 1897 (source PARC)

Portland Hotel exterior circa 1897 (source PARC)

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

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

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

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

1950 aerial view of Oleson Rd and Garden Home Rd intersection

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

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

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

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

Old Community Church

Old Community Church

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

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

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

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

Throckmorton Store fire, looking east

Throckmorton Store fire, looking east

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Theresa Boyd Upchurch in downtown Portland market booth, circa 1950

Theresa Boyd Upchurch in downtown Portland market booth, circa 1950

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

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


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Glenn and Isolda Steele

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn and Isolda Steele donating a Brazilian amethyst to the Smithsonian

Glenn and Isolda Steele donating a Brazilian amethyst to the Smithsonian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Christina Mauroni, April 2016

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History of the early Patton family

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

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

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

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

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

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

Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919

Margaret (Simmons) Patton Mills Welch, 1838-1919

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rostin (Rostum) C. Welch, 1849-1935

Rostin (Rostum) C. Welch, 1849-1935

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

River ferry

River ferry

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

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

American badger

American badger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rocking barrel butter-churn

Rocking barrel butter-churn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Margaret Lovisa Welch headstone, 1838 - 1919

Margaret Lovisa Welch headstone, 1838 – 1919

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

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

A Long Hard Trip

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

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

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

Great Respect for Newsprint

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

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

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

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

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

Where did all these dates come from?

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

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

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

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

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

Patton Valley, Oregon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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April 2016 News

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

Upcoming Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

New stories on website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn and Isolda Steele donating a Brazilian amethyst to the Smithsonian

Glenn and Isolda Steele donating a Brazilian amethyst to the Smithsonian

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

Other News

Beaverton High School pre-1949

Beaverton High School pre-1949

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kaplan/Miner Century Home (previously Bettendorf home)

Kaplan/Miner Century Home (previously Bettendorf home)

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

Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

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

Historic Garden Home street sign

Historic Garden Home street sign

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

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

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SW Oleson Road Gardens update

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

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

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

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

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Living on Maplewood Road

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

 – Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen

Mildred Ransom in front of 4608 SW Maplewood Rd house

Mildred Ransom in front of 4608 SW Maplewood Rd house

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

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

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

Sanborn Map 1949

Sanborn Map 1949

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maplewood School celebrated 100 years of school in the community 2012

Maplewood School celebrated 100 years of school in the community 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen, 2016.

Posted in Early History, Memoirs | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The other “Garden Home Road”

1903-11-02 page 1 Morning Oregonian detail

1903-11-02 page 1 Morning Oregonian

While searching the University of Oregon’s 1846-2015 database of Oregon newspapers for interesting Garden Home stories, we stumbled across a tragic story on the front page of the November 2, 1903 Morning Oregonian (PDF) about a 1903 Halloween-night slaying near Bertha…on the Garden Home road.

[Editor’s note: we will be posting more about 1903 Halloween shooting death of Adolph Burkhardt and the subsequent capital murder trial and acquittal of Samuel Bauman. Until then, you can read about Samuel Bauman’s trial in the December 2, 1903 Morning Oregonian, page 10 (PDF). It appears that jurors in 1903 could question the witnesses. You can read about Bauman’s acquittal in the December 4, 1903 Morning Oregonian, page 14 (PDF) (see bottom of fourth column, Establish a Precedent). If found guilty, Bauman would have been hanged. Notably, the jury petitioned the judge to halt the proceedings because they had already reached a Not Guilty verdict.]

The account given by the prosecution’s primary witness suggests a route for “the Garden Home road” quite different from today’s SW Garden Home Road:

We went up the road from Corbett street, and walked slowly up the hill. We were going to Haywood’s house…on the Garden Home road…about three miles outside the city limits…near Bertha…

Curious about this other Garden Home road, we dug deeper and found that at various times in the past, the moniker of “Garden Home Road” was used for stretches of the north-south route of SW Patton Road, SW Shattuck Road, and SW Oleson Road.

The 1927 Metsker’s Atlas of Multnomah County (below), identifies today’s SW Patton Road as GARDEN HOME RD as it passes just northwest of Council Crest between SW Shattuck Road and SW Broadway Drive.

1927 Metsker's Atlas of Multnomah County, page 20.

1927 Metsker’s Atlas of Multnomah County, page 20 (detail)

Unfortunately, the 1928 Metsker’s Atlas of Washington County (below) doesn’t label the roadways in the Garden Home area, but we can see the correct spelling of Nichols (referring to Lumen H. Nichols). Nichols Street, later renamed SW Garden Home Road, was named after Lumen H. Nichols, the first postmaster of Garden Home.

1928 Washington County Atlas page 4

1928 Washington County Atlas page 4 (detail)

This story from the September 27, 1916 Sunday Oregonian, page 19 (PDF) describes the construction of the Wilcox Estate, located just off of today’s SW Shattuck Road:


Suburban Mansion, on Garden Home Road, to Be Completed by March – House Is as Modern as Any City Palace – Sunken Gardens and Paved Driveways Features – Landscaping Extensive.

Sep 27, 1916 Sunday Oregonian, page 19 detail

Sep 27, 1916 Sunday Oregonian, page 19 detail

And then just two years later, we find this story from the September 29, 1918 Sunday Oregonian (PDF) about the donation of the Wilcox Estate on the Garden Home roadway for recuperating WWI soldiers. Today, the Wilcox home is known as Wilcox Manor and has been divided into multiple residential dwellings.

This detail from the September 10, 1922 Sunday Oregonian (PDF) identifies today’s SW Shattuck Road as GARDEN HOME ROAD. Note the location of the Wilcox property (on today’s SW Shattuck Road).

1922-09-10 page 6 Sunday Oregonian detail

1922-09-10 page 6 Sunday Oregonian detail

This article from the September 23, 1919 Morning Oregonian (PDF) states:

Shattuck road should be called Shattuck road and not Garden Home road, declares the roadmaster, in spite of the persistence of some persons in so doing. There is a Garden Home road, he points out, stretching from Multnomah station to Garden Home.

1919-09-23 page 20 Morning Oregonian detail

1919-09-23 page 20 Morning Oregonian detail

This detail of the 1946 Pittmon street map of Portland shows the stretch of today’s SW Oleson Road south of the SW Garden Home Road/SW Oleson Road intersection, running to SW Hall Boulevard identified as GARDEN HOME ROAD. The stretch of SW Oleson Road running north from the SW Garden Home Road intersection to SW Vermont Street is labelled GERTSCH ROAD, presumably for the Gertsch family dairy situated north of the Hunt Club. Also note that the portion of today’s SW Garden Home Road west of SW Oleson Road is misspelled as Nicholas St instead of Nichols St. Other street names and map details in the Pittmon map differ from other maps from the 1940s.

1946 Pittmon street map city of Portland detail

1946 Pittmon street map city of Portland detail

In the maps we examined, SW Scholls Ferry Road has been consistently named Scholls Ferry Road, and led to the Scholls ferry over the Tualatin river, approximately where today’s SW Scholls Ferry Road crosses the Tualatin river at the town of Scholls, seven miles west of Tigard. The ferry operator, Peter Scholl, was related to the notable pioneer Daniel Boone, likely by Daniel Boone’s grandson, Alphonso Boone, who established Boone’s ferry. Boone’s ferry crossed the Willamette river near Wilsonville, and operated from 1847 to 1954.

Millers Ferry Road once referred to the route of SW Shattuck Road, SW Oleson Road and south towards the ferry over the Tualatin river operated by Christopher C. Miller beginning in 1853. Miller’s ferry operated approximately where SW Roy Rogers Road crosses the Tualatin River today. Today, Millers Ferry Road has completely disappeared from road maps.

From 1931 to 1933, the City of Portland undertook a massive street renaming and address renumbering project. Bertha-Beaverton Highway became SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway in 1937 (PDF, page 40-2). In Garden Home, avenue names were converted to numbers. For example, Westgard Avenue became SW 87th Ave. Nichols Street (sometimes called Nicholas Street) became SW Garden Home Road.

The detail below from a 1940’s Richfield Gas map shows the old street names of many Garden Home streets.

Richfield Gas Station map, circa 1940's

Richfield Gas Station map, circa 1940’s

Tom Shreve, March 2016

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Leona Whitney obituary

Leona Whitney, April 26, 1920 to February 18, 2015

We received a notice from Richard Whitney of his mother’s death.  She lived in Henderson, Nevada.  Leona and her husband, Mark, owned Whitney’s Cannery in Garden Home at the current location of the Old Market Brew Pub. The Whitneys lived in Garden Home from 1950 to 1976.

Click here to read Leona’s memoirs about their life in Garden Home and the cannery.

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Bob Feldman obituary

Bob Feldman beside original milking barn, 2011

Bob Feldman beside original milking barn, 2011

Robert Francis Feldman December 29, 1932 to February 22, 2016

Salem- On February 22, 2016 Robert Francis Feldman “Bob” passed away peacefully with his wife Kay and children by his side.

Bob was born in Portland, Oregon on December 29, 1932 to Harry T. and Margaret Feldman. He was raised with his four brothers on their family dairy farm on Fanno Creek in Garden Home. He attended school in Garden Home and Mt. Angel before going to work in logging camps near Valsetz and Mt. St. Helens.

Bob joined the Air Force and served in Germany during the Korean War as a Military Police Officer. After his service he returned to Portland and went to trade school to become a journeyman Machinist. This is when he met Kathleen “Kay” Riordan. They were married after a brief courtship, on November 17, 1956 and moved from their small apartment to a home they purchased in Tualatin. The next year, the first of their 8 children were born. Seven more would soon follow and a larger home was required.

For the last 50 years they have lived on the farm in the Eola Hills in West Salem where the kids were raised and learned the value of working hard. Over the years they raised sheep, grain crops and Christmas trees, and managed a stand of timber on the 345-acre property.

In addition to farming, Bob loved tending to his timber. He was a volunteer for the OSU extension service as a Master Woodland Manager. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and also enjoyed camping, gardening, restoring his old tractors and spending his winters in sunny Arizona.

He is survived by his wife Kay of 59 years; his children Joe Feldman (Donna), Mollie Maxson (Lewis), Karen Aumend (Steve), Kate Crowe (Kelly), Diana Christensen (Kurt), Jennifer Woock (Tim), Tony Feldman (Dawn), and daughter-in-law- June Worley; 16 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his mother, father, four brothers and his son Chris, who passed away in 2009. Celebration of life service 11:00 AM Friday, February 26 at Bethel Church, Rickreall, Oregon. Virgil T. Golden Funeral Services.

Source: Feldman family

Click here to read Bob’s memoirs about life in Garden Home compiled in 2012.

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The Otto Arndt Story

This complete biography of Otto Arndt and his family was submitted to us by Donna Oliver, his daughter, 2016. Donna gave us the huge cache of aerial photos and negatives of Garden Home and Washington County towns that her father, Otto, had taken between the late 1940s and early 1980s. Otto and Mary Arndt and their four children moved to Garden Home in 1953 and remained here for the next 20 years. This story is included in its entirety which gives us insight to the stories of many other families, the variety of jobs, the many moves, the schooling, the gardens, the animals, the marriages. Thank you to Donna for the inspirational detail that you’ve included. I have done the underlining.

Otto Ernest Arndt, was born in Coeur d’ Alene Idaho on Apr.10, 1915. His father, Otto Emil Arndt, born Apr.1, 1874, immigrated in1884 from Poznan, Germany (now part of Poland) to the United States of America with his parents Christof and Wilhelmine Arndt, and five of his six brothers, when he was 10 years old. (He observed his 10th birthday during the 30 day crossing of the Atlantic on a sailing vessel.) His family first settled in Raleigh, Illinois. Two of his siblings died in Germany before they immigrated to the USA. Two sisters were born in Raleigh, Illinois, but died in infancy. He had one more brother, the youngest of all 11 children, who was born in Raleigh, Illinois, and survived.

The father, Otto Emil Arndt attended business school in Quincy, Illinois. He met a young woman, Lula Baker, from Raleigh, Illinois, and they were married. Otto and Lula Arndt moved to St. Louis, Missouri. They had one child, Charlotte Arndt. Lula died shortly after Charlotte was born. Otto and his daughter Charlotte then moved to Butte, Montana where he worked as an accountant in a lumber company. Otto met and married a young woman, Ruth Wing. Ruth was born on Dec. 8 1886 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She moved with her parents to Butte Montana. Ruth’s parents later moved to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Otto and Ruth had one child, Elizabeth (Betty) Arndt, while living in Butte. Otto and Ruth then moved to Coeur d’ Alene with Charlotte, Otto’s daughter, and their daughter Betty. They lived with Ruth’s parents until Otto could build them a house of their own. Two more children were born in Coeur D’ Alene, Wilhelmine Margaret, and Otto Ernest Arndt. Otto and Ruth, with their children, eventually moved to Centralia, Washington, for 3 months, and then settled in Eugene, Oregon. One more child, Carl Fredrick Arndt was born in Eugene. Young Otto Ernest started elementary school in Eugene.

Five years later, Otto and Ruth bought into a lumber company and planing mill in Scappoose, Oregon. Young Otto graduated from 8th grade in Scappoose. They then moved to Portland, and he started 9th grade at Grant High School. His dad, Otto Emil commuted to Scappoose to work. Otto and Ruth then divorced. Otto Emil moved back to Scappoose where he worked. Otto’s daughter Charlotte had by then left home, moved to St. Louis and became a school teacher. Young Otto and sisters Betty and Margaret moved back to Scappoose with their dad. Carl, the youngest, stayed with his mom in Portland. Young Otto started his sophomore year of high school in Scappoose. Otto and Ruth remarried the next year, and Otto and young Otto and his sisters all moved back to Portland. His sisters soon got married and left home. Young Otto Ernest enrolled at Benson Polytechnic High School and began a 4 year course in the printing field. He graduated from Benson Tech 3 ½ years later in Jan. 1935. He had become very proficient on the linotype. He then began his career as a printer. His main type of work was a linotype operator, although he occasionally did other jobs in the printing field. (His brother Carl began a four-year course in electricity at Benson the fall before Otto graduated.) This was during the depression, and jobs were scarce. Otto Emil and Ruth divorced again after their youngest child, Carl, graduated. Carl did one tour of duty in the Navy before beginning his career.

Otto Ernest landed his first job in the spring of 1935 at the Banner Currier, a twice weekly publication in Oregon City. He worked there for almost 2 years. On Feb. 1, 1937 he began working at the Morning Enterprise, a 6 day a week publication. (It snowed 23 inches the day he started working there.) He worked there for 1 year. Otto then worked a few shifts at the Portland newspapers, The News-Telegram, the Oregon Journal, and the Morning Oregonian, hoping to obtain steady work, but was not hired. After that he went barnstorming around Oregon working on several weeklies, gaining experience. He lived in a boarding house in Prineville and worked there for several months. Otto, while living and working in Prineville, went back to Portland monthly, and while he was in Portland, he worked at the weekly Central Oregonian. On one of his trips back to Portland, he met Mary French on a blind date. The following month he left Prineville after the job there ended, and went to work for the Newberg Graphic for 3 months. At the suggestion of a former Newberg Graphic worker, working for the Oregon State Printing Department, Otto went to Salem and worked there for 14 months. This was all through the 1941 legislative session when the department was very busy. During the period he worked in Salem, Otto courted Mary French.

Mary and her sister Margret were identical twins, born Dec. 26, 1916. Mary Maude and Margret Laura French, along with their older sister Virginia, were born and raised in Roseburg, Oregon by their parents Vivian and Hazel French. After the twins had graduated from high school in Roseburg in 1935, they and their parents moved to Portland. By then their older sister Virginia had married and left home. Their father died January 1937. The twins Mary and Margret were offered jobs at Meier & Frank department store in Portland as fashion models. They also danced in the Meier & Frank chorus line during their annual shows. The twins were working at Meier & Frank as models and clerks when Otto met them in 1938.

Otto and Mary became engaged in 1939. Otto took Mary to Astoria for the day, and they climbed to the top of the Astoria Column where Otto proposed to her. Otto did not have steady work in those days, and Mary wouldn’t marry him until he had found a job. After all, the country was just emerging from the great depression of the 1930s. Mary continued working at Meier & Frank until they were married at Mt. Tabor Methodist Church in Northeast Portland, on Mar. 15, 1941. They started their lives together with a rented home in Salem. Later they purchased their first home at 1840 South High Street and lived there for a few months. Otto worked nights most of the time at the State Printing Department, and in fact, most of his life he worked night jobs. When the Salem job ended, Otto commuted from Salem to Corvallis, working at the Daily Gazette-Times for three months. On Dec. 7, 1941, just after emerging from a movie in Salem they saw screaming headlines, “JAPAN BOMBS PEARL HARBOR”. After the Corvallis job, they moved to St. Helens, Oregon, where Otto was employed as a Linotype operator at the weekly Sentinel-Mist. That lasted three months also. They rented an apartment to live in during that time.

The shipyards were booming, so Otto went to work at a Kaiser Shipyard in St. Johns, as a timekeeper. After a few weeks there, he transferred to Swan Island, another Kaiser yard where they built tankers for the war effort. Otto worked the month of Dec, 1942, on the outfitting dock as a pipefitter’s helper. The weather was so bitter cold on the dock that he applied for and got a job in the accounting office, doing payroll work and other types of accounting tasks for the shipyard. The work involved punch-card handling and IBM tabulating machine operating. Mary went to work in the spring of 1943 in the same office doing keypunch work.

During those months in 1943, a friend of Otto’s made them an attractive offer of a house in N.E. Portland. They sold the Salem home and bought the friend’s house at 3733 NE 64th Avenue, near Fremont Street. Their first child, Thomas Carl Arndt, was born on Feb. 6, 1945, at the old original St Vincent Hospital in NW Portland. When Tom was ten days old, and the war was still on, Otto was called up for draft. His draft board had ordered him to report for induction at Salem. Then Congress passed a law exempting fathers over 29 years of age. Otto called his draft board in Salem and confirmed it, so he didn’t need to go to war. That was the closest Otto ever came to being in the armed services. The war ended in Apr. of 1945, about 2 months after Thomas was born. Otto and Mary worked at Swan Island Kaiser shipyard until the end of the war.

In the last months of the war, Otto had purchased a 16-mm sound motion picture projector, and had used it for promoting war bond sales, and was running week-end shows at two small communities in Washington County, Timber and Buxton. These two experiences proved to be fun, as well as showing some promise of being profitable, so Otto went on a scouting trip to Baker, Oregon, to explore the possibilities of running these shows in five towns around Baker. Since there was no television then, the people there attended the weekly shows very well at first. After the scouting trip to Baker, about September of 1945, Otto and Mary with their infant son Thomas Carl, loaded a trailer with necessities, and moved to Baker. Otto started the Circuit Theater, taking his new Bell & Howell 16-mm sound movie projectors, and an 8 x1O-foot screen around to five towns near Baker five nights a week for 18 months. Their second child Donna Margret Arndt was born at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Baker on Sept. 18, 1946. During those 18 months that Otto ran the Circuit Theater, Otto also worked part time at a weekly newspaper, The Record-Courier, in Baker, to help support the family. Otto also took portraits, which Mary colored by hand to help with expenses. Otto Emil Arndt, young Otto’s Dad, passed away May 21, 1947. Finally after 18 months of going out in all kinds of weather they called it quits with the Circuit Theater. One night in Sumpter OR, it got down to 22 degrees below zero. They sold the equipment and Otto went to work for the daily newspaper at Baker, The Democrat-Herald. Their third child, James Allen Arndt was born at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital on Feb. 1, 1948, just 6 days before big brother Thomas turned 3 years old with sister Donna right in between them. While living in Baker, Otto and Mary purchased an old, very large house which they converted into two 3-room apartments. They lived there a year. Then they bought a half-acre of land on the outskirts of Baker and built a 20×30-foot building of pumice blocks in which they lived, expecting later to build a larger house as a permanent dwelling. Otto learned a little about operative masonry, and laid the 650 pumice blocks of the building that was planned to later be a shop and garage. During the next 18 months The Democrat-Herald newspaper built a new building and moved the plant. Only the few employees that were under contract with the Typographical Union remained employed there. Otto had dropped his membership during the war. Because of this Otto lost his job at the newspaper.

Otto had been an amateur photographer since he was about 12 years old, and while in Baker he became interested in aerial photography as a result of meeting two fliers who had a small airport just north of Baker. During the spring of 1948 a great flood destroyed the war-built city of Vanport, between Portland and Vancouver, the flood not only hit Portland, but also was statewide. Otto shot aerial photos in eastern Oregon of the flood around the Baker, LaGrande and Union areas. He paid the pilots to take him up to shoot photos. He shot pictures, of towns in Baker County and of the Snake River Canyon.

In the fall of 1948 Otto and Mary sold the houses in Baker and moved to Yacolt, Washington. Otto and his brother-in-law, John Curtis, his sister Betty’s husband, entered into a partnership for the purpose of trapping muskrats. John Curtis was a trapper, hunter, fisherman, and general outdoorsman and they thought they could make money trapping on the 160 acres of second-growth timber, which they bought. On the land stood a huge duplex house and a barn. Otto and Mary brought a cow, a pig, and some rabbits to Yacolt with them. It was a hard winter for Mary and the three kids, as there was no electricity, and very little water. They cooked by wood range, and heated with one of the two huge fireplaces, one on each side of the duplex house, back to back. Betty and John Curtis and their son John Jr. lived in the other side of the duplex from the Arndts. Otto worked at a commercial printing firm in Portland during the fall and winter of 1948 till the fall of 1949, living with his mother, Ruth in Portland, during the week, and commuting to Yacolt on weekends. Otto had renewed his membership in the Typographical Union.

In the fall of 1949 Otto and Mary bought a new home. Otto’s mother Ruth had sold their NE 64th Avenue home for them while they were in Baker. This new home was on 2~1/2 acres in a beautiful grove of fir trees southwest of Portland, in the Durham community, on Lower Boones Ferry Road. The house was a high-pitched-roof building, with six rooms and a half basement; also a large garage-shop building with a small room upstairs. There they had a milk cow, a couple of steers to butcher for meat, and rabbits and chickens, and had a large garden spot to grow vegetables. On the property was a small barn for the livestock, and an old small log cabin, that became a great playhouse for the children to play in. It even had a loft with a ladder going up to it.

In 1949 Otto obtained work at The Oregonian in Portland, bucking the extra board. He worked moderately steadily there, and was able to get enough work with outside printing firms to survive, while still retaining seniority at The Oregonian. There was a union ruling that anyone on the extra board could “turn his slip” as it was termed, and work indefinite periods of time on the outside. Also whenever situation holders (the regulars) wanted to take time off, they could hire any substitute they wished to. (It was wise for extras to cultivate the friendship of as many regulars as they could, thereby increasing the chances of getting more work.) Another union ruling was that when a regular had accumulated one-day’s overtime, he was required to give that day, which he had worked at time-and-a-half, to a substitute on the extra board, at straight time. That ruling was enacted to help spread the work around to those not working full time. Otto was able to work almost full time with the help of the outside work.

Tom and Donna, Otto and Mary’s two oldest children started school in the little Durham Elementary School, near Tigard; Tom in 1951 and Donna in 1952. (The school building still stands at the end of the football field of the current Tigard High School, but is no longer used as a school.) On May 23, 1953, Judith Pauline, Otto and Mary’s fourth and last child, was born to them, in the old St. Vincent hospital, which was eventually replaced by the new St. Vincent hospital on SW Barnes road.

During the early summer of 1953, the state highway department had surveyed their 2-1/2 acres while they were away on a vacation, for an interchange at what is now the Lake Oswego I~5 interchange. They found stakes all over their property when they arrived home. The state wanted to purchase only the needed triangle of land. After negotiations and help from a qualified appraiser who appraised the Durham property, the State agreed to purchase the entire property at a fair price.

71st Ave and Garden Home Rd from W

71st Ave and Garden Home Rd from W

Through a realtor they located a commercially zoned, one-acre tract with a four-bedroom, two story house built in 1926 located at 7125 SW Garden Home Road, directly across the street from the Garden Home Community Methodist Church. It had a full basement and included a 2-level concrete block shop. The two-level shop building, erected in 1945 had 2900 square feet of floor space. It was just what they wanted. They were giving up a nice home with basement, and detached shop. They immediately applied the sale of the Durham property to the Garden Home place, and it became their home for the next 20 years. They bought the house and property from a Mr. George Sturly who had had a nursery business on the property. He built and used the large two story shop for growing his plants.

While living in his last home in Durham and now in Garden Home, Otto intensified his hobby of aerial photography by chartering planes with pilots, and shot aerials of all small towns in the Tualatin Valley south and west of Portland, 20 towns in all. He used a 4×5-inch Speed Graphic newspaper camera for most of the work. He also had a Rolle flex twin-lens 2-1/4 x 2-1/4-inch reflex camera, and a 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 Speed Graphic camera for some of it. He managed to sell enough of the photos to pay for his airplane rides and other expenses. Of course he always took close-up aerial shots of his own various homes. From the black and white negatives he made enlargements up to l6x20 inches, and sometimes 30×40-inch murals. He had always maintained his own darkroom for developing and printing pictures in his homes since he was a teenager. Later he found darkrooms, which rented out space and equipment, into which he could go and do the work. The home in Garden Home had a perfect darkroom in the basement of the house for this purpose. Otto and Mary’s oldest son Tom became very interested in photography, and learned to develop and print pictures in his dad’s darkroom. Tom also became interested in film making. So Otto got out his 8 mm camera and film projector that he had used for home movies both at Durham and Garden Home, which Tom used to create films. (This played into Tom’s later career.)

[Editor’s note: Click here to view Otto’s aerial photo collection of Garden Home and nearby areas.]

Mary’s mother, Hazel French, sold her home in Portland and moved in with them upon her retirement.

She lived with them for many years. Hazel later moved into the Masonic & Eastern Star Home in Forest Grove, Oregon, where she passed away Sept. 15, 1979.

The large shop on the Garden Home property was ideal for Otto’s hobbies including wood working and engraving. Otto had many power tools which he used to build many things including a toddler bed for his youngest daughter Judy. As a result of a fortunate buy of some woodworking equipment while in Baker, Bud became interested in woodturning. He preferred myrtle wood of all woods, and became involved, through a printer friend, in making fine gavels. He developed a distinctive design and started making them for sale, and also for gifts. Stevens-Ness, his employer between 1962 and 1977, displayed them in their office supply store, where they sold very well. Bud built up a reputation for fine gavels in those years. Otto taught all of his children, even the girls how to safely use the power tools, and all of the tools in his shop. His children grew up knowing how to build and repair many things.

The Garden Home property had a large garden plot in the back to grow most of their vegetables, with several long rows of different varieties of berries along the back fence. There were raspberries, boysenberries and loganberries. Near the garden area was a small pump house built over a cistern which collected the rainwater from the gutters of the house and shop. That water then could be pumped to the garden to water the growing plants in the summer. The property also included a grove of 16 or 18 filbert (hazelnut) trees, two walnut trees, two Yellow Transparent apple trees, two large pear trees, one large Bing cherry tree, and one large Lambert cherry tree, a small Royal Anne cherry tree, a purple plum tree, a Concord grape arbor, and a trellis in the middle of the backyard with cultivated Himalaya Blackberries. The family had all the fruit that they could possibly eat, and preserve for winter. They grew most of their vegetables in the garden to eat fresh, and either can, or blanch and freeze for winter. They usually took the vegetables that they wanted canned to the Whitney’s Custom Cannery down the road from their house. The basement of the house had lots of shelves for storing canned fruit and vegetables, and a large home built deep freezer with 8 separate sections to store frozen food. They annually purchased a side of beef and had it packaged and put in the freezer. They even had so much room in the freezer, that they let some of their neighbors use freezer space when they needed it.

The property had so much potential for keeping the children occupied, with a big yard to play in, trees to climb and harvest fruit from, especially the cherry trees the kids loved to climb. The upstairs of the shop building with the large windows facing the south, provided a wonderful place for the children to play in the wintertime when it was too cold or wet to be outside for long. Their oldest son Tom became interested in model railroads. Tom, over a period of several years built a model HO scale railroad in the upstairs of the shop. It was about 5×8 feet in size. He became a member of the Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club, and continued in the club for a time when he was going to college and working in Portland.

The children all attended the Garden Home Elementary School, which was only two blocks from their house. Tom started 3rd grade when they moved there in the fall of 1953, and Donna started 2nd Grade. Jim started 1st grade the fall of 1954. Judy Started 1st grade 5 years later in 1959. Tom, Donna and Jim all graduated from 8th grade in the Garden Home School. Judy’s was the first class to begin at Whitford Jr. High, when Beaverton School District went to a system of elementary school, junior high school and high school. Instead of just elementary grades 1-8, then high school grades 9-12.

The Arndt family was involved in the Garden Home Community Methodist Church. John Wood was the new young pastor, newly appointed to the church in June, just 3 months before the Arndts moved there. The Arndt children all attended Sunday school. The younger children in the old Fraley house that the church had purchased next door to the church’s parsonage, and the older children in the basement of the church. They sang in children’s choirs and participated in Christmas plays. When they got older they participated in youth groups and sang in the adult choir. Mary Arndt was active as a youth leader for several years, taking the youth on campouts etc. Otto was active with men’s groups that worked on projects around the church repairing and maintaining the church buildings and property. The Arndt children all attended summer camps at Methodist camps around the state. Mary also served as a counselor and lifeguard at some of the camps. Some of the camps included Camp Magruder near Tillamook on the coast, Suttle Lake Camp on the North Santiam Pass in the Cascade Mountains, Loon Lake, and Dead Indian Soda Springs in Southern Oregon. Around 1960, the time that pastor John Wood moved on to a different church, and Willard Norman became the pastor, the church people built a new church building about 10 blocks down Garden Home Road on 81st ST.

Mary and Otto both became involved in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts as leaders. Mary had a Cub Scout den for several years while her boys were in Cub Scouts. Otto helped with the Boy Scouts when his boys moved on to Boy Scouts. Mary also was involved in Camp Fire Girls, and was a leader of her daughter’s Campfire groups. (Mary had been in Camp Fire Girls as a young girl.) Mary and Otto were also involved in other community activities such as the Garden Home School PTA etc.

In 1959, after Otto had worked for about ten years at the Oregonian, labor problems in the Stereotypers Union loomed. Otto sensed trouble, so he left his job as linotype operator and night copycutter on the news copy desk in the composing room, and took a job operating a linotype at Irwin-Hodson, a large commercial printing firm. Just five weeks thereafter, the Stereotypers struck the Oregonian and Journal, and the Printers, Mailers and Pressmen were locked out. The strike was never settled and the newspaper went entirely non-union. The Journal was taken over by Samuel Newhouse, owner of The Oregonian. That paper was eventually discontinued, leaving The Oregonian the only remaining daily newspaper in Portland. Otto later secured a job at Stevens Ness Law Publishing Company.

Otto’s mother Ruth passed away on July 1, 1961 at the age of 75 after having a stroke, and having to be in a nursing home for several months. Pastor Willard Norman of the Garden Home Methodist Church did her funeral.

All four of the Arndt children attended and graduated from Beaverton High School: Tom in 1963, Donna in1964, Jim in 1966, and Judy in 1971.

After High School, Tom attended Portland State University where he studied architecture. Being unsatisfied with his career direction after a year or two of college, He joined the Navy, entering the Submarine Service. He was stationed on the USS Sabbalo, going to Japan and the Philippines during his two-years. His submarine was briefly in the war zone during the Vietnam War. The ‘boat’ on which Tom served came to visit Portland with the Rose Festival fleet in 1965. After Tom got out of the Navy, he went back to Portland State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Drawing and Painting and went into a career of art and animation for movies and television. Tom Married Bonnie Barns from Medford, Oregon on July 22, 1978. Tom and Bonnie divorced in 1991. Tom and Bonnie had no children. While pursuing film work, he also taught traditional animation and special effects in a variety of schools in Portland and California. In 1992 Tom moved to Larkspur in Marin County, California. Tom joined with Robbin Atherly, another animator from Portland. Robbin and his wife Suzanne, formed a company they called Six-Foot-Two. Tom became their lead director, designer and animator. They have done commercial spots, games, music videos and other animation services for companies such as, Pixar, Disney and Lucas Arts. He has technical credits on the feature films, My Own Private Idaho, Moon Walker, Freaked, and Monkey Bone, and did animation for numerous commercials for television. Tom’s last teaching position was at the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, California where he taught for at least 10 or 15 years before he passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack in August of 2013 at the age of 68.

After high school, Donna did child care. (Donna actually began her “Childcare Career” as a youth babysitting for many local families in Garden Home.) She first worked as a nanny for a couple of individual families, then landed a job at West Hills Preschool and Day Care in Multnomah. She worked there from about 1965 until she became engaged to be married in 1968. Donna loved working with children, so she taught children’s Sunday school at the Methodist Church, and helped in vacation Bible schools at the church each summer. Also Donna served as a counselor as Suttle Lake Methodist Camp during the summers. Donna met her husband at one of those camp sessions. She married Milford (Mel) Monroe Oliver, a retired career Army sergeant on May 3, 1969 at the Garden Home Methodist Church. He was originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, born August 30, 1921. Mel, when Donna met him was serving as a Methodist Pastor. Donna and Mel after they were married moved to Lakewood, WA where Mel served at a church. The fall of 1969 they moved to Salem Oregon and Mel worked as a security officer briefly, until they bought a home in Sublimity, Oregon where Mel became Chief of Police. He attended the Police Academy in Salem. In 1970 Mel took the job of manager of the Methodist Church Camp at Suttle Lake and Donna became the head cook at the camp. Donna and Mel had their first child, Byron George Oliver, born at Central Oregon District Hospital in Redmond, Oregon on June 29, 1971. Unfortunately, the baby lived only 3 days due to a serious heart defect. At the end of the summer camp session of 1971, Donna and Mel wanted a fresh start, and moved to Gig Harbor Washington. There, Mel worked at Madigan Army Medical Center on Fort Lewis, near Tacoma Wa. where he had been stationed part of his army career as a lab tech. Donna continued her career as a “Child Care Provider” Donna and Mel had two more children, both daughters: Kathleen Charlotte Oliver, born August 27, 1972, and Nancy Evalyn Oliver born October 14, 1974. Mel and Donna also began taking foster children into their home. Over all they had 14 different foster children come and go from their home. One of the foster children they ended up adopting, a boy, David Young Brammer, named changed to David Young Oliver. Donna’s husband Mel died July 2006 at age 84. Donna continued her childcare career, with her latest job at Lighthouse Christian School in Gig Harbor, Washington, doing after school care. Donna is planning on retiring in June of 2016, a few months before she turns 70.

On July 12, 1966 the summer before he drilled with the reserves Jim started his senior year of High School, he joined the Naval Reserve.monthly on weekends during his senior year of high school. Then going active duty following graduation, Jim found himself stationed on the island of Okinawa for his two years during the Vietnam war. After his Active duty time, Jim married Barbara Seefeld from Newberg, Oregon. They were married on Jan. 4, 1974. Jim continued in the Naval Reserve until he could receive a retirement pension from the Navy.

Jim and Barbara moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where Jim attended Mississippi College. Jim and Barbara had 1 son while living in Jackson, Mississippi: Allen Ernest Arndt, born Oct. 22, 1975. Later Jim earned a master’s degree in Religious Education from a Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

While in Texas, Jim and Barbara had twin boys, Matthew James Arndt and Michael William Arndt born December 26, 1978 (born on the birthday of their Grandmother Mary Arndt, who was also a twin).

The fourth child born to Jim and Barbara was David Andrew Arndt, born March 3, 1980 in Clarkston, Wash., while they were living in Craigmont, Idaho. There Jim was ordained as a Southern Baptist minister.

Jim served churches in Craigmont and Emmett, Idaho, Redway and Rio Del, California before returning to Oregon. Jim and Barbara moved to Hillsboro, Oregon, and Jim began working for Intel. After their boys were grown, Jim and Barbara divorced. Jim continues to live in the Beaverton area and is still working for Intel. He plans to retire when he turns 70.

Judy has always had a passion for horses. After graduation from high school, she took her horse and went to California to attend Raw Hide Vocational College in San Diego County. After she finished at Raw Hide, she returned home, living with her parents until she got married to Harry Clinton Wise II in 1976. Judy and Harry bought a two-acre tract of land and house on Molalla Road, Highway 213, five miles east of Oregon City. There they started an herb farm they called “Wise Acres”. They grew herbs that they packaged to sell. They also had animals. A couple of sheep and goats etc. and angora rabbits, and of course her horses. Judy helped her dad, before she was married, to build a spinning wheel out of myrtle wood. The spinning wheel was a wedding gift to her from her dad, even though Judy helped with it. She used the spinning wheel to spin sheep wool from their sheep, and rabbit hair from their angora rabbits. Judy and Harry had 3 children. The first was Laura Bluzena Wise, July 15, 1981, born at Bess Kaiser Hospital in Portland. Harry Clinton Wise III was born October 3, 1983, also born at Bess Kaiser. He went by Clint. Their third child Erika Sue Wise, was born in their home on July 20, 1989. Judy and Harry separated, and Judy took the children and lived up on Dixie Mountain where Judy’s Uncle Carl, her dad’s brother, had started building a house. He had contracted cancer before finishing the house. Judy helped care for her Uncle Carl until he died in December of 1996. Judy continued to live there, with her cousin Dana’s permission until his dad’s estate was settled. It took many years for the estate to be settled, and so Judy continued to raise her children up there until they were grown, home schooling them most of the time. Judy and Harry eventually divorced. Judy had her horses up there on the mountain. Judy is now living part time in Oregon and part time in California.

After the kids were all graduated from high school, and moved from their home in Garden Home, Otto and Mary bought seven acres of land near Sherwood, with a year-round stream, a 7-room log-faced house with hot-water heat in a fully-finished basement with a 20×30-foot shop, beneath a carport of that size. They moved there in the fall of 1973. While there, both retired, Bud in 1977 after working 15 years for Stevens-Ness Law Publishing Company in Portland. Mary retired in 1979, from where she worked for 13 years for Sawyers View Master which later became GAF in Progress, Oregon. In 1979, they embarked across the country on a six-week trip in their Tioga motor home which they had purchased the year before.

Upon returning home from their trip, Otto and Mary pursued their hobbies, Mary crocheting and gardening and reading. Otto pursued printing as a hobby because he loved the craft (it was in his blood). His other hobbies included –woodworking, photography, and gardening. He had been at the printing trade for 65 years, including training for it in high school, working for 50 years doing mostly Linotype and Intertype operating, then hobbying with it since retiring. Otto also made several trips up in a plane after his retirement, taking pictures of the same areas he shot in the 40’s and 50’s, as comparisons, and sold some as murals, “then and now” to businesses in those towns.

In 1981, from a single piece of myrtle wood Otto fashioned two l1-inch gavels, exactly alike. He engraved on polished stainless steel plates the appropriate inscriptions, and sent one to President Reagan, and kept one. These gavels have some inserts of special wood in the head and handle of each gavel. One end of the head has a piece of wood that came from the old Battle Ship Oregon that became famous in the Spanish American war. The other insert in the gavel head came from the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) when it was refurbished. The third insert came from the White House when President Truman remodeled. About a month thereafter he received a letter of acknowledgement and thanks on White House stationery, dictated and signed by the president. The letter, with a copy of the original letter to him, which accompanied the gavel to Reagan, was displayed in Otto and Mary’s home, along with the duplicate gavel, which he kept. (Otto’s daughter Donna now has the duplicate gavel with the letters.) The gavel, which Otto sent to Reagan, is now displayed in the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The letter from Reagan reads in its entirety:



November 19, 1981

Dear Mr. Arndt:

I was delighted to receive your kind message and want to thank you for sending me the handsome, specially designed gavel which you crafted. The legend you provided on the origin of the wood you used makes it a truly symbolic piece. Your thoughtful remembrance will be a welcome addition to our future Presidential collection, and I deeply appreciate your gesture of friendship and support. Thank you for thinking of me.

Nancy joins me in sending you our warm best wishes.


(Signed) Ronald Reagan

In February of 1982, as a result of the Reagan gavel episode, Bud appeared on a local magazine show called “Faces and Places”, featuring the Reagan gavel, and an all-myrtle wood spinning wheel which he made for his daughter Judy as a wedding gift, and many other crafted pieces. Otto kept a video copy of that show. Otto’s Daughter, Donna has his copy of that show, along with an extra copy)

They lived in Sherwood until 1985, when the work on the big place got to be more than they could handle, so they sold it and moved into Heritage Village in Aloha, Oregon. The life savings that were tied up in the Sherwood home were a welcome supplement to their small pensions and social security income. Otto and Mary celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary March 15, 1991, and their 58th on March 15, 1999.

On October 18, 1999, Mary suddenly became very ill and was taken to St. Vincent Hospital where she passed away at 10:45 p.m. on October 20, 1999 at the age of 83, just over two months before she turned 84, and the turn of the century, which she was looking forward to. She was cremated, and her remains are buried in a joint grave, which had been previously arranged for both Otto and her, at Rose City Cemetery at NE 57th Avenue and Fremont Street in Portland. Otto continued living in their home in Aloha, celebrating his 90th birthday with all his children and many grandchildren present, in Apr. of 2005. In November of 2007 he was moved to a memory care facility in Gig Harbor Washington, where he passed away in April of 2008 at the age of 93. He too was cremated and his remains are buried in Portland with his wife’s.

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February 2016 News

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

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

  • February 8 – Aerial maps of 1950s Garden Home, Tom Shreve;
  • March 14 – Pat and Andy Dignan will present on the early horse activities and history of the Hunt Club area;
  • April 11 -Virginia Vanture on the Century Homes program; and
  • May 9 – Colin Lamb will present on the Thriftway complex history.
Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

Patsy VandeVenter, Virginia Vanture, Elaine Shreve, Carole Vranizan

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

What we’re working on: Century Homes program, monthly presentations, history-garden tour in June, Garden Home School/Beaverton High reunion August, Cemetery tour in September, 1949 earthquake, more stories and photos, t-shirt sales, aerial photos, Historic Garden Home street signs, newsletters, and more! We’d love to have you work with us. Call Elaine at 503-246-5879 or come to a meeting, second Monday of the month at 6:30 pm, Garden Home Rec. Center.

Kaplan/Miner Century Home (previously Bettendorf home)

Kaplan/Miner Century Home (previously Bettendorf home)

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

Beaverton High School pre-1949

Beaverton High School pre-1949

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are planning a Garden Home School and Beaverton High reunion on August 13 at the Rec. Center. More later.

Garden Home School from E

Garden Home School from E

Donna Arndt Oliver has given us an outstanding collection of 21 aerial photos of the Garden Home area from 1949 to 1957 taken by her father, Otto Arndt. The family lived in Garden Home. We thank Donna Oliver for this gift and Bob Cram for digitizing these photos from the negatives.

Annual Meeting March 14, 6:30PM, Election of Officers: We are a non-profit association under IRS and Oregon regulations. Our by-laws require our annual meeting for March 14 at which time both the Chair, Elaine Shreve, and Treasurer, Marie Pacella, will make an official report in addition to election of officers. This 7 pm meeting will be preceded by the 30 minute presentation at 6:30 pm by the Dignans regarding the early horse activities and the Hunt Club era. Interested persons are welcome to the presentations and the meetings.

Remember the “yells” from your time at Garden Home School? When you’re a bit down, try this out! Do some action also!

Tear down the rafters, Stamp on the floor, Come on team let’s raise that score!

Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for Garden Home, stand and holler!

We got the T E A M that’s on the B E A M, We got the team, that’s on the beam, That’s hep to the jive, Come on boys, let’s skin ‘em alive!

Boom-a-laka boom-a-laka, Bow wow wow,
Chick-a-laka chick-a-laka, Chow chow chow,
Boom-a-laka Chick-a-laka, Who are we? Garden Home Gophers, Yes sir-ee.

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

They are missed

Dr. Zola Dunbar, 1927-2015. Wife of Don Dunbar, Principal at Garden Home School.

Bill Winthers, 1925-2015. Principal of Garden Home School when it closed in 1982.

Leona Whitney, 1920-2015. See Whitney’s Cannery stories. Owned the cannery (now Old Market Pub) for 26 years until 1976 when it was sold to Frank Comella for a fruit and vegetable market.

Terry Moore, 1949-2014. Wonderful long-time community activist: Metro, THPRD, Oleson Road remodel, Chair of Garden Home Gardeners. We’re developing her story for our website.

We had a great time ringing the (loud!) 1918 historic bell from the old Garden Home Community Church. See our story and cute photos of the bell ringers.

Historic Garden Home street sign

Historic Garden Home street sign

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

Researching: The 1949 earthquake that damaged Garden Home School and the third floor of Beaverton High. What do you recall? Write us a note in the comment box or send us an email.


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Memories of the Old Community Church

We were pleased to receive the following stories from Dan Nebert and his sister Rosella Nebert Grafton concerning their memories of the old Community Church which was on Garden Home Road and Royal (now 71st), where the one-story professional building is located.

Dan remembers:

I recall having attended a few religious services at the Garden Home Methodist Church.

However, my fondest memories were of the ping-pong table––in a room on the second floor (north end). With my classmates Dick Hyslin and Al Clerc, we were able to sneak in through an unlocked window on Saturday afternoons when it was too rainy to play basketball in the outdoor tennis court at the grade school. Usually there would be a Saturday game of “pick-up” basketball (two-on-two, three-on-four, etc.), sometimes as long as from 9 am until 4 or 5 pm. Some kids would go home briefly for lunch; many of us die-hards could survive all day, playing basketball while extracting enough energy from a midday Hershey bar (5¢) and root beer (10¢). Or bringing a sandwich from home.

Mostly in the wintertime, as I recall, around the years of 1949-52, when it was too rainy for outdoor basketball, we’d play “round-robin” ping-pong in the Methodist Church for HOURS––at least from maybe 1 o’clock after lunch, all the way until almost dinnertime.  And, of course, our parents never queried closely as to how we had spent our afternoons. We never got into any trouble, and we never left behind any traces of food or garbage. Therefore, the church window at all times seemed to remain unlocked, so that we were always able to enjoy our rainy Saturday afternoon ping-pong games.

by “Danny” Nebert, 2015

Dan’s sister Rosella has a very different memory from about 1938 when she was about 8 or 9 years old.

Someone that belonged to the church asked me to a picnic at Oaks Park. I went and had a wonderful time. During the depression we didn’t get to go to places where money was spent. This was special for me. I was asked to go to Sunday School the following day. I went, hoping for something exciting. The janitor asked me if I would like to ring the bell the following Sunday. That sounded more fun than Sunday School.

The following Sunday I arrived early, climbed the stairs or ladder, grabbed the rope and swung back and forth, making the bell ring. WOW! Then I looked down and the janitor was looking up. I had a dress on. All girls wore dresses through the 1940s. I swung to the ladder or stairs, climbed down and ran out the door, jumped on my bike and pedaled home as fast as I could. That was the end of my church activities.”

by Rosella Nebert Grafton, 2015

Reviewed by Elaine Shreve, December 2015

From Warren Cook, Feb. 2010:

The Garden Home Methodist Church was the hub of youth activities in Garden Home.  The Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) group was a viable youth organization that was very healthy up through the mid-1960’s at both the old church on Garden Home Road and 71st, and at the new church building on S.W. 81st South of Garden Home Road. The church closed as a Methodist Church in the 1980’s and it now a Korean Church and home of the Oregon Korean Foundation.  Pastors (1950’s and 1970’s at the Methodist Church were Miss. Ethel Williams,  Mr. John Wood, and Mr. Willard Norman).

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