Sally Peyton Ford

Sally Peyton Ford

Sally Peyton Ford

Ralph O. Peyton family, Sally Peyton Ford, September 2012

You may have turned into Peyton Road and then Griffin Drive when going north on Oleson Road, across from Arranmore, and wondered how these roads got named. Two brothers, Ralph Oscar Peyton and Leslie Peyton purchased the 17 acres in the late 1940s. Their homes along with their friend Jim Griffin’s were the only homes in the area until they sold off lots one by one and the area gradually grew and had a sign at the road naming the development Meridian Park.

Ralph and Katherine Peyton lived at 6530 SW Griffin Drive, the home built in 1946. Leslie Peyton and his wife Helen lived further in on Peyton Road. Jim and his wife Janet lived at the corner of Griffin Drive and Peyton Road. Sally Peyton Ford recalls that when Oleson Road was widened (possibly when Arranmore was developed), the County skimmed off about 20 feet from the height of Oleson Road. They put up a brick structure bus stop and a sign saying “Meridian Park” which is no longer there.

Ralph O. Peyton, b. 1915, and his wife Katherine Peyton, b. 1917, moved to the area in 1947 and their older 3 children attended Garden Home School in the 1940s up into the 1960s. Larry, Kenneth and Sally were born in the early 1940s and Michael in the 1950s.

Ralph and Katherine owned the Peyton Bag Company, creating large burlap and paper bags for agriculture and sea products. The business was closed when Portland’s Eastbank Freeway took over their property.

In 1959 Ralph and Jim Griffin purchased Crater Lake Lodge in Southern Oregon. At that time, they owned the lodge, the cafeteria, cabins, service station and the boats and leased the land from the National Park Service. They owned the business for some 17 years. In the early 1970s, Jim Griffin sold his share to John and Lois Elloriaga. In 1976 Ralph and John Elloriaga sold the contract to Canteen Corporation of Portland (the website says Canteen Company of Oregon).

Ralph Peyton sold his business interest in Crater Lake Lodge and concessions in 1976.   Ralph was born and raised in Klamath Falls and regularly visited Crater Lake.  During the summers of 1933 and 1934 he worked on road construction of the Rim Road.

During Ralph and Jim’s ownership of Crater Lake Lodge, they had two 60 passenger boats built for use on Crater Lake tours. The boats were trucked to the area and then airlifted by a Sikorsky Sky Crane logging helicopter to the lake. These boats were christened by Katherine Peyton and named Ralph Peyton and Jim Griffin. When no longer needed on the lake, they now reside in the water near the Eastbank Esplanade in Portland, below OMSI awaiting restoration and river use.

Ralph and Katherine’s son Larry was tragically murdered in 1960 (see Peyton-Allan murders). The family moved to a large apartment on Denney Road in 1962. Ralph died in 1987 and Katherine in 2010.

Sally Peyton Ford remembers that she played with Cheri Clerc, Arlene Needham, Goody and Holly Johnson, Bob and Sharon Rose’. Dorothy Johnson (Miss Oregon 1955) babysat Goody Johnson (no relation). She also played with her cousins, Steve and Marsha Peyton. They had a tree fort, rode bikes, played with puzzles, in the snow, climbed trees, read books and caught crawdads in Fanno Creek for supper. They walked to G.H. school. She was in Bluebirds and Campfire girls. She took piano lessons from Jim Bastien on Oleson Road (See Bastien).

Sally was married to Allyn Ford in 1968 and later to her current husband Denis Ryan. Sally and her friend and childhood neighbor Goody Johnson Cable purchased the former Gilmore Hotel in Newport, OR in 1984. This was converted to the renowned Sylvia Beach Hotel on the ocean in Newport. Each room is decorated to recall a certain author, such as Jane Austin. Sally’s brother Ken Peyton was the long-time manager for 22 years until his recent death.

By Elaine Shreve. Interview with Sally Peyton Ford, Sept. 2012.

Crater Lake Lodge internet information from Smith Brothers and other websites.

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