September 2022 News

In this edition: a Fanno Creek Trail History Walk, School Days exhibit in the library, researching a history walk for downtown Garden Home, road closure for roundabout development at SW 92nd Ave and SW Allen Blvd, remembering Andy Dignan, Crystal Steele, and remembering Vlasta Nora Becvar Barber.

Welcome to our website about historic Garden Home. In the People and Places pages, you’ll find well over two hundred stories, and over two thousand photos of vintage Garden Home and residents attending our events. To receive the free newsletter and email Updates, contact us at or call Elaine Shreve at 503-246-5879 or Esta Mapes at 503-246-5758 or Stan Houseman at 503-679-3691.

Fanno Creek Trail History Walk

Saturday, September 24, 10AM to noon. History WALK on the Fanno Creek Trail. All spaces are filled for this date; register for a future walk on the Garden Home Library’s website. You’ll hear about:

Olympic swimmers practiced in Garden Home. Ride the train out to Firlock Station to play golf. Catch the mail bag thrown from the postal train, 30 trains or more a day through Garden Home. Ride your horse on the Bridle Path to the horse Academies. See the Onion King bragging about his huge onions. Play with the frogs and lizards in the ponds along the rail bed. Pick up the latest newsletters and other news.

We have done two WALKS sharing the history of the path and the adjoining properties. Our webmaster Tom Shreve does the first half of the trail (and a few comments from Elaine!). Then Heather Waisanen from the Garden Home Library shares the rest of the trail. The Oregon Electric train began clanging along here in 1908, opening Garden Home to so many exciting events.

Historical Display Case in the Garden Home Library

Check out the Historical Display case in the Garden Home Library: It’s all about Garden Home School days. See the Beaverton newspaper announcing the sad news of the closure of Garden Home Elementary School.

2022-09 Display cabinet - School Days

2022-09 Display cabinet – School Days

2022-09 Display cabinet - School Days, top shelf

2022-09 Display cabinet – School Days, top shelf

We’re researching a History Walk for downtown Garden Home

If you have a story about early Garden Home, please send your story to us. For example, Rick Newton sent us a wonderful story about his years growing up in Garden Home: The Newton Boys. Another example is the early writers’ group that met with Dorothy Bastien, who lived on Oleson near the major intersection. A member of the writer’s group, Peg Bracken, wrote several fun books including On Getting Old for the First Time. “The older you get, the more complicated the things you have to work with.” Yes, we agree. She achieved considerable fame with The I Hate to Cook Book. Grab a cream of chicken or mushroom soup can and some leftovers for a quick supper, such as “Skid Road Stroganoff”. “Some women, it is said, like to cook. This book is not for them.” You’ll enjoy these books, which are available from Garden Home Library or your local library.

Road closure for roundabout development at SW 92nd Ave. and SW Allen Blvd.

Yes, we’re all learning new ways to navigate out of Garden Home while SW 92nd Ave is closed for construction. Now that it’s difficult to access SW Allen Blvd from Garden Home, use the ramps onto Hwy 217 at SW Hall Blvd or SW Greenburg Rd instead.  Your Vista Brook neighbors will appreciate it if you avoid cutting through their neighborhood. See City of Beaverton Traffic Alerts for details.

In Memoriam: Andy Friedle Dignan, 1932-2022

Andy Friedle Dignan

Andy Friedle Dignan

Andy Dignan was a great help for us when we first began Garden Home History. Her obituary tells her fascinating story.

Crystal Steele

Crystal Steele and street sign

Crystal Steele and street sign

Ever wonder where the street names come from? In this current photo, Crystal Steele is pointing to the street sign with her name on SW 87th Ave. Interestingly, there is only a foot path where the street should be. She was the youngest of the Steele children who grew up in the house which was at 8085 S.W. Westgard in the early 20th Century. Read Jack Steele’s story on our website.


Remembering Vlasta Nora Becvar Barber

Vlasta Nora Barber, age 95, of Tigard, Oregon passed away on Thursday, May 12, 2022. Vlasta was born December 7, 1926 in Maplewood, Oregon. Vlasta attended Garden Home School. Read our article about Vlasta.


Remember the Big Blow 60 years ago, on Columbus Day? We’re writing that story next month, let us know how your family handled it. For example, I was the evening nurse in charge of the post-op patients’ ward at Good Samaritan Hospital. The lights going out signaled that the various suctioning devices for my patients were not working. I took a quick trip down the dark stairway, three floors down, to get a large manual suction device I could use for the ‘most needful’ patient. The phones remained working and my son’s babysitter assured me they were fine.

Discover Garden Home!

Check out our Garden Home Library’s new books about old houses.

Library recommendations - Discovering the history of your neighborhood

Library recommendations – Discovering the history of your neighborhood

Get Involved

Our Board of Directors continues their monthly meetings, second Mondays at 4:15 in our homes. Call to attend. Current subjects include displays in the Library and bulletin board, Century Homes program (we have some 39 Century Homes in Garden Home), Historic Garden Home street signs, new businesses, our newsletters, program planning with the Garden Home Library and more! More Garden Home History walking Tours. We welcome new volunteers to our committees; let us know your interest. Call Elaine 503-246-5879, or Esta 503-246-5758.

John Pacella, Susan and Stan Houseman, Jan Fredrickson, Kevin Mistler March 2022 crop

John Pacella, Susan and Stan Houseman, Jan Fredrickson, Kevin Mistler March 2022

Sharon Vedder, Esta Mapes, Elaine Shreve, Marie Pacella March 2022 crop

Sharon Vedder, Esta Mapes, Elaine Shreve, Marie Pacella March 2022

Historic Garden Home street sign

Historic Garden Home street sign

Historic Garden Home street signs: We currently have about over 40 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 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. 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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