CENTURY HOMES: Robert Pearson

Bob Pearson’s home at 6600 SW Garden Home Road was originally built in 1920. A brief summary of Garden Home in the 1920s is included at the end.

In 1993, Bob Pearson moved into his 1920 home and set about improving, updating, and adding rooms and stairs. He thinks that the original owner had a hardware store or at least a general store in Garden Home. Bob has a scientific mind and has worked in oceanography on the east coast and taught other sciences here. As he says, he was teaching computer technology before there were words to describe it.

The initial home was about 25 foot square with 3 rooms. The size was doubled in about 1933 when an addition, possibly another building, was attached, serving as a kitchen. Bob places the date of this addition to a 1933 newspaper he found in the wall of the new structure. Previous owners and Bob have added various extensions, revisions, supports, stairs, and work in the basement.

The basement hosts the large “octopus” type of vintage furnace, now powered with natural gas. This will be changed to an electric heat pump appliance. He has reinforced and improved the stability of the structures in the basement, providing extra support under his piano. He has extended the house 8 feet on the south side, enclosing the stairway with windows, for a unique viewing opportunity.

Stan Houseman, Century Homes chairman of the Garden Home History Project, provided the brass plaque and certificate recognizing the Century Home. Other History Board members also attended the event. Thanks to Bob Pearson to have his home recognized as one of the 30 or more Century Homes in Garden Home.

Garden Home in the 1920s: Immigrants from Switzerland and Sweden, Norway , were moving in to create dairies on the forested hills. Cows could forage around the stumps. Horses were seen daily with The Portland Hunt Club, Portland Riding Academy, Nicol Riding Academy and Aaron Frank’s stables were all within touching distance of each other. The Oregon Electric train was vital to move people and agricultural products to and from Portland. The train junction at Garden Home provided rails south down the valley and west for timber and crops, some 20 to 52 trains a day. Early pioneers settled on Occidental Ave. (76th), Wilson Ave. ( 77th) and Firlock Ave. (78th) next to the school, Westgard Ave. at (now) 87th, and up Garden Home Road, and around the intersection of Oleson and GH Road. Automobiles were beginning to affect the passenger service on the train. The new Garden Home School building opened in 1912. Most homes had large plats to permit a big garden, fruit trees, chickens, often a cow for their milk and butter.

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3 Responses to CENTURY HOMES: Robert Pearson

  1. Pingback: CENTURY HOMES program | Garden Home History Project

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