November 2019 News

In this edition: October 5 bell ringing, Lamb’s Thriftway closure, visit by famed organist and daughter of Dorothy Johnson, Dorothy Papadakos, and more favorite teacher recollections.

Welcome to our website about historic Garden Home. In the People and Places pages, you’ll find almost two hundred stories, and over fifteen hundred photos of vintage Garden Home and residents attending our events. Contact us at GardenHomeHistory@gmail.com.

Upcoming Events

The annual Garden Home Recreation Center’s annual Holiday Bazaar will be held Saturday, December 7, 2019, 9am to 4pm. Come visit our booth in Room 7 for your holiday gifts.

Recent News

Dorothy Johnson’s famous daughter visits Garden Home

Dorothy Johnson Papadakos

Dorothy Johnson Papadakos

October 25, 2019 – We were pleased to meet Dorothy Papadakos, nationally famous organist and daughter of Garden Home’s Dorothy Johnson (Miss Oregon 1955, Miss America first runner-up 1956). Dorothy is continuing her highly acclaimed Halloween Horror Tour which brings her to 8 famous national pipe organs in 4 weeks, including Portland’s Trinity Cathedral organ. Ward Nelson, Trinity choir, was surprised to learn of her Garden Home connection and was touring Garden Home with her.  Wikipedia notes how her tours began:

Papadakos started her annual Halloween Horror Tour, which brings silent film’s classics, such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Phantom of the Opera to life on the world’s pipe organs. Her silent film appearances have included such classics as a rendition of the Hunchback of Notre Dame at a New Year’s Eve 2011 celebration at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, and Nosferatu at Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts organ in 2014.

Closure of the Garden Home Marketplace grocery store

The Garden Home Marketplace grocery store (formerly Lamb’s Thriftway) will be closing on or before October 19, 2019. The Marketplace store continues its process of closing and disposing of groceries and equipment. The historic church bell, plaques and vintage post office safe will remain in place with property owner Colin Lamb’s approval. The Wells Fargo Bank and the Post Office are closed and may not reopen. The liquor store and the Growlers are awaiting further news. Colin Lamb will retain the historic store photos that were hung on the walls.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more developments.

October 5th ringing of the historic church bell

We rang the historic 100-year old church bell hanging in the bell tower of the Garden Home Marketplace (formerly Lamb’s Thriftway) on October 5, 2019. This event was bittersweet as it coincides with the imminent closing of the grocery store. We are working with Colin Lamb, the owner of the building, with the hope that the bell will be able to remain where it hangs when a new tenant takes over the space.

Thanks to Store Manager Mike Babbitt and all of the store staff for withstanding two hours of bell ringing.

Leslie Bennett is the artist who put up these wonderful Thank You boards for the closing of Bales Market Place. Leslie’s business: LillyPillyProductions.com. The memories and the kind words have been an excellent way for the community to share their appreciation to the grocery store staff, to Manager Mike Babbitt and to Colin Lamb for the Lamb’s participation in our community for over 60 years. Our thanks to all!

View over 100 photos of the bell ringing event.

September 9th Show & Tell event celebrating old things

We hosted a Show & Tell event on September 9, 2019. People were invited to bring something old to share with the group. Thank you to everyone!

  • Louise Cook Jones shared and donated some early Garden Home memorabilia from the 1950s including a wonderful colored Souvenir Program from the Alpenrose Country Fair, June 1966. These will go into our website story of Alpenrose. See our History of Alpenrose for more pictures of the Alpenrose program and gazette from 1966.
  • Jan Fredrickson showed us an interesting Pepsi 6 pac of vintage pop bottles, so different from our current cans.
  • Kevin Mistler showed the 1942 bus schedule showing 34 stops in Garden Home on a daily basis.
  • Virginia Vanture shared the horse saddlebags used by her physician grandfather way back when!
  • Stan Houseman brought one of the donated postal box doors with the fanciful brass décor. Thanks to Elizabeth Harding who donated two doors to the Garden Home History Project. They will be displayed in the glass cabinet in the Library. Please contact us if you are interested to purchase any more of these doors.
  • Don Krom graduated from BHS in 1961 and Garden Home Grade School in 1957. He shared his wonderful old scrapbook of the school and his memories.
  • Ray Heesaker taught at Garden Home School in 1967 under Don Dunbar. He recalled those days as a young teacher and then followed Don on to the next Beaverton school.
  • Elaine Shreve brought an original Morning Oregonian door knob and decorative doorplate. The building in Portland was demolished in 1951.

Share your memories of Garden Home

Via NextDoor, Robin Ariss remembers a stuffed elephant in Lamb’s Thriftway:

I am the shorter one my sister is the taller and I think this was taken in 1962 when I was 5.

Stuffed elephant in Lambs Thriftway - Robin Ariss

Stuffed elephant in Lambs Thriftway – Robin Ariss – I am the shorter one my sister is the taller and I think this was taken in 1962 when I was 5

A reader wishing not to be named wrote:

Hello Elaine, I don’t write much, I’ve just lived in the area all my life.

I used to walk to the Post Office/Rexall with my grandmother as a child. We lived on Canby St just inside the Multnomah County line. I went to Maplewood/Wilson schools.

I recall Garden Home as it was back then. In our walks, I remember seeing the ladies with hair nets working a conveyor table of fruit from the south side door of Whitney’s Cannery. Lamb’s had a big Alpenrose milk carton that turned over the main entrance. Lamb’s also had wooden sidewalks on the south side, as well as street parking. As I got older, I would use the “tube tester” (in Lamb’s) when our radio or TV would act up. Also, I would buy my model glue and supplies there too.

There was a cashier named Bob Metcalf. Nice guy. Back then smokers smoked everywhere, even while they worked, even Bob. Irv was the druggist. Nice guy.

My barber was Ray Wilson. He was across the street from Lamb’s in the old BPOE building, and next door was Namitz TV & repair (owned by Harry & Mary Namitz). Now it’s a sports bar (The Dugout).

I liked Terry’s Homemade Ice Cream Parlor/Burger joint. I think a cone was 10c? Burgers maybe 20c? That was a time when Garden Home had three service stations and a school on the corners. I worked for Everett Wright at the Texaco for a while in ‘73, and then in ‘74 went to work for Gray Clark at the Standard station (where DQ is today). He moved his location to Allen & Lombard in Beaverton (ARCO).

I met people in the Garden Home area that I still am connected with today. Like most places today, it’s changed a lot. No more empty lots like there were long ago. None of the apartments were built, and a lot fewer houses when I started to frequent Garden Home. Multnomah Blvd had one house on it and a church. No convalescent home.

I have a cousin that graduated from Garden Home school as well. He is older than I am and still alive. Think he is 70? He grew up on SW 68th by Zolling’s Nursery.

Oh…when I worked at Knauss Chevrolet in Tigard, I used to take care of Bob Lamb’s car. He was getting pretty old and Mrs L would always be the driver. I think she was the accountant/bookkeeper for the store too.

Always nice to remember the past. Hope you enjoy reading my memories of Garden Home.

In an email, Randy DeHaan remembered Virgil Pearce, one of his favorite teachers at Garden Home School in the 1970s.

I just wanted to give you a quick little bit of possibly interesting Garden Home Elementary history.  I don’t know if Mr. Virgil Pearce (6th grade teacher 1972/73 and following) is still around, but I thought y’all might want to know what an impact he made.  I’m sure many of my classmates would agree. Mr. Pearce was a new 6th grade teacher and he really had us interacting with math/logic/outdoors.  I remember we played a lot of chess, many many math quizes, his well trained Golden Retriever came for a visit, etc.

On September 2, 2019, in an email, Bill Gellatly remembered teacher Carole Lintner, Bill Winthers and Don Dunbar:

I enjoyed seeing the ’71-‘72 staff picture, and seeing Carole Lintner’s picture with her then appropriate bouffant hair. I think all three of my kids may have had her as their teacher. All of them thought well of her. Bill Winthers had already taken over as principal when Erik started 1st grade, but I got to know Don Dunbar when I worked on the study group to look at shifting enrollment. He looks energetic as ever!

On September 6, 2019, in a comment on a post, Joyce Economus remembered Alpenrose and the Dignan family:

Our parents John and Eugenia Economus built their home in 1956 on Peyton Road, and our mom continues to live there. We would spend many hours in the Cherry tree orchard that is now Aaronmore neighborhood. When Alpenrose Dairy would have the fireworks for the 4th of July celebration we would all go into that orchard and watch those fireworks. My eldest brother and I attended Garden Home Grade School, and Todd Dignan was in my first grade class and possibly more after that, I just need to take a look at the grade school class pictures. Once think I recall about Todd’s mom was that she was absolutely the most beautiful mom and woman I had ever seen. She had a gracefulness that has never been forgotten. . So much more to write. . . would love to catch up with Todd some day.

We love hearing your memories about Garden Home! Let us know yours. You can contact us at gardenhomehistory@gmail.com

Get Involved

You are invited to our Board meetings which are held the second Monday of most months, 6:30 pm at the Garden Home Recreation Center. We often begin with slide show presentations. All are welcome to attend our meetings. We’re an active and fun group, we have lots of opportunities to get involved!
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.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Shirley Gertsch Bartels on Peter and Pete Gertsch

Peter Gertsch, his wife Katy Tannler and his brother Fred (known as Fritz) came to Garden Home from Switzerland and settled on property off of Oleson Road sometime in the 1890’s. This property was on the west side of Oleson Road, north of the Frank Farm. The brothers decided to go into the dairy business and built a barn, cleared the land and built a house.

A son whom they called “Pete” to distinguish him from his father, Peter, was born to Katie and Peter but in July of 1895, when the child was 6 weeks old, his father died. Honoring the custom of their Swiss heritage it was decided to send to Switzerland for the remaining brother, Christian, to come to America and marry his brother’s widow. Katie and Christian Gertsch were married and had two sons, Albert and Christian, who were half-brothers to Pete. Katie and Christian raised Pete and the dairy was later passed on to Pete who ran it until the mid-1950s

Pete Gertsch married Rosalie Balmer who was from a local dairy family. Their daughter, Shirley Gertsch Bartels grew up on the Gertsch property, attending Garden Home School, Beaverton High School and graduating from Oregon State University in 1960. The brothers decided to go into the dairy business and built a barn, cleared the land and built a house. After purchasing cows from the Hoffman, Balmer dairy, they named their new place Shattuck Dairy.

In 1955 Pete sold the last of 100 dairy cows he maintained and in 1958 sold 33 acres to W.C. Bauman. The remaining 26 acres, which included the house he had built for his wife Rosalie, was sold to Mr. Bauman in1976. According to Shirley, her father had requested that Mr. Bauman set aside some of the land for a school.

The land was developed as Arranmore, a housing subdivision. On the western side of Oleson Road, directly across from SW Miles Court, stands a Colorado Blue Spruce planted in 1939 by Pete for Rosalie and daughter, Shirley. It was directly in front of their house that was built in 1935. The house is no longer there but if you drive slowly down Oleson Road and look to the west you can see the tree.

Montclair School was built on what was the northern edge of the old dairy. The school opened in 1970 and is an elementary school in the Beaverton School District.

By Virginia G. Vanture, June 2, 2010, from an interview with Shirley Gertsch Bartels, the daughter of Pete Gertsch, granddaughter of Peter Gertsch.

New photos sent by Shirley Gertsch Bartels of her parents and grandparents

November, 2019. These photos have come my way and help to tell the story of the Gertsch family who developed the new Shattuck Dairy in the late 1890s. That property is now the Arranmore housing development and the Montclair School.

Paternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels: Christ and Katie Gertsch

Christian Gertsch (1869-1949) and Katie Tannler Gertsch (1871-1948) are the paternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels. Christian went by “Christ”, pronounced with a soft “i”, as in “mist”.

You’ll remember that the brothers Peter and Fritz Gertsch came from Switzerland to establish dairies in the new Oregon territory. Peter Gertsch married Katie Tannler and was soon the father of a young son, named Pete Gertsch. Alas, Peter died suddenly while the baby was still an infant. In the tradition of the Swiss families, the brother Christian was summoned from Switzerland to take on Peter’s role. Christian then married his brother’s widow, Katie, and became the stepfather to young Pete.

Christ (1869-1949) and Katie Tannler (1871-1948) Gertsch. Stepfather and mother of Pete Gertsch and paternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

Christ (1869-1949) and Katie Tannler (1871-1948) Gertsch. Stepfather and mother of Pete Gertsch and paternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

Maternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels: Christ and Rosalie Balmer

Christian Balmer (1860-1941) and Rosalie Gloor Balmer (1871-1957) are the maternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels. This Christian also went by “Christ”. Christ and Rosalie Balmer were the parents of Rosalie Balmer Gertsch. Yes, mother and daughter were both named Rosalie. The Balmer family was involved with the local dairy of John Hoffman further east on SW Vermont Ave. and into the (now) Burlingame area.

Christ and Rosalie Balmer. Parents of Rosalie Gertsch and maternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

Christ and Rosalie Balmer. Parents of Rosalie Gertsch and maternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

Parents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels: Peter Albert Gertsch and Rosalie Balmer Gertsch

This young Pete (named Peter Albert Gertsch) grew up in the dairy and inherited it. Pete (1895-1972) married Rosalie Balmer Gertsch (1900-1977) and went on to become parents to today’s Shirley Gertsch Bartels who grew up in Garden Home, attended Oregon State, and married her veterinarian husband, Dr. Jan Bartels.

Shirley and Jan Bartels, 2019

Shirley and Jan Bartels, 2019

Rosalie Balmer Gertsch (1900-1977) and Peter Albert Gertsch (1895-1972). Married May 15 1935. Parents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

Rosalie Balmer Gertsch (1900-1977) and Peter Albert Gertsch (1895-1972). Married May 15 1935. Parents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

Posted in Dairies, Early History, Homes, People | Tagged , | 6 Comments

September 9, 2019 Show and Tell event

We hosted a Show & Tell event on September 9, 2019. People were invited to bring something old to share with the group. Thank you to everyone!

  • Louise Cook Jones shared and donated some early Garden Home memorabilia from the 1950s including a wonderful colored Souvenir Program from the Alpenrose Country Fair, June 1966. These will go into our website story of Alpenrose. See our History of Alpenrose for more pictures of the Alpenrose program and gazette from 1966.
  • Jan Fredrickson showed us an interesting Pepsi 6 pac of vintage pop bottles, so different from our current cans.
  • Kevin Mistler showed the 1942 bus schedule showing 34 stops in Garden Home on a daily basis.
  • Virginia Vanture shared the horse saddlebags used by her physician grandfather way back when!
  • Stan Houseman brought one of the donated postal box doors with the fanciful brass décor. Thanks to Elizabeth Harding who donated two doors to the Garden Home History Project. They will be displayed in the glass cabinet in the Library. Please contact us if you are interested to purchase any more of these doors.
  • Don Krom graduated from BHS in 1961 and Garden Home Grade School in 1957. He shared his wonderful old scrapbook of the school and his memories.
  • Ray Heesaker taught at Garden Home School in 1967 under Don Dunbar. He recalled those days as a young teacher and then followed Don on to the next Beaverton school.
  • Elaine Shreve brought an original Morning Oregonian door knob and decorative doorplate. The building in Portland was demolished in 1951.
Posted in Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

October 2019 News

In this edition: October 5 bell ringing, Lamb’s Thriftway closure, visit by famed organist and daughter of Dorothy Johnson, Dorothy Papadakos, and more favorite teacher recollections.

Welcome to our website about historic Garden Home. In the People and Places pages, you’ll find almost two hundred stories, and over fifteen hundred photos of vintage Garden Home and residents attending our events. Contact us at GardenHomeHistory@gmail.com.

Upcoming Events

The annual Garden Home Recreation Center’s annual Holiday Bazaar will be held Saturday, December 7, 2019, 9am to 4pm. Come visit our booth in Room 7 for your holiday gifts.

Recent News

Dorothy Johnson’s famous daughter visits Garden Home

Dorothy Johnson Papadakos

Dorothy Johnson Papadakos

October 25, 2019 – We were pleased to meet Dorothy Papadakos, nationally famous organist and daughter of Garden Home’s Dorothy Johnson (Miss Oregon 1955, Miss America first runner-up 1956). Dorothy is continuing her highly acclaimed Halloween Horror Tour which brings her to 8 famous national pipe organs in 4 weeks, including Portland’s Trinity Cathedral organ. Ward Nelson, Trinity choir, was surprised to learn of her Garden Home connection and was touring Garden Home with her.  Wikipedia notes how her tours began:

Papadakos started her annual Halloween Horror Tour, which brings silent film’s classics, such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Phantom of the Opera to life on the world’s pipe organs. Her silent film appearances have included such classics as a rendition of the Hunchback of Notre Dame at a New Year’s Eve 2011 celebration at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, and Nosferatu at Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts organ in 2014.

Closure of the Garden Home Marketplace grocery store

The Garden Home Marketplace grocery store (formerly Lamb’s Thriftway) will be closing on or before October 19, 2019. The Marketplace store continues its process of closing and disposing of groceries and equipment. The historic church bell, plaques and vintage post office safe will remain in place with property owner Colin Lamb’s approval. The Wells Fargo Bank and the Post Office are closed and may not reopen. The liquor store and the Growlers are awaiting further news. Colin Lamb will retain the historic store photos that were hung on the walls.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more developments.

October 5th ringing of the historic church bell

We rang the historic 100-year old church bell hanging in the bell tower of the Garden Home Marketplace (formerly Lamb’s Thriftway) on October 5, 2019. This event was bittersweet as it coincides with the imminent closing of the grocery store. We are working with Colin Lamb, the owner of the building, with the hope that the bell will be able to remain where it hangs when a new tenant takes over the space.

Thanks to Store Manager Mike Babbitt and all of the store staff for withstanding two hours of bell ringing.

Leslie Bennett is the artist who put up these wonderful Thank You boards for the closing of Bales Market Place. Leslie’s business: LillyPillyProductions.com. The memories and the kind words have been an excellent way for the community to share their appreciation to the grocery store staff, to Manager Mike Babbitt and to Colin Lamb for the Lamb’s participation in our community for over 60 years. Our thanks to all!

View over 100 photos of the bell ringing event.

September 9th Show & Tell event celebrating old things

We hosted a Show & Tell event on September 9, 2019. People were invited to bring something old to share with the group. Thank you to everyone!

  • Louise Cook Jones shared and donated some early Garden Home memorabilia from the 1950s including a wonderful colored Souvenir Program from the Alpenrose Country Fair, June 1966. These will go into our website story of Alpenrose. See our History of Alpenrose for more pictures of the Alpenrose program and gazette from 1966.
  • Jan Fredrickson showed us an interesting Pepsi 6 pac of vintage pop bottles, so different from our current cans.
  • Kevin Mistler showed the 1942 bus schedule showing 34 stops in Garden Home on a daily basis.
  • Virginia Vanture shared the horse saddlebags used by her physician grandfather way back when!
  • Stan Houseman brought one of the donated postal box doors with the fanciful brass décor. Thanks to Elizabeth Harding who donated two doors to the Garden Home History Project. They will be displayed in the glass cabinet in the Library. Please contact us if you are interested to purchase any more of these doors.
  • Don Krom graduated from BHS in 1961 and Garden Home Grade School in 1957. He shared his wonderful old scrapbook of the school and his memories.
  • Ray Heesaker taught at Garden Home School in 1967 under Don Dunbar. He recalled those days as a young teacher and then followed Don on to the next Beaverton school.
  • Elaine Shreve brought an original Morning Oregonian door knob and decorative doorplate. The building in Portland was demolished in 1951.

Share your memories of Garden Home

Via NextDoor, Robin Ariss remembers a stuffed elephant in Lamb’s Thriftway:

I am the shorter one my sister is the taller and I think this was taken in 1962 when I was 5.

Stuffed elephant in Lambs Thriftway - Robin Ariss

Stuffed elephant in Lambs Thriftway – Robin Ariss – I am the shorter one my sister is the taller and I think this was taken in 1962 when I was 5

A reader wishing not to be named wrote:

Hello Elaine, I don’t write much, I’ve just lived in the area all my life.

I used to walk to the Post Office/Rexall with my grandmother as a child. We lived on Canby St just inside the Multnomah County line. I went to Maplewood/Wilson schools.

I recall Garden Home as it was back then. In our walks, I remember seeing the ladies with hair nets working a conveyor table of fruit from the south side door of Whitney’s Cannery. Lamb’s had a big Alpenrose milk carton that turned over the main entrance. Lamb’s also had wooden sidewalks on the south side, as well as street parking. As I got older, I would use the “tube tester” (in Lamb’s) when our radio or TV would act up. Also, I would buy my model glue and supplies there too.

There was a cashier named Bob Metcalf. Nice guy. Back then smokers smoked everywhere, even while they worked, even Bob. Irv was the druggist. Nice guy.

My barber was Ray Wilson. He was across the street from Lamb’s in the old BPOE building, and next door was Namitz TV & repair (owned by Harry & Mary Namitz). Now it’s a sports bar (The Dugout).

I liked Terry’s Homemade Ice Cream Parlor/Burger joint. I think a cone was 10c? Burgers maybe 20c? That was a time when Garden Home had three service stations and a school on the corners. I worked for Everett Wright at the Texaco for a while in ‘73, and then in ‘74 went to work for Gray Clark at the Standard station (where DQ is today). He moved his location to Allen & Lombard in Beaverton (ARCO).

I met people in the Garden Home area that I still am connected with today. Like most places today, it’s changed a lot. No more empty lots like there were long ago. None of the apartments were built, and a lot fewer houses when I started to frequent Garden Home. Multnomah Blvd had one house on it and a church. No convalescent home.

I have a cousin that graduated from Garden Home school as well. He is older than I am and still alive. Think he is 70? He grew up on SW 68th by Zolling’s Nursery.

Oh…when I worked at Knauss Chevrolet in Tigard, I used to take care of Bob Lamb’s car. He was getting pretty old and Mrs L would always be the driver. I think she was the accountant/bookkeeper for the store too.

Always nice to remember the past. Hope you enjoy reading my memories of Garden Home.

In an email, Randy DeHaan remembered Virgil Pearce, one of his favorite teachers at Garden Home School in the 1970s.

I just wanted to give you a quick little bit of possibly interesting Garden Home Elementary history.  I don’t know if Mr. Virgil Pearce (6th grade teacher 1972/73 and following) is still around, but I thought y’all might want to know what an impact he made.  I’m sure many of my classmates would agree. Mr. Pearce was a new 6th grade teacher and he really had us interacting with math/logic/outdoors.  I remember we played a lot of chess, many many math quizes, his well trained Golden Retriever came for a visit, etc.

On September 2, 2019, in an email, Bill Gellatly remembered teacher Carole Lintner, Bill Winthers and Don Dunbar:

I enjoyed seeing the ’71-‘72 staff picture, and seeing Carole Lintner’s picture with her then appropriate bouffant hair. I think all three of my kids may have had her as their teacher. All of them thought well of her. Bill Winthers had already taken over as principal when Erik started 1st grade, but I got to know Don Dunbar when I worked on the study group to look at shifting enrollment. He looks energetic as ever!

On September 6, 2019, in a comment on a post, Joyce Economus remembered Alpenrose and the Dignan family:

Our parents John and Eugenia Economus built their home in 1956 on Peyton Road, and our mom continues to live there. We would spend many hours in the Cherry tree orchard that is now Aaronmore neighborhood. When Alpenrose Dairy would have the fireworks for the 4th of July celebration we would all go into that orchard and watch those fireworks. My eldest brother and I attended Garden Home Grade School, and Todd Dignan was in my first grade class and possibly more after that, I just need to take a look at the grade school class pictures. Once think I recall about Todd’s mom was that she was absolutely the most beautiful mom and woman I had ever seen. She had a gracefulness that has never been forgotten. . So much more to write. . . would love to catch up with Todd some day.

We love hearing your memories about Garden Home! Let us know yours. You can contact us at gardenhomehistory@gmail.com

Get Involved

You are invited to our Board meetings which are held the second Monday of most months, 6:30 pm at the Garden Home Recreation Center. We often begin with slide show presentations. All are welcome to attend our meetings. We’re an active and fun group, we have lots of opportunities to get involved!
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.

Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Barbara Kiggins Green memoir

By Barbara (Kiggins) Green, 2019 (age 87)

I was born in 1931 and we moved to Garden Home around 1934 or 1935. We lived in a small two room house with an outside toilet located down a dirt road which led to SW Oleson Road. The house was owned by the Marugg family whose property was adjacent to us. Rent was $5 a month. As a quirk of fate, many years later the Marugg boy attended Vanport College with me. He had lost his eyesight and one of my acquaintances was his reader.

In the winter of 1936, my sister, Katherine, was born. She came down with pneumonia at age three months and I remember the doctor walking down the dirt road to help her. She did survive and is alive today.

This was the depth of the depression and times were very difficult financially. My father was a longshoreman but we were a long way from the Portland waterfront plus we didn’t have a car. When he could get a ride, there wasn’t a lot of work. We had chickens which I loved and was saddened when one of them had to become dinner. My grandmother and Henry, my step grandfather, lived close by and Henry had a garden which he shared.

Christmas 1936 had a nice surprise. I remember my dad going into the woods and cutting down a small tree. When we woke up the next morning, there were toys under the tree. I thought it was a miracle. Later my folks told me that the water meter fellow noticed our difficult circumstances and provided all of the gifts.

Kindergarten was a revelation to me. My teacher’s name was Brown. She was a wonderful woman who constantly had to pull up my long brown stockings and fasten them for me. The schoolroom was heaven to this five year old. There were books, toys, children to play with and a compassionate teacher. Wonderful memories to start my school life. My first grade teacher’s name was Johnson and she also had second grade. Reading came easily to me and her class was enjoyable. When we finished our work, we got to play in the sandbox.

In the basement there was a tiny cafeteria. All I remember is that a cup of soup, milk and cocoa all cost 5 cents. Don’t remember buying any.

At the end of the year, the whole school had a picnic in the woods behind the school. What a great time that was. We moved to Portland May 1 of first grade so I missed the second picnic.

I attended one of your meetings and found a picture which showed Sharka and Zora, the twins, a boy named Bruce and myself. We were all in the same class.

Many years later I became a primary teacher in Portland for 30 years. I know my love for school started in Garden Home.

Posted in Memoirs, People | Tagged , | Leave a comment

October 5, 2019 Historic Bell Ringing

We rang the historic 100-year old bell hanging in the bell tower of the Garden Home Marketplace (formerly Lamb’s Thriftway) on October 5, 2019. This event was bittersweet as it coincides with the imminent closing of the grocery store. We are working with Colin Lamb, the owner of the building, with the hope that the bell will be able to remain where it hangs when a new tenant takes over the space.

Thanks to Store Manager Mike Babbitt and all of the store staff for withstanding two hours of bell ringing.

Leslie Bennett is the artist who put up these wonderful Thank You boards for the closing of Bales Market Place. Leslie’s business: LillyPillyProductions.com. The memories and the kind words have been an excellent way for the community to share their appreciation to the grocery store staff, to Manager Mike Babbitt and to Colin Lamb for the Lamb’s participation in our community for over 60 years. Our thanks to all!

Update as of October 15: The Bales Market Place store continues its process of closing and disposing of groceries and equipment. The historic church bell, plaques and vintage post office safe will remain in place with property owner Colin Lamb’s approval. The Wells Fargo Bank and the Post Office are closed and may not reopen. The liquor store and the Growlers are awaiting further news. Colin Lamb will retain the historic store photos that were hung on the walls.

Posted in Events | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Clark N. Stephens obituary

Clark N. Stephens, March 10, 1930 to September 1, 2019

Clark, the son of Noble and Bessie Stephens, was born in Portland and raised in Garden Home adjacent to the Portland Golf Club. He started caddying there when he was 10 because all the older caddies were off to war. As a fringe benefit the caddies could play the course on Mondays. He worked on the grounds crew there throughout high school and college. Upon graduating from Tigard High School in 1947 he enlisted in the Army. After Basic Training he was assigned to entertain the troops, playing the trumpet in an Army dance band. Upon his discharge he enrolled at Lewis & Clark College where he played on the golf team and four years of football. He was a member of the undefeated 1950 L&C Team, Northwest Conference Champions. The team was ranked second in the nation among small colleges. A modest man, when asked about his trumpet and football experiences Clark said “He had the good fortune to surround himself with talent.”

Clark worked as a firefighter the last two summers he was in college. To do that it was necessary for him to take the civil service exam and apply for the job. In 1953 he was surprised when the Fire Bureau called and said he was number one on the list for appointment. Asked if he would take the job he decided to say, “Yes.” He had been planning on teaching and coaching. Clark frequently said he was lucky and his accidentaly becoming firefighter was his best piece of luck yet. He loved his job. He worked for the Portland Fire Bureau 35 years, rising through the ranks to Deputy Chief. He was active in the IAFF serving as Secretary/Treasurer of both Local 43 and the Portland Firefighters Beneficiary Assn.

Clark was a devoted father. Camping, razor clam digging and swim meets were family activities. He spent many hours officiating at Portland Northeast YMCA competitions. He continued to support his grandchildren in their personal lives and all their athletic endeavors. He was always a patient teacher. Almost 30 years of family reunions at Sunriver allowed his children to reconnect and the cousins to get to know each other better.

After his family was raised Clark took up the golf he loved again. He and his wife, Connie, embraced the RV lifestyle and made several trips across the United States and Canada. They bought a RV lot on a golf course in Surprise, Ariz., where they enjoyed 25 winters along with many of their firefighter buddies from Portland and a number of new friends. They lived full time in their RV for five years. After a long hiatus Clark enjoyed playing his trumpet again in local bands. In his late 70’s Clark took up bicycling in earnest and completed Cycle Oregon with his lifelong friend, Bob Peters, four consecutive years. In 2010 he was the oldest person on the ride.

In their retirement he and his wife traveled widely in Hawaii, Mexico, South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Their most memorable trip was three weeks touring China shortly after China opened to tourism in 1996.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years; his son, Cliff (Rhonda); daughters, Jill Vaughan (Darrell), Shelley Stoyanov (Petar), April Meyer (Raymond); nine grandchildren, Evan Meyer, Caleb Stephens, Alexandra Thomas, Grant Meyer, Brent Stephens, Riley Clingman, Krista Stephens, Jay Vaughan, Lara Stoyanov; and three great-granddaughters, Elowyn, Coralie and Rhosyn.

A celebration of Clark’s life will be held at 1 p.m., Oct. 5, 2019, at the Stockpot Restaurant at the Red Tail Golf Course in Beaverton.

Remembrances may be sent to the Lewy Body Disease Association, 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Liburn, GA 30047 or online at lbda.org

Also see Clark’s memior published here on GardenHomeHistory.com in 2010.

Posted in Obituaries | Tagged , | 1 Comment

September 2019 News

In this edition: August 24 Recreation Center Mini-Market, September 9 Show & Tell, Lamb’s Thriftway closure, and more favorite teacher recollections.

Welcome to our website about historic Garden Home. In the People and Places pages, you’ll find almost two hundred stories, and over fifteen hundred photos of vintage Garden Home and residents attending our events. Contact us at GardenHomeHistory@gmail.com.

Upcoming Events

We will have regular board meeting on Monday, October 14, 2019 at 6:30pm at the Garden Home Recreation Center. We will be planning our Holiday Bazaar booth. Visitors are welcome!

Recent News

Announced closure of the Garden Home Marketplace grocery store

We have just learned of the planned closure of the Garden Home Marketplace grocery store (formerly Lamb’s Thriftway) on or before October 19, 2019. It is unclear how this will affect the businesses inside the store, such as Garden Home Growlers, the liquor store, bank, or Post Office. This is shocking news to our community. We must work to retain the 1882 Post Office. The closure may require us to remove both the vintage Garden Home Post Office safe from the Garden Home Growlers area and the historic 1918 Community Church bell hanging above the main entrance.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more developments.

September 9th Show & Tell event celebrating old things

We hosted a Show & Tell event on September 9, 2019. People were invited to bring something old to share with the group. Thank you to everyone!

  • Louise Cook Jones shared and donated some early Garden Home memorabilia from the 1950s including a wonderful colored Souvenir Program from the Alpenrose Country Fair, June 1966. These will go into our website story of Alpenrose. See our History of Alpenrose for more pictures of the Alpenrose program and gazette from 1966.
  • Jan Fredrickson showed us an interesting Pepsi 6 pac of vintage pop bottles, so different from our current cans.
  • Kevin Mistler showed the 1942 bus schedule showing 34 stops in Garden Home on a daily basis.
  • Virginia Vanture shared the horse saddlebags used by her physician grandfather way back when!
  • Stan Houseman brought one of the donated postal box doors with the fanciful brass décor. Thanks to Elizabeth Harding who donated two doors to the Garden Home History Project. They will be displayed in the glass cabinet in the Library. Please contact us if you are interested to purchase any more of these doors.
  • Don Krom graduated from BHS in 1961 and Garden Home Grade School in 1957. He shared his wonderful old scrapbook of the school and his memories.
  • Ray Heesaker taught at Garden Home School in 1967 under Don Dunbar. He recalled those days as a young teacher and then followed Don on to the next Beaverton school.
  • Elaine Shreve brought an original Morning Oregonian door knob and decorative doorplate. The building in Portland was demolished in 1951.

August 24th Mini-Market event

The Garden Home History Project hosted a booth at the Garden Home Recreation Center’s annual Mini-Market event on Saturday, August 24, 2019. We gave away many prizes to participants in the Wheel of History game that featured a spinner wheel of Garden Home history topics.

Share your memories of Garden Home

Via NextDoor, Robin Ariss remembers a stuffed elephant in Lamb’s Thriftway:

I am the shorter one my sister is the taller and I think this was taken in 1962 when I was 5.

Stuffed elephant in Lambs Thriftway - Robin Ariss

Stuffed elephant in Lambs Thriftway – Robin Ariss – I am the shorter one my sister is the taller and I think this was taken in 1962 when I was 5

A reader wishing not to be named wrote:

Hello Elaine, I don’t write much, I’ve just lived in the area all my life.

I used to walk to the Post Office/Rexall with my grandmother as a child. We lived on Canby St just inside the Multnomah County line. I went to Maplewood/Wilson schools.

I recall Garden Home as it was back then. In our walks, I remember seeing the ladies with hair nets working a conveyor table of fruit from the south side door of Whitney’s Cannery. Lamb’s had a big Alpenrose milk carton that turned over the main entrance. Lamb’s also had wooden sidewalks on the south side, as well as street parking. As I got older, I would use the “tube tester” (in Lamb’s) when our radio or TV would act up. Also, I would buy my model glue and supplies there too.

There was a cashier named Bob Metcalf. Nice guy. Back then smokers smoked everywhere, even while they worked, even Bob. Irv was the druggist. Nice guy.

My barber was Ray Wilson. He was across the street from Lamb’s in the old BPOE building, and next door was Namitz TV & repair (owned by Harry & Mary Namitz). Now it’s a sports bar (The Dugout).

I liked Terry’s Homemade Ice Cream Parlor/Burger joint. I think a cone was 10c? Burgers maybe 20c? That was a time when Garden Home had three service stations and a school on the corners. I worked for Everett Wright at the Texaco for a while in ‘73, and then in ‘74 went to work for Gray Clark at the Standard station (where DQ is today). He moved his location to Allen & Lombard in Beaverton (ARCO).

I met people in the Garden Home area that I still am connected with today. Like most places today, it’s changed a lot. No more empty lots like there were long ago. None of the apartments were built, and a lot fewer houses when I started to frequent Garden Home. Multnomah Blvd had one house on it and a church. No convalescent home.

I have a cousin that graduated from Garden Home school as well. He is older than I am and still alive. Think he is 70? He grew up on SW 68th by Zolling’s Nursery.

Oh…when I worked at Knauss Chevrolet in Tigard, I used to take care of Bob Lamb’s car. He was getting pretty old and Mrs L would always be the driver. I think she was the accountant/bookkeeper for the store too.

Always nice to remember the past. Hope you enjoy reading my memories of Garden Home.

In an email, Randy DeHaan remembered Virgil Pearce, one of his favorite teachers at Garden Home School in the 1970s.

I just wanted to give you a quick little bit of possibly interesting Garden Home Elementary history.  I don’t know if Mr. Virgil Pearce (6th grade teacher 1972/73 and following) is still around, but I thought y’all might want to know what an impact he made.  I’m sure many of my classmates would agree. Mr. Pearce was a new 6th grade teacher and he really had us interacting with math/logic/outdoors.  I remember we played a lot of chess, many many math quizes, his well trained Golden Retriever came for a visit, etc.

On September 2, 2019, in an email, Bill Gellatly remembered teacher Carole Lintner, Bill Winthers and Don Dunbar:

I enjoyed seeing the ’71-‘72 staff picture, and seeing Carole Lintner’s picture with her then appropriate bouffant hair. I think all three of my kids may have had her as their teacher. All of them thought well of her. Bill Winthers had already taken over as principal when Erik started 1st grade, but I got to know Don Dunbar when I worked on the study group to look at shifting enrollment. He looks energetic as ever!

On September 6, 2019, in a comment on a post, Joyce Economus remembered Alpenrose and the Dignan family:

Our parents John and Eugenia Economus built their home in 1956 on Peyton Road, and our mom continues to live there. We would spend many hours in the Cherry tree orchard that is now Aaronmore neighborhood. When Alpenrose Dairy would have the fireworks for the 4th of July celebration we would all go into that orchard and watch those fireworks. My eldest brother and I attended Garden Home Grade School, and Todd Dignan was in my first grade class and possibly more after that, I just need to take a look at the grade school class pictures. Once think I recall about Todd’s mom was that she was absolutely the most beautiful mom and woman I had ever seen. She had a gracefulness that has never been forgotten. . So much more to write. . . would love to catch up with Todd some day.

We love hearing your memories about Garden Home! Let us know yours. You can contact us at gardenhomehistory@gmail.com

June 10th Nordia House event

On Monday, June 10, 2019, we helped sponsor an event at the Nordia House at 8800 SW Oleson Rd learning about the Swedish immigrant experience in Oregon 1850-1950. Attendees reviewed the new displays at Nordia House, enjoyed a slide show presentation by Ann Stoller, toured Ross Fogelquist’s “Fogelbo” home full of Scandinavian history, and shared cookies on the deck.

Get Involved

You are invited to our Board meetings which are held the second Monday of most months, 6:30 pm at the Garden Home Recreation Center. We often begin with slide show presentations. All are welcome to attend our meetings. We’re an active and fun group, we have lots of opportunities to get involved!
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.

Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

July 14, 2019 – Garden Home History Board Member picnic and tour of WormWood Manor

Garden Home History board members met for a July picnic at the historic WormWood Manor, hosted by Jan Fredrickson and Kevin Mistler, both on our Board of Directors. We tried out the new spinner and BINGO games about Garden Home History. Fun! Our board members sponsor and work our events, research history, change the history displays in the library hall, develop the displays in the new library display cupboard, write new material for children, monitor the old Garden Home Post Office safe at the Growlers and more! It’s a busy group.

Our Advisory Board advises in whatever area they wish and have some expertise in. They aren’t expected to attend the regular Board of Directors meetings, but contribute in their specific interest area. Like our webmaster, Tom Shreve! Give me a call if this sounds like fun to you! We work to support the activities in our community such as those at the Garden Home Recreation Center, the Garden Home Library, the Garden Home Gardeners, the business district, and continue to provide interesting programs to appreciate our history.

Posted in Events, News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Garden Home Totem Pole, by Andrew Gorman

[Editor: Many of you who have lived in Garden Home since the 1990s will remember the surprising totem pole standing in the shrubs at the NW corner of SW 82nd and Garden Home Road. Unfortunately it gradually deteriorated in our damp weather, until it completely fell apart this year. Andrew Gorman, the owner who lived in the adjacent home, wrote this memoir before he moved. It is a loving salute to his stepfather and the history of the wonderful totem pole. It’s also a commentary on how family interests and history propel one to engage in totem pole activities.]

I appreciate your interests in my totem pole; however there is no historical value to it except to me and my family. This was the last totem pole that my step father had made as a hobby before he and my mother were killed in an air accident September 5, 1981. My step father (Monte Stookey) and my mother Sharon were married sometime during the summer of 1976.

As best as I can remember, it was during the summer of 1979 when they took kind of a delayed honeymoon or a cruise up the “Inland Passage of Alaska” (mind you; I was probably 13 at this time). My father was #3 in command of the “Kinzua Plywood Mill” in Heppner, Oregon. He grew up in Baker, Oregon, did a stint in the US Navy during the late 1950s and early 60s (he was a radar operator). He was also a decorated marksman and was promoted to give pistol shooting demonstrations for specific military shows and or exhibitions.”

Monte married his first wife Linda and started their family, having two boys and two girls. During this time, Monte was employed in several mills during the 1960’s up to the early 70’s. He took night classes at some Community College and earned a degree in Management which eventually led him to be the Operations Superintendent for the Kinzua Corporation.

Okay, with all of this being said; my mom’s father, Orvile Cutsforth, was a prominent rancher and wheat farmer since the 1920’s in Morrow County for many years. During the 1950’s he and his wife Barbara donated several acres to Morrow County to make a County Park up in the Blue Mountains for people to have a recreational area. The County named it “Cutsforth’s Park.”

At one time; before I can remember, my grandfather built a totem pole himself and painted it. It was erected across the street from the county park and stood there for nearly 50 years. Okay, now obviously when Monte was dating my mother, he had noticed and seen this totem pole many times over the years.

While Sharon and Monte went on their delayed honeymoon, aka vacation, they saw and took many photographs from the cruise boat that they were on. Of course they got various chances to go ashore to take in the local cultures and take more pictures.

Once they received the pictures back from their vacation; Mom and Monte spent some time going through these pictures. My mother, being very organized, put these photos in albums. Monte said that he might like to try his hand at carving a totem pole. Father’s Day was just around the corner, I heard him say this which gave me the idea of a perfect gift for him. Even though I was a young teenager at the time, I would make extra dollars for spending money by mowing yards and doing odd jobs around town.

We had a “Coast to Coast Store” in town and I went there one day and spoke to the owner, Mr. Dick Sargent. I told him the story how Monte was interested in maybe trying to carve a totem pole and that I needed his help in helping pick out a set of chisels for him. Mr. Sargent was quite interested in what I was doing and took the time to lead me to his tool selection and suggested that a set of 3 chisels might be the best. This turned out to be a great gift for him. He hugged me and thanked me, then he went and got a yellow tablet and his pictures from their cruise and started drawing some ideas; combining various different pictures or parts of various totem poles that they saw (perhaps some original ideas as well?).

According to Wikipedia:

Totem poles are monumental sculptures, a type of Northwest Coast art, consisting of poles, posts or pillars, carved with symbols or figures. They are usually made from large trees, mostly western red cedar, by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast of North America (northwestern United States and Canada’s western province, British Columbia). The word totem derives from the Algonquian (most likely Ojibwe) word odoodem [o’tuitsm], “his kinship group”. The carvings may symbolize or commemorate cultural beliefs that recount familiar legends, clan lineages, or notable events. The poles may also serve as functional architectural features, welcome signs for village visitors, mortuary vessels for the remains of deceased ancestors, or as a means to publicly ridicule someone. Given the complexity and symbolic meanings of totem pole carvings, their placement and importance lies in the observer’s knowledge and connection to the meanings of the figures.

Totem pole carvings were likely preceded by a long history of decorative carving, with stylistic features borrowed from smaller prototypes. Eighteenth-century explorers documented the existence of decorated interior and exterior house posts prior to 1800; however, due to the lack of efficient carving tools, sufficient wealth, and leisure time to devote to the craft, the monumental poles placed in front of native homes along the Pacific Northwest coast probably did not appear in large numbers until the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. Trade and settlement initially led to the growth of totem pole carving, but governmental policies and practices of acculturation and assimilation sharply reduced totem pole production by the end of nineteenth century. Renewed interest from tourists, collectors, and scholars in the 1880s and 1890s helped document and collect the remaining totem poles, but nearly all totem pole making had ceased by 1901. Twentieth-century revivals of the craft, additional research, and continued support from the public have helped establish new interest in this regional artistic tradition.

Another thing I guess you need to know is that my stepfather designed a plan to build an octagon log house. We spent over a year sawing peeler poles using a chain saw to rip the poles on two sides to make the logs flat on 2 sides. We built the log octagon house in 1978 -1979 in Heppner. It can be seen from Hwy 207 between the Mill and the Heppner Golf Course. It was quite an undertaking and all of the kids helped our step father build our new home. Needless to say, Monte was pretty handy with hand tools and obviously he was exploring his artistic abilities.

As I recall, one weekend day, Mom and Monte loaded up some of kids in the pickup and we took off towards the mountain in search of a tree or log that he thought would be fitting for him to work on. I believe we got the tree from one of my grandfather’s mountain properties. Monte cut a couple of 3 or 4 foot logs out of the tree or downed log that he had found and all of us rolled, pushed, and pulled to help him lift these heavy pieces in the that back of the pickup.

After getting home: We kicked these logs out of the back of the pickup next to our existing wood pile. Monte went to his shop and got a draw knife which he used to debark and scale the log down to bare wood. From there he stood the log up on its end and studied it from various different angles, looking how the knots or limbs that had been bucked off; looked and how they could fit with what he had drawn. After he selected the work area or portion of the log that he thought would work or fit his needs, he took his pencil and started drawing his outline. Now, I have no idea of the time it took to do all of this, I can remember my step father using a small chain saw to start cutting the lines he had traced and deciding on the depths and widths of cuts as he was using his imagination to try and make his drawings or carvings come to life; sort of speak. From then on, he sat on the log and straddled it as he used a mallet and the chisels that I had got him to do more intricate work.

Keep in mind, that he is not really making a totem pole at this time; rather he is making a short wood carving that could be used as a “carved figure, effigy, icon, image, sculpture, statuary.” Monte ended up making 6 or 8 of these short wooden carvings on various short logs that he had acquired. He painted some of them, and he also used a torch to burn the wood to darken the grain of the wood and then he would also use some kind of urethane, shellac or some other kind of preservative product purchased from a local hardware store to make his art shine and to preserve the wood.

After making these 6 or 8 “figurines” he decided to try or attempt to make his first totem pole. As I recall his first one about 8′ long or tall. My grandfather who lived across the pasture from us, frequently came over for visits, and to check up on Monte’s activities. I’m not sure how far along Monte had gotten into his first or second totem pole, but my grandfather who was retired and fooled around with his own various projects, had recently just finished building a small lake up in the mountains with his old farm D-2 Caterpillar dozer. Grandpa Orville decided that he knew of a spring up above the small lake that he had just built that fed the lake with additional fresh water would make the perfect source to feed a fountain. He had traveled overseas back in the 1950’s and 60’s and saw fountains which gave him further ideas.

The owners of the Kinzua Mill approached Monte. They had built a new golf course just out of Fossil,Oregon. They wanted Monte to build them a totem pole to welcome people as they came to play golf. All in all, I believe Monte built 5 totem poles between 1979 and 1981. Of course this includes the 6 smaller wooden carvings that were to be put on porches to use as decorative art to greet people as friends and relatives came to visit. He did display them at the local Morrow County Fair one time. He won blue ribbons in the art class.

Sadly, Sharon and Monte Stookey were killed in a small aircraft accident Sept 5, 1981. There was no will found. Monte had 4 children previously and my mother had Mike and I from a previous marriage. So when the estate was being settled, we kids had to buy various items that we wanted and the funds were placed back into the estate for later distribution to us kids.

In 1989 Patsy and I purchased the house on 82nd avenue I think it was during the summer of 1990 or maybe 1991 that I decided to bring the totem pole that my step father had made which I had stored in my Uncle Pat’s old chicken house on the family farm for the past 10 years. My best friend from high school and I dug a hole out on the corner of the property large enough to hold a 55 gallon drum.

Learning from a previous pole carving, I decided to drill a 2 inch hole up the bottom of the totem pole about 4 feet and inserted a 2 foot galvanized pipe. Steve and I purchased a pallet of concrete and mixed it all and poured it into the barrel and placed an 8′ long 2″ galvanized pipe in the center. This would act as the stand for the totem pole so it would never fall or hurt anyone. I was quite concerned with this idea as the kids catch the school bus near it.

Before the concrete had dried or hardened, I wrote in the mud: Below this slab lies my family fortune. He he he. My biological father, Jim Gorman came over to help Steve and I erect the totem pole. I guess I was about 27 or so at this time. Of course my stepson Jeremy Rutherford and his cousin Zeb Cummings were here helping us as well. My father enjoyed this as he was now “The Grandpa in charge!”

I had gone to Power Rents and rented a fork lift to manage the weight and lifting of the totem pole. My father being a lifetime horse trainer rigged the totem pole and fork lift with various thick ropes so we could handle and hold the totem pole. Now trying to get everything set right so we could line the hole in the bottom of the totem pole with the pipe was a bit tricky. We eventually got it done and all of the time creating a traffic jam from rubber neckers who were wondering just what in the world was we doing? Ha ha ha.

Later I got my neighbor, Corey Gates; the electrician to wire me a light out on the corner of the property to shine up on the totem pole. The neighbors all gave me great compliments because I guess they all used that totem pole as a land mark when giving driving instructions to their friends and family to find their homes.

Basically, I put this totem pole up in honor of my stepfather: Monte Stookey. He taught me how to work hard and to appreciate a lot of things. It was through his various projects that I learned many of the skills that I have today. It is not every one who was lucky enough to have had a father such as him. The unfortunate thing about this whole story is that I took an eastern Oregon tree to Portland and erected it without knowing or having the knowledge of how to preserve it from the extreme wet conditions we have here in Portland. The totem pole began to rot out from the top down and has deteriorated rapidly. When I noticed or learned of this, I was ashamed of myself for not having the foresight to have found a way to prevent this from happening. All I could do was to go ahead and let the big cedar tree and holly over grow the totem pole.

On a side note: Once I had Corey put the light up to shine on the totem pole, every once in a while there would be various groups of people out by the totem pole bowing and praying to it. This made Patsy and I nervous. I went outside to talk to those folks a few different times to explain that there was nothing spiritual or authentic about it. It was very odd, how one guy told me that he could read and interpret the art. Personally, I think the guy was on drugs!

Over the past 36 years, pictures and albums from our childhood have been redistributed, lost, water damaged and split up between us 6 kids. It’s a bummer but a fact of life to learn from for the future. I’m not sure what you plan to do with this information. But now you have the rest of the story. Thank you for your interest,

Andrew J. Gorman

August 3, 2019: Andrew Gorman interview and permission to use this memoir. Andrew originally wrote this memoir to Marie Pacella, a neighbor on the street. Elaine Shreve has edited the memoir briefly for clarity.

Posted in Memoirs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment