Community Features

The "Events and Activities" for the month are below these featured stories!

In 1889, at 9th and S.E. Marion Street, John G. Wilhelm built Sellwood’s first Brewery – the Wilhelm Brewery – along with his home. It later became the Mt. Hood Brewery, then the Sellwood Ice Company, Oregon Fish and Cold Storage, an Ice Cream storage plant – and, in 1979 as pictured here, it became the Kincos Gloves Warehouse. Early this century it was torn down and replaced by the Sellwood Village Condominiums.
In 1889, at 9th and S.E. Marion Street, John G. Wilhelm built Sellwood’s first Brewery – the Wilhelm Brewery – along with his home. It later became the Mt. Hood Brewery, then the Sellwood Ice Company, Oregon Fish and Cold Storage, an Ice Cream storage plant – and, in 1979 as pictured here, it became the Kincos Gloves Warehouse. Early this century it was torn down and replaced by the Sellwood Village Condominiums. (Courtesy of Bruce Kindler)
Sharing historical articles and photos that Bruce Kindler had collected from THE BEE and other sources over the years, Bruce’s grandson Bode created this poster of the History of Sellwood for a third-grade project – with some help by his mom Crissy, of course.
Sharing historical articles and photos that Bruce Kindler had collected from THE BEE and other sources over the years, Bruce’s grandson Bode created this poster of the History of Sellwood for a third-grade project – with some help by his mom Crissy, of course. (Courtesy of Bruce Kindler)

A brewery mystery solved – and, meet our youngest historian!

Special to THE BEE

There comes a time, in every historian’s research and storytelling, when they reach a dead end. Many of the places and people I have written about are now gone, and cannot be interviewed for a more precise answer to remaining mystifying questions. Merchants retire, and their store is occupied by another; and small bungalow homes disappear, often replaced by six-bedroom large homes, and nobody in the neighborhood can now remember who formerly resided there. Even people who have lived in the neighborhood for years can’t always recall where a certain old building was – or may think it was located on some other block. Some folks even (gasp) make up a story.

I can’t tell you how many times a well-intentioned resident has told me that their house once was a famous bordello filled with loose women during the early 1900s. I respond by telling them that I wonder aloud, that if so, what the five or six churches that existed in the area at that time, and their large congregations, thought of such a place doing business in Sellwood…?

And I did run into problems when I was reporting recently on the history of Sellwood’s first Brewery, the Wilhelm and Mt. Hood Brewery. Information about what happened to the building in the 1960s, and later, was vague. Sometimes, in the end, it’s best to print an article without the full information, even if some of it cannot be verified, in hopes that a reader will come forward and add additional (or corrected) information.

Bruce Kindler, an avid reader of THE BEE, filled in the blanks for me on the missing information for that article, even though he hadn’t yet even read the article I had written on the Wilhelm Brewery that he’d once owned.

It took a chance meeting with Bruce Kindler, who invited me out for lunch two days after the BEE deadline, to solve the mystery of what happened to the Old Brewery in its last twenty years.

In April, I met Bruce in Sellwood at the Grand Central Bakery, and to my surprise he confessed he’d never actually resided here – while still assuring me he was a fan of the history of the communities of Sellwood and Westmoreland.  So it happens that Bruce and the Reverend Sellwood, after whom the community was named, had something in common – neither lived here! But he did reveal that he had purchased in 1979 that old beer factory which was once located on the north side of S.E. 9th and Marion Street.

And here’s what I found out. In the 1970s, Bruce was working as a sales representative for Montgomery Companies, a small short-lived import and export business. But he saw another opportunity, and – developing the idea of selling and manufacturing industrial welding gloves – Bruce established the Kinko Glove Company in 1975.

At our meeting, Bruce told me, “I’d befriended a Chinese gentleman from Hong Kong who was president of a large glove company. Initially, I just imported about ten different work glove styles which he’d recommended.” In 1975, Bruce began selling these specialized Kinco Gloves in Portland to stores on a regular basis. Sometimes he had to rent a U-Haul truck to pick up his shipment of gloves at the port on N.W. Front Avenue in Portland, and then transfer his merchandise to what was called the Hudson House maintenance room on S.E. 17th Avenue and Ochoco Street. The Hudson House was about the size of a single car garage, located on property that is now part of the Goodwill “Bins” store.

Using his wife Sherrie’s Volkswagen Microbus, Bruce spent a good deal of his time delivering gloves to Portland stores, and occasionally even making weekend drives up and down the West Coast to visit smaller businesses. “Back in the 1970s, it was easy to convince a store owner or manager to buy a dozen of my gloves as a trial. Within a month they would be calling me back to order some more Kinco Gloves,” recalled Bruce.

As the sales of Kinco Gloves increased, Bruce was forced to look for a larger warehouse in which to store his merchandise. His search led him to where Sellwood’s oldest beer production factory, the Wilhelm Brewery, was built in 1889. John G. Wilhelm built a small Brewery complete with an outdoor beer garden, which also included a home for his wife and family. When Wilhelm died suddenly in 1903, his wife sold the business to William C. Kilitz and Gottlieb Plass, who renamed it the Mt. Hood Brewery. My story about the Wilhelm Brewery can be found in the April 2024 issue of THE BEE.

So in 1979 Bruce bought the old Mt. Hood Brewery building from the Erickson Dairy Products Company. Who was Erickson?

The backstory on Irving T. Erickson begins with his having started his first ice cream plant in St. Helens, Oregon, in 1926. He sold his product – Jewel Ice Cream – to convenience stores, grocery stores, and restaurants throughout Oregon and Washington.

By 1964, Mr. Erickson had moved into the old brewery building on Marion Street, and invested $250,000 to construct an up-to-date ice cream facility. Local newspapers reported at the time that Erickson Dairy Products was the only independent ice cream manufacturer in the Northwest.

Sadly, eleven years later, the company stopped making ice cream – and Bruce Kinder took advantage of the vacant building, and thus became the owner of what was once known as the Mt. Hood Brewery. In the early Twentieth Century the structure extended a full city block in length, and contained a Bottle Storage House, a Print Shop, a Malt Mill, three Cold Storage Lockers, a Water Washing Room, and some large offices both upstairs and downstairs. But by the time Bruce became the owner, long gone were the condiment building and a bottling works factory that were located on the west and east side of the closed Brewery. The bottling department itself was once used as a stable for horses – kegs of Mt. Hood beer were delivered by horse and wagon to saloons around town in the brewery’s heyday, before the start of Prohibition shut down the manufacture and sale of spirits.

The outside of the building he’d bought was, then, a drab olive hue. Bruce quickly painted it over in a cheery shade of red. (He also discovered that the cold storage lockers inside still contained containers of ice cream that the previous owner had just left there.) Bruce fondly remembers the white mosaic tile floor at the entrance of the front office: Black tiles with the word OFFICE were centered in the middle of the floor, surrounded by artfully-placed miniature black tiles. To this day, he wishes he had saved that part of the historic building – or, at least, had captured it on film.

Truckloads of welding gloves and other Kincos-branded merchandise were stored in the warehouse, which was run by ten employees, while his wife Sherrie took care of the bookkeeping and financial duties.

The Kincos Gloves Company was growing so rapidly that Bruce was again forced to locate an even bigger space; so his merchandise was transferred to a warehouse at 9788 S.E. 17th Avenue – and in 1984 the old brewery was again up for sale; and this time it was sold to a small company which sold various items to schools for fundraisers. The cold storage freezers were used to store chocolate and other items that needed to stay cold.

Meantime, when he was old enough, the Kindler’s son Travis worked at the factory, and learned the trade. Later, Travis purchased the business from his parents in 2004, and assumed the role of President of Kincos International.

In 2003, the Mt. Hood Brewery and memories of the Wilhelm Brewery came to an end: The building was torn down and replaced by townhouses, and became part of the Sellwood Village Condominums.

But that’s not the end of this story!

At our meeting, after we were through discussing the last days of the Brewery, Bruce produced a long yellow poster he’d brought. As we unrolled the poster, we saw photos and text on the history of Sellwood, designed and produced by Bruce’s grandson Bode Kindler. Bode, a third grader at the Portland International School, had copied fourteen photos of various scenes and buildings found in the Sellwood neighborhood – many, from THE BEE – and on this poster he presented the story of our community. All of the text was written in Spanish, and it was displayed in the classroom for his classmates to read. Quite an impressive presentation of local history for a third grader!

After my lunch with Bruce was over, I was left with many questions about the poster about Sellwood I had just seen. What sparked Bode’s interest as a third grader to share his knowledge of Sellwood with others? Why was an international school, situated on the west side of the Willamette River, delving into the history of Southeast Portland? It certainly looked like a story for THE BEE, and there was no better place to start than with the International School of Portland itself.

The International School was founded as an International Baccalaureate Institution in 1990, offering a full curriculum of language and cultural classes in Chinese, Spanish, and Japanese. The school offers classes for students from first through the fifth grade. Via an e-mail exchange between me and Bode’s third grade teacher Cristina Lupianez, I learned that the school focuses on “developing students who will build a better world, through international intercultural understanding and respect.”

Lupianez pointed out that this approach “encourages students to explore and ask questions, fostering a love of learning and curiosity about the world around them.”

Bode’s third grade class consisted of sixteen students who learn how to speak Spanish. Lupianz speaks with them entirely in Spanish, so they quickly become bilingual. Students in the class “learn through inquiry, concept-based learning, and play-based learning.”

One of the assignments that Bode and his third-grade classmates had been presented with was, what human actions and natural factors shape the development of their community? As Lupianez told me, the purpose of that assignment is for young people to know, understand, and see what they can do, to be a part of their community.

Over the course of the project, students learned what a community is; what natural, human, and social factors change communities; and how to contribute to a successful community. In the process, the third graders had the chance to understand what makes up the identity of their community, and how a community develops and changes through time.

And, hopefully, they would discover how different people have different perspectives on the same events, and how stories and people impact the community they live in.

At the end of the project, Lupianz’s class was asked to explain how their community has changed over time, then describe the factors leading up to that change, and finally to make a personal connection to what it means to be a part of your neighborhood or village. Quite a heavy assignment for any third grader!

Bode chose to showcase the neighborhood he was living in – Sellwood – and decided to display, in photos and text on a poster, what he had learned about the early years when Sellwood was first an independent town on the east side of the Willamette River. It later became incorporated as a neighborhood into the City of Portland in 1893.

Since it’s virtually impossible to covey the complete history of a town like Sellwood, or the events and stories of various individuals who impacted the community, on a single poster – let’s review Bode’s narrative, interpolated with a bit of additional information from me.

Bode’s Story: The community of Sellwood
At the top of his poster, Bode laid out a plat of the town of Sellwood, as first presented by the Sellwood Real Estate Company in 1882. Portland was a bustling town, filled with hundreds of newcomers and immigrants from overseas wanting to find work, to start a family, and to build a house to live in. The big city was filled to overcrowding with people living in boarding houses. Streets were clogged with delivery wagons and horses coming and going, and the air was filled with dust and noise from the people everywhere. Sellwood, on the outskirts of Portland, offered a peaceful rural environment, affordable land on which to build a home, and a place where one could find work and raise a family. 

As pointed out in Bode’s text, Sellwood was located five miles up the Willamette River from the center of early Portland. With a photo of the early Sellwood Ferry, he explained how passengers traveled between Sellwood and Portland. Farmers who lived on the east side of the river used the ferry to transfer their crops or produce to sell at the market on the west side. Supplies needed for the Sellwood residents and merchant shops were shipped by boat from Portland to Sellwood. Ladies who lived in Sellwood and wanted to shop at large department stores downtown, or to dine at a high-class restaurant or to attend a movie or live theater performance, had to travel by boat across the river. Travel by boat and ferry was the only way in or out of Sellwood in those early years.

Travel by ferry was slow – probably a fifteen-to-twenty-minute ride each way just from one side of the river to the other, and passengers had to share the space on deck with horses, sheep, other farm animals, farmers with wagons filled with produce, and with people of all sorts. But the story continues!

Work was hard in those times; men worked back-breaking jobs from 10 to 12 hours a day, and store owners had to keep their doors open from sunrise to sunset. Women kept busy cooking meals on a wood stove, stoking the fire, and walking daily to the corner market for perishable foods, as most homes didn’t have any sort of refrigeration. Mothers had the never-ending tasks of washing, cleaning, and taking care of the children. Many families had from four to ten children to raise. But everyone worked together – they were building a community. 

The town of Sellwood even formed its own City Council – and a photo of Campbell’s Grocery Store at 11th and S.E. Umatilla on Bode’s poster gives us a glimpse of everyday life. The Sellwood City Council gathered for monthly meetings on the second floor of that store. Saturday night dances, holiday celebrations, and also birthday parties and get-togethers with the neighbors were all held upstairs in Campbell’s Hall.

This History of Sellwood poster also includes a drawing of the City View Race Track. In the summer, people from around the state gathered at City View Park, which is now Sellwood Park, to watch horse racing, soccer, and baseball games, and view other sporting activities. In the late 1880s, thousands of spectators rode a steamboat or took the ferry to the dock at Spokane Street, and struggled up the hill for a day of singing, cheering, and laughter.

In 1893, The City of Sellwood had been absorbed as a part of Portland, and the electric Interurban arrived – and residents of Sellwood could now travel on a streetcar that went down 13th Avenue, through East Portland, and across a bridge to the big city.

Bode shared with us four photos of the Sellwood streetcar and its importance to the community – and included are pictures of three streetcar operators standing by the Sellwood trolley, a photo of the car barns,  the ticket office at the corner of 13th Avenue and Ochoco Street, and the brick office building that workers used as a clubhouse and temporary living quarters.

During a phone interview with the young man, I learned that one of Bode’s favorite photos on his poster was of the streetcar maintenance crew at work in a dark and dingy brick building. Most trolleys had to be working and running during the full day, so the men at the Sellwood Carbarns had to work the graveyard shift from midnight to 7 am to ensure that the cars were cleaned, repaired, and ready for the busy morning commute.

A brochure in the middle of the poster announces the opening of Oaks Amusement Park on May 30th, 1905. The park was created by the streetcar companies to provide an attractive destination to boost streetcar ridership. Visitors to the park were entertained with live orchestra music, exciting amusement rides, exotic animals, balloon ascensions, nightly fireworks – and, at one time, a biplane even landed on the wooden boardwalk.

Bode’s informative poster also included various street scenes of the neighborhood: Of the Sellwood Transfer Company, and the Volunteer Fire Department – O.H. Walberg’s real estate shack appears, surrounded by a treeless community, in the early 1900s.

The final part of Bode’s project were “now and then” photos of the Sellwood Bank – including the opening of the bank in 1907, in Sellwood’s newest commercial district on 13th Avenue two blocks south of Tacoma Street. By 1925 the bank had moved into a new building on the northwest corner of 13th and S.E. Tacoma. Text includes the opening of the Sellwood Bridge in 1925, which ended the Sellwood Ferry, and a current photo of that Tacoma Street bank building today – today’s home of the OnPoint Credit Union.

A total of 14 photos, and four text panels written in Spanish, on that impressive poster tell of the thriving Sellwood community that started in 1882, and is still changing and building together today.

It took Bode about two weeks to gather all the information and to begin pasting on the photos and writing the text, with occasional help from his mother. Bode’s teacher told me that every student created a different project on their own neighborhood or village. Each class member had to provide a presentation of their project in front of the classroom, and then were asked questions about them by the students. The students also gave advice and shared their opinion on everyone’s project.

After all the presentations were finished, students were allowed to roam freely around the classroom to admire and examine the other exhibits.

In my opinion, Bode passed with flying colors on his history of the Sellwood community. I asked him one last question – “If you lived back in Sellwood in the early 1900s, what kind of occupation would you want? Would you like to be a fireman, a trolley driver, a storekeeper, or a schoolteacher?”

Without any hesitation Bode replied that he would have liked to work on one of the Ferrys that ran across the Willamette River to and from Sellwood.

I envisioned that scene: The John F. Caples, the name of the Sellwood Ferry, blows its horn – and hundreds of Sellwood residents pause in their daily activities. Men, women, and small children hurry down to the boat landing to welcome Captain Bode – who is bringing new families into the community, the daily mail for the Post Office, and a horde of wooden crates filled with supplies for Sellwood merchants. Hats off to you, Captain Bode!

On opening day of the Woodstock Farmers Market, we found Woodstock resident Erika Damboise selecting fresh organic carrots for her family from the “Empowered Flowers” produce stand.
On opening day of the Woodstock Farmers Market, we found Woodstock resident Erika Damboise selecting fresh organic carrots for her family from the “Empowered Flowers” produce stand. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Sprinkles don’t dampen Woodstock Farmers Market opening day


Predictions of another “atmospheric river” to sweep over Inner Southeast Portland didn’t discourage Woodstock Farmers Market (WFM) workers and volunteers from setting up and opening for business on schedule – on Sunday morning, June 2nd.

“Rain or shine, we’ve all been looking forward opening day for our 2024 season here in Woodstock,” chirped the smiling WFM Market Manager, Lucinda Klicker, just after ringing the opening bell.

“We have a lot of returning vendors, mixed with some new ones, giving us at least 30 vendors at every market,” Klicker told THE BEE as we ducked under a canopy to avoid a shower. “Our kids’ activities are returning every week; we’ll have live music, and we’ll have community organizations joining us – plus, we’re continuing our SNAP benefit matching, up to $20, at every market.

“Selling here at the market is important, as we support local produce, makers, bakers, and business owners,” Klicker pointed out. “But another thing that makes the WFM significant is that we feel we provide a ‘community space’ where we can have fun with, and give back to, our community.

“And, I must say that we love our friends at Key Bank; they’ve been so good to us! They’re just fantastic supporters of the market by hosting us here on their property for the last 14 years.”

Volunteers from the community are always more than welcome to help out, Klicker acknowledged. “See our website to learn more about volunteering – and, of course, to check out our vendors each week.”

Woodstock Farmers Market
Open Sundays, June
through October
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
4600 S.E. Woodstock Blvd.,
on the KeyBank parking lot

Now, spend a few moments mingling with the crowd at this first Woodstock Farmers Market of the season in this brief and exclusive BEE VIDEO....  

Woodstock resident Norm Bone provided a photo of his dog “Banjo the Rat Terrier” cautiously inspecting a rat caught in his “humane trap”. He thinks this one was a “roof rat”, black and 6 to 8 inches long, not including its tail.
Woodstock resident Norm Bone provided a photo of his dog “Banjo the Rat Terrier” cautiously inspecting a rat caught in his “humane trap”. He thinks this one was a “roof rat”, black and 6 to 8 inches long, not including its tail. (Courtesy of Norm Bone)

Oh, rats – rodents are plaguing Southeast neighborhoods


Rats are no strangers to our neighborhoods, but lately there has been an upsurge in their presence – or so many believe.  People report recently having problems with these persistent rodents, and solutions can be difficult and varied.  One neighbor wrote to THE BEE recently about it, and suggested that an article on the subject might help others.

“We moved to the Woodstock neighborhood a couple of years ago, and recently started struggling with rats getting into our crawlspace,” she told us.

“We have had several visits from a pest control company, patching up holes and setting up traps and bait stations, but we are having a hard time getting rid of them! Of course, we are keeping our yard and home clean – no food sources available ... No chickens or birdseed or anything!”

You cannot name a neighborhood that doesn’t have these critters. And pest control companies and Multnomah County Vector Control are being kept busy trying to help beleaguered residents who are sometimes at their wits end to find a solution.

Keeping everything cleaned up inside and outside a residence is important, setting traps and catching some rats often doesn’t eliminate the problem. If it is determined not to be a sewer problem (which it can certainly be), then networking with nearby neighbors can be one way out of the situation.

Woodstock resident Norm Bone said that is exactly what he resorted to. Two years ago there was a persistent rat problem around his house and in the yard.  After hearing from neighbors that he wasn’t alone in this, he decided to encourage surrounding residences to also start trapping.  

“My neighbors on all four sides of my house cooperated to trap and keep our yards clean.” He set out a humane trap because he didn’t want to use poison and had found conventional traps were not very effective for him.  And yes, he did what some pest control companies do at the end, although he is reluctant to admit it.  He drowned them.

Bone told THE BEE, “Snap traps resulted in some not so pleasant outcomes.  I set the [humane] trap after dark along a fence line. Use a little peanut butter and some dog kibble. Disable the trap in the morning to prevent catching squirrels.  Drowning worked well.  Quick, and no mess.  Double bag the rat and place in your garbage can.” He trapped 25 over a period of two years. 

His advice? “Be vigilant and consistent. Talk to your neighbors. You NEED to cooperate, or it’ll never work. One interesting thing: Keep an eye under the hood of your car for rat droppings and chewed wires. Apparently, some manufacturers are using plant-based insulation and other parts that rats like to chew on. My neighbor says she put bars of Irish Spring soap under her hood and hasn’t had a problem since.”

Bone never had rats in the house, but the person noted above who recently moved to the neighborhood reported that they have them inside their house too. With a toddler and a baby in the household, the problem is even more trying. The following graphic paragraph from the mother is certainly instructive about the intelligence of rats.

“We have had more visits from our pest control company and they're hoping they've finally sealed all the entrances to our crawl space.  The rats had piled up rock so they could climb up the pile, and they got into a hole in the wood and into the crawl space. They're very determined and intelligent creatures, yet I’m not feeling very charitable towards them.”

And she added this graphic comment:  “One ventured out of the crawl space and got caught in a trap in our laundry room last Saturday, but due to its large size the trap didn't kill it so it was just running around with its head in the trap. Our pest control company did an emergency weekend visit to drown it. Pretty gross stuff. We also had an issue in which rats would die in the traps, which then would bring a lot of flies – we'd have dozens of flies in the house.” 

The county inspector said the rats were apparently coming into their yard from a neighboring property since they could not identify any food sources or issues on the property where the rats had entered. They concluded that the rats were being fed and reproducing in other spaces nearby, and had just found a dry place in the crawl space of this particular house. Tightening the crawl space, and several visits from the pest control company, eliminated the problem (for now).

A third household in Woodstock had mice and rats in the house and garage until they finally found a company that told them they needed a crawl space VAPOR BARRIER to protect against moisture and rodents.  This plastic or foil sheet covers the ground, walls, floors or roofs, preventing rodents from burrowing and/or nesting.

And if you are looking for an especially good rat-kill trap, one reader recommends the “UCatch tunneled rat trap” found on Amazon; he has eliminated 23 rats in the last year, so far, with it – including three whopping eight-inch-long ones (not including the tail) which barely fit even halfway into the trap. This trap is designed to catch and kill the rat instantly. But, since any rats not trapped reproduce fast, although such traps can help control rats, they may not eliminate them without bringing in professionals, he told THE BEE.

Good luck, and let THE BEE know if you have found an effective solution for this pesty problem.

For more helpful information, Multnomah County has devoted a webpage to dealing with rat problems, including listing resources –

Here they are, the Cleveland High School Marching Band and the Tenacity Dance Team, at Lloyd Center – the finish line for their participation in the 2024 Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade.
Here they are, the Cleveland High School Marching Band and the Tenacity Dance Team, at Lloyd Center – the finish line for their participation in the 2024 Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Cleveland High Band marches in the Grand Floral Parade


For decades, the Cleveland High School Marching Band has been a regular entry in the Portland Rose Festival’s Starlight Parade.

But this year, the band was invited to perform in the festival’s biggest event – the Grand Floral Parade. “Our band was the only Portland Public School representative in this year's Grand Floral Parade,” pointed out Cleveland High School Director of Bands Gary Riler.

Members of the band first learned their two-song repertoire – “Strike Up the Band” and “Walking On Sunshine” – in the band room, and then rehearsed them until they were proficient.

Why only two songs? It’s because they’re not playing for an audience in the auditorium, they’re performing as they stride along the parade route! Most parade-goers hear less than one full song from each musical ensemble marching by.

Starting on June 3rd, the band, and members of Cleveland High’s Tenacity Dance Team, practiced playing and marching – around and around the school’s athletic track on Powell Boulevard.

And the payoff?

“They did an outstanding job performing on parade day,” commended Riler. “It was a great representation of our school to see 122 Cleveland High School students playing and marching through Northeast Portland and on into the Lloyd District.”

This photo shows the original pedestrian bridge over Johnson Creek in about 1920. (O.H.S. Research Library, #47350)
This photo shows the original pedestrian bridge over Johnson Creek in about 1920. (O.H.S. Research Library, #47350)

Sellwood’s smallest park is also its oldest


In the southeast corner of Sellwood, between Sherrett and Linn Streets and between 21st and 23rd Avenues, Johnson Creek Park is the smallest of the public parks in Sellwood-Westmoreland, but it is also the oldest.

It is composed of three blocks – 103, 104, and 105 – of the 1882 Sellwood subdivision, totaling four and a half acres. Each block was divided into eighteen 50x100 foot lots – the standard size of a house lot in most of the neighborhood. But, since Crystal Springs and Johnson Creek cut through the center of the park only the lots on the west (S.E. 21st) and east (S.E. 23rd) margins were ever built upon.

Surrounded with large trees, the park is a quiet refuge, especially on a hot day. Amenities include picnic tables, a restroom, a drinking fountain, and a small playground. A pedestrian bridge over Crystal Springs Creek leads to an open grassy island, with Johnson Creek beyond – the two bodies of water running parallel but separated. A second bridge over Johnson Creek washed out some years ago and has not been replaced, because it led to a primarily industrial area to the east. 

Finally, the two streams merge near the center of the park at a spot invisible from the bridge – but a determined explorer can reach the confluence via a short footpath that disappears into the bushes off the end of the bridge. A note of caution, though: Step carefully – the unpaved path is uneven, and slippery when wet. South of Linn Street the merged streams drift into the Willamette River, at the north end of the City of Milwaukie.

According to the City of Portland Parks website, the property “was acquired in 1920”. However, an article from a December 2, 1908, issue of THE BEE announced that the City purchased seven lots at 21st and Clatsop, from Gladstone and Beulah Stevens, for $850. Twelve years later, in July of 1920, Mrs. Edna Fuller sold an additional seven lots for $1,117, which were “adjoining the Johnson Creek municipal playground”.

It is unclear when the City acquired the rest of lots that make up the park. The three blocks contained a total of fifty-four lots. Subtracting the fourteen previously documented, forty more lots – even if unbuildable, due to the creeks – would still have had to be acquired by the City.  Perhaps they were gradually purchased in the years after 1920; in recent memory a vacant house still stood on Block 105 at Sherrett Street. It was later demolished, and its land added to the northern border of the park.

At the time of the initial 1908 sale, citizens of greater Sellwood were lobbying the City of Portland for a public park. Sixteen years after the streetcar line opened, the population had increased from approximately 600 to 6,000 residents. New subdivisions were being carved out of what had been tree- and brush-covered undeveloped land. Although welcoming development and new neighbors, residents were concerned that soon houses would cover every bit of land from the edge of the western bluff to S.E. Thirteenth Avenue, the heart of the business district. Children who had played freely in empty fields would lose these spaces, and parents began pushing their case at City Hall. Political pressure continued; and, as land prices increased, the city finally purchased the 17 acres of the City View Park subdivision that became Sellwood Park in 1909.

By 1908, residents near Johnson Creek had a tiny (about one acre) piece of what was to become Johnson Creek Park, but they remembered that the city had promised to acquire more land.   Referred to in one article as “the pretty place”, the spot had a history of use by neighbors as a picnic and play area. As early as 1901 the Oregonian stated that the City Council had received a request for a bridge over “Spring Creek” (Crystal Springs), because the old one had washed away. Sellwood Park was more than a mile distant, and while stalwart youth could easily walk that far, it would be reassuring to parents that their children were playing just a few blocks from home.

Eight years after the first lots were purchased by the city, a coalition of neighbors formed the Johnson Park Improvement Club in 1916, meeting at the home of Mrs. Sadie Gill, who lived at 21st and Clatsop across from the park. Members requested a footbridge over both bodies of water, picnic tables, and a restroom. The city was inclined to call it the Sellwood Playground, but neighbors wanted another name to distinguish it from the bigger park to the west, the improvements to which included the city’s first outdoor swimming pool (opened in 1910), a wading pool, a foot-racing track, a playground, and lighting.

Subsequently, the city acquired additional property and added the desired amenities. Tennis courts were requested to match those in Sellwood Park, but there is no evidence that they were ever built. However, in 1936 THE BEE reported that the park was “about 14 acres in size – and seventeen men, employed by the federally-funded Works Projects Administration, were constructing a large handball court, a full-width bridge over Crystal Springs Creek, and a smaller pedestrian bridge over Johnson Creek.” 

The alleged 14 acres must have been a typographical mistake. If there was a handball court, it may have washed away by the floodwaters of Johnson Creek, which regularly rise high enough to inundate the play area.

In years past, the residents around Johnson Creek Park have gathered on the Fourth of July for a big picnic and neighborly socializing.  Perhaps it is a tradition worth renewing.


On a related note, an exhibit of the history of another city park in Southeast Portland – the Leach Botanical Garden – is open through August 4th at the Oregon Historical Society Museum, at S.W. Park and Jefferson Streets in downtown Portland. It features the stories of its creators, plant explorers Lilla and John Leach, who built their home – “Sleepy Hollow” – on Johnson Creek near 122nd and Foster Road after moving to the site in 1931. 

Lilla was a trained botanist who, with her pharmacist husband John (the building that housed his Phoenix Pharmacy with its curved brick front has been restored, and anchors the corner of 67th and Foster Road), made many exploratory hikes into Oregon’s Siskiyou Mountains. A plant they discovered there, Kalmiopsis leachiana, is named after them.

Their property was donated to the City of Portland in 1971, and a band of volunteer gardeners today work with professional staff to maintain this beautiful 16-acre property. Check the city’s website for visiting times and events, as well as a biographical entry on Lilla in the on-line Oregon Encyclopedia. The museum is free to residents of Multnomah County, open seven days a week; and both the garden and museum are accessible by Tri-Met bus service.

Duniway first graders, with teacher Mrs. Munoz, line up for the BEE photographer.
Duniway first graders, with teacher Mrs. Munoz, line up for the BEE photographer. (Photo by David Ashton)

Duniway School Parade signals ‘School’s Out’, while Principal moves on


A sure sign that summer is arriving in the Eastmoreland neighborhood is the annual Duniway Elementary School Parade.

On Friday June 7, Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Motorcycle officers were pleased to be once again escorting the hundreds of kids and staff members two blocks north along S.E. Reed College Place – and two blocks back to the school.

“One of the reasons I’m taking the lead in pulling together our parade this year, is that we have two kiddos here, a daughter and a son,” Duniway PTA member Catherine Mosich told THE BEE as classes of students were starting to line up along the divided street.

“Not only is it a traditional way to close out the school year, it’s also a great community event,” Mosich remarked. “And, it’s fun to see how many alumni and past parents come out to support the kids at the school!”

The parade was bittersweet for Duniway Principal Philip Rafferty, who was completing only his second year at the school, but is being transferred to Skyline K-8 in Northwest Portland. “This will be my third Parade,” remarked Rafferty; “I attended my first parade right after I was announced as the Principal.

“The parade is a wonderful tradition; unlike anything else I know of in our area,” Rafferty observed. “The best part for me is seeing the smiles on rthe kids’ faces; you can see they feel like a million bucks.

“It’s been a fantastic experience being here,” said Rafferty. “There’s nothing better than the support that we get from the Duniway school community.”

Duniway’s incoming Principal, Dr. John Melvin, couldn’t be there – but he’ll get to experience the joy of this parade next year, as school ends for the summer.

First graders and P.E. teacher Scott DeMonte (at right), plus three fifth graders, are shown on the Lewis School playground with their “Strider” bikes. Anna Barker, a ParaEducator, is at back left.
First graders and P.E. teacher Scott DeMonte (at right), plus three fifth graders, are shown on the Lewis School playground with their “Strider” bikes. Anna Barker, a ParaEducator, is at back left. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

‘Strider Bike Program’ rolled out at Woodstock’s Lewis Elementary


Do we think that most children know how to ride a bike?  Perhaps many of us think so, since we see very small children rolling by, just using their feet on the ground for propulsion – and we see others riding in the neighborhoods with parents.

However, in Woodstock, Lewis Elementary School’s P.E. teacher – Scott DeMonte – discovered something different. “At Lewis we were having high numbers of fourth and fifth graders who were unable to ride a bike on their own.”

DeMonte realized that this lack of “bike ability” reflects a growing trend in the country – in spite of parents’ guidance, and good intentions, children are spending more time in front of screens, and less time playing outside or riding bikes.

“I worry – as I do about my [own] children! – that screen time is a losing battle; and it’s scary how much our kids are using screens these days. I want students to come home from school, get their studies done if needed, and then go outside and play. This is healthy, and it allows them to ‘just be kids’ and enjoy these wonderful years. Biking is one of the most fun hidden exercises in the world, in my opinion,” DeMonte told THE BEE.

Being the father of two boys who learned to ride bikes by age three, DeMonte knew about the “balance bikes” that children use, propelled along by feet on the ground. These were crucial to his boys learning at such a young age, and he was a huge fan of these small bikes with no pedals.  So he started thinking about teaching Lewis kindergarteners how to ride, using such bikes.

But when he went to the Strider website – a source of information about balance biking for small children – he discovered that, now, pedals that can be added to the balance bikes! “I had to figure out a way to get those [bikes with pedals] at Lewis.”

He wanted children in his Physical Education classes to benefit from the joys and fitness of learning to ride. “It is a skill you have for the rest of your life,” he explained. Then he read more, and learned about the Strider Bike Program, which provides pedal bikes. “Thankfully our PTA and some generous donors made purchasing these bikes a reality. The Lewis community, and we staff, will be grateful for years to come.”

In the just-ended school year, Lewis Elementary had roughly 85 first graders and kindergarteners being introduced to the Strider Bike Program. Of those 85, approximately 50 students were just learning to use a pedal bike.

“We aim to have 100% of all first graders able to pedal by the end of the four-week program. My goal for the kindergartners was 80% – which we have already achieved,” DeMonte said in May. “And I’ve been anticipating that we will have 90% riding by early June” – when school ended for the summer.

Portland Parks & Recreation Personal Trainer Kim Yaudas demonstrates the bench press in the fitness room at the Woodstock Community Center.
Portland Parks & Recreation Personal Trainer Kim Yaudas demonstrates the bench press in the fitness room at the Woodstock Community Center. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

PP&R ‘Personal Fitness Training’ moves to Woodstock


Classes in “personal fitness training” were established at the Mt. Scott Community Center way back in the 1970’s.  The classes have been taken by hundreds of people since then, offering an affordable price and high-quality training.

Now, with Mt. Scott Community Center closed for renovation until the fall of 2025, the personal fitness program has moved west to the Woodstock Community Center, just west of Bi-Mart and just north of Woodstock Boulevard. The room where the training takes place is small (11 x 15 feet), but all the necessary weights and fitness equipment are there, including a functional trainer machine, for beneficial and efficient training. Three personal trainers hold sessions there six days a week.

All three trainers – Vicki Cross, Angela Nichols, and Kim Yaudas – are certified and have extensive experience, each bringing a unique perspective to personal fitness.  Flyers with a biography of each trainer are available at the Woodstock Community Center.

Gabe Barbee, Recreation Coordinator at Mt. Scott Community Center (and now working at the Woodstock location) – and coordinator of the fitness program since March, 2020 – described the goals of the program: “Portland Parks & Recreation helps Portlanders stay active by providing safe places, facilities, and programs that promote physical, mental, and social well-being.

“Our personal trainers can help you design a personalized fitness program, learn proper form, and teach you safe ways to exercise.  They will provide accountability and motivation, and track progress with fitness assessments (postural, strength, core and more).”

When asked about whether personal fitness at the Woodstock site will only be until Mt. Scott reopens, Barbee responded, “We are highly considering offering this program out of here even when Mt. Scott Community Center opens back up [and personal fitness resumes there]. This will allow us to offer training to those in the immediate Woodstock area, and for those who prefer a smaller and more intimate setting in which to work out.”

All fitness levels are welcome, and anyone 14+ years old may register (in-person only, not online) at the Woodstock Community Center.  As for the cost of individual training packages:  3 one-hour sessions are $120, and 6 one-hour sessions are $215.

The Access Discount Program made possible by the November 2020 PP&R levy, and began in fall of 2021, which allows personal training participants who live within the City of Portland to register for reduced pricing of up to 90%. 

For more information call 503/823-3633, or visit the Woodstock Community Center at 5905 S.E. 43rd Avenue on weekdays, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It changes every year! The new 2024 design of Sellwood’s famous “Sherrett Square” painted intersection took form under the brushes of many volunteers – this year, on Saturday, June 1st.
It changes every year! The new 2024 design of Sellwood’s famous “Sherrett Square” painted intersection took form under the brushes of many volunteers – this year, on Saturday, June 1st. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Share-It Square’s annual street repainting was June first this year


Oregon’s first painted intersection won a state award – and has been followed, since then, by many more such street murals, in Portland and elsewhere.

But that first one was in Sellwood – at the intersection of S.E. 9th Avenue and Sherrett Street. And once a year it is refreshed with new paint and a brand new design, done by the neighbors and their friends. This year the date for it was Saturday, June 1 – and THE BEE was there.

More than fifty neighbors of all ages gathered with paints and brushes to change the street painting from last year's Pizza shape to this year's image of a “Sharing Tree” – with roots connected to the neighborhood. The design was selected by local residents in a series of neighborhood potluck parties.

Neighborhood artist Mieka Hopps sketched out the design that was posted on the square’s bulletin board for easy reference. This year’s organizers were Sarah Heath, Daria Matza, and Heather Katcher. In order to save a bit on paint, the design was downsized a little – and the chevrons and lines leading in from side streets toward the center were shrunk a bit further and painted in muted colors.

The themes in this year's design were peace, the ripple effect we have on each other, and our connections with the earth through trees. The design included a variety of fruits and flowers among the tree branches, and the “ripple effect” was completed with blue outlines and white-painted “bricks” surrounding the central image. A teacup represented the center's “Tea Station”.

Toward the end of the project, neighbor Mark Lakeman, of the Village Building Convergence – the person who originally created Share-It Square – brought a 14-foot step-ladder to assist the painters to see an aerial view of the work. After completing the street painting for another year, neighbors went home to clean up and prepare for the neighborhood evening potluck at the end of the day.

These volunteers helping stash trash in a dropbox at the annual Community Cleanup are Sellwood NET Team members Adam Seidman and Sym Colovos – along with SMILE Board Member Zack Duffly, at right.
These volunteers helping stash trash in a dropbox at the annual Community Cleanup are Sellwood NET Team members Adam Seidman and Sym Colovos – along with SMILE Board Member Zack Duffly, at right. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Sellwood-Westmoreland annual cleanup takes in tons of trash


It’s a fact that the oldest neighborhood cleanup event in the State of Oregon is the SMILE neighborhood cleanup on a Saturday every mid-May. And this year’s cleanup, on May18th, once again collected tons of rubbish.

How much? According to the hauler, Heiberg Garbage & Recycling, eight of their giant drop boxes were filled. Seven of them were filled with 4.9 tons of trash – the other drop box hauled away 2.21 tons of scrap metal for recycling.

The current President of SMILE – the Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhood association – is David Dugan. In chatting with THE BEE as he checked in cars and trucks headed for the collection site on the Westmoreland Park parking lot, he reflected, “Providing this service is so important, because it’s a convenient way for people in our neighborhood to dispose of trash – and recycling and reusable items, as well.

“In addition to the metal recycling, Free Geek is also on-site for electronic recycling of computers and such – which all helps keep it out of the waste stream,” Dugan pointed out.

In addition to helping neighbors rid themselves of junk that won’t fit in their curb-side roll-carts, the collection service is also a fundraiser. “The money received here goes not only to the tipping fees, but also to support our annual SMILE Egg Hunt, Summer Free Concerts Series, and to continue the good work that SMILE does.”

As the volunteers helped him offload his batch of trash, resident Jason Gill commented, “It’s a great feeling to be able to unload a lot of large items that I couldn’t put out at the curb. It’s great to have this opportunity every May.”

Canopies pop up, signaling that it’s time for this year’s “Gathering in the Garden” in the Eastmoreland Garden Park on Bybee Boulevard across from the Eastmoreland Golf Court Clubhouse.
Canopies pop up, signaling that it’s time for this year’s “Gathering in the Garden” in the Eastmoreland Garden Park on Bybee Boulevard across from the Eastmoreland Golf Court Clubhouse. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Gathering in the Garden’ sale and soirée recurs in Eastmoreland


The Eastmoreland Garden Club hosted its third annual “Gathering in the Garden” on Saturday, May 18th, in the Eastmoreland Garden Park – on Bybee Boulevard across from the Eastmoreland Golf Course Clubhouse.

As visitors browsed among the six vendors and ten nonprofit organizations who set up in the park, they were treated to live music – the Sellwood Middle School Jazz Band, two ukulele groups, and an “Irish Session Band” – throughout the day.

“For years we had a spring plant sale; in for the last three years we’ve expanded that to be our ‘Gathering in the Garden’,” lead organizer Marti Granmo cheerfully told THE BEE that day. “Our Garden Club is again selling organic tomatoes, and ‘garden goodies’ –which are plants that our members donate. And, we have a Children’s Corner where children can pot their own little succulent plant.”

The “Gathering in the Garden” is also sponsored by the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association, in association with Southeast Uplift neighborhood coalition. “We feel this helps bring the community together to celebrate gardening, and our green spaces!”

Next time you’re on S.E. Bybee Boulevard, passing 27th Avenue, slow down and take a look at this cute little garden park on what used to be a golf course parking lot. It’s now maintained by volunteers from the Eastmoreland Garden Club.

Events & Activities

Oaks Park open for fun and fireworks today in Southeast: Nonprofit and historic Oaks Amusement Park is open at noon today for their special annual family-oriented ticketed celebration of Independence Day until 12 midnight tonight (gates open at 11 a.m.). Come when you like; leave when you like – but most stay for the fireworks show after sunset! For tickets and more information, including everything else happening all summer at Oaks Park (follow Oaks Park Way north from the road at the railroad tracks at the foot of Spokane Street in Sellwood), go online to –

Southeast nonprofit has sale and open house: You’re invited to a Pop-Up Sale & Open House from 11 to 5 today, at “MakeWith Hardware and Learning Center”, 5908 S.E. 72nd Avenue, just north of the Arleta Triangle. Stop by to see the space, learn about workshops, and pick out some fun and practical gifts – tools, kits, and more.

SMILE free Saturday summer concerts start this evening: At 7 tonight, and on each successive Saturday evening in July at 7 p.m., there’s a free concert underwritten by the SMILE neighborhood association for Sellwood and Westmoreland plus various local sponsors; each will be held on the Windermere Building south-side parking lot on S.E. 15th Avenue, across from the Sellwood-Moreland Post Office on Bybee Blvd. Tonight’s concert features The J.T. Wise Band.

“Portland Bridge Swim” starts at Sellwood Riverfront Park: The 13th annual, 11-mile “Portland Bridge Swim” starts out from Sellwood Riverfront Park at 7:30 a.m. this morning, and everyone is welcome to be there for the start. Registration to compete is limited to 100 entries, and people from across the country and beyond come to swim from the Sellwood Bridge down to the St. John’s Bridge, and exit the water by 3 p.m. at Cathedral Park. For more, go online –

Wildfire film shows tonight: This evening, 6:30-8:30 p.m., see a film screening of “Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire”, at nonprofit “MakeWith”, at 5908 S.E. 72nd Avenue.  In the wake destructive fires across the nation, “Elemental” is a look at discovering how we can all reimagine our relationship with wildfire, and keep our homes and communities safe. RSVPs encouraged to be sure of a seat: Email –   

SMILE free Saturday summer concerts continue this evening: The artist is Hank Sinatra. Held on the Windermere Building south-side parking lot on S.E. 15th Avenue, across from the Sellwood-Moreland Post Office on Bybee Blvd. in Westmoreland.

“Rogue Pack” Theatre Camp for teens starts this morning: From 9 to noon today, it’s the first session (“Playwriting and Performance”) of the two-week summer Theatre Camp for teens by Rogue Pack – held at Moreland Presbyterian Church, 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard in Westmoreland. After a lunch at noon, the program continues this afternoon 1-4 p.m. (“Improvisational Theatre”). For more information on Rogue Pack, and to see if there are any openings left in this class, go online –

Southeast nonprofit offers “how to” classes:
Today, 6:30-8:30 p.m., nonprofit “Make With” is offering a workshop on “Intro to Plumbing: Solving Common Problems”, at their location – 5908 S.E. 72nd Avenue; the fee is $75.00.  Then, on July 27 and 28, there’s a workshop on “Intro to Carpentry: Framing Small Structures - Chicken Coops” (two different sessions, one each day) 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The fee for both days is $360.  Learn more, see more workshops, and sign up for one, at –  

SMILE free Saturday summer concerts continue this evening: The performance tonight is by “Mbrascatu”. Held on the Windermere Building south-side parking lot on S.E. 15th Avenue, across from the Sellwood-Moreland Post Office on Bybee Blvd. in Westmoreland.

FREE Open Garden in Brentwood-Darlington: Today from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the Multnomah County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden is offering you a self-guided tour of their one-acre educational garden. Learn about edible plants, non-edible native plants, wildlife habitats, native bees, invertebrates, and the management of urban creatures. Have your gardening questions answered by the Master Gardeners, bring home free educational materials – and free seeds and bee houses, while they last. There is also a children's booth for fun activities; and you can enter a raffle for a nursery gift certificate. This “drop-in” day at the garden is open to all. Entrance is on S.E. 57th Avenue – about 500 feet south of Duke Street. Just walk in the gate and through the Green Thumb Community Orchard. Questions? Email:


     Useful HotLinks:     
Your Personal "Internet Toolkit"!

Charles Schulz's "PEANUTS" comic strip daily!

Portland area freeway and highway traffic cameras

Portland Police

Latest Portland region radar weather map

Portland Public Schools

Multnomah County's official SELLWOOD BRIDGE website

Click here for the official correct time!

Oaks Amusement Park

Association of Home Business (meets in Sellwood)

Local, established, unaffiliated leads and referrals group for businesspeople; some categories open

Weekly updates on area road and bridge construction

Translate text into another language

Look up a ZIP code to any U.S. address anywhere

Free on-line PC virus checkup

Free antivirus program for PC's; download (and regularly update it!!) by clicking here

Computer virus and worm information, and removal tools

PC acting odd, redirecting your home page, calling up pages you didn't want--but you can't find a virus? You may have SPYWARE on your computer; especially if you go to game or music sites. Click here to download the FREE LavaSoft AdAware program, and run it regularly!

What AdAware doesn't catch, "Malwarebytes" may! PC's--particularly those used for music downloads and online game playing--MUST download these free programs and run them often, to avoid major spyware problems with your computer!

Check for Internet hoaxes, scams, etc.

Here's more on the latest scams!

ADOBE ACROBAT is one of the most useful Internet document reading tools. Download it here, free; save to your computer, click to open, and forget about it! (But decline the "optional offers" -- they are just adware)

Encyclopedia Britannica online

Newspapers around the world

Convert almost any unit of measure to almost any other

Research properties in the City of Portland

Local source for high-quality Shaklee nutritionals

Note: Since THE BEE is not the operator of any of the websites presented here, we can assume no responsibility for content or consequences of any visit to them; however we, personally, have found all of them helpful, and posted them here for your reference.


Local News websites:
The news TODAY

Local News

KATU, Channel 2 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 24)

KOIN, Channel 6 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 25)

KGW, Channel 8 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 26)

KOPB, Channel 10 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 10 and 28)

KPTV, Channel 12 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 12)

KRCW, Channel 32 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 24 and 25)

KPDX, Channel 49 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 12 and 26)

"Next Generation TV", in the incompatible ATSC-3 format, is currently duplicating (in the new format) KATU, KOIN, KGW, KOPB, KPTV, KRCW, and KPDX on channels 30 and/or 33; you will need a new TV or converter box capable of receiving the new ATSC-3 format in order to see these broadcasts.  The one we use and can recommend is the Zapperbox -- learn more at: