The "Events and Activities" for the month are below these featured stories!
With an abundance of grocery stores, pharmacies, dry goods stores, and real estate offices lining Umatilla Street, Paul Erickson sensed that it was time to open up a much needed hardware store in the 1920's. Erickson’s General Hardware store was about four doors east of 13th Avenue at Umatilla, on the south side of the street. (Courtesy of SMILE History Committee)
SOUTHEAST HISTORY Umatilla Street memories sparked by reader inquiry
By DANA BECK Special to THE BEE
Umatilla Street in Sellwood: Where storekeepers were kept busy, the people were friendly, and the ferry boats landed. All of that a very long time ago.
When Sellwood resident Karen McColloch became curious as to who built her house on Umatilla Street, she didn’t realize that she was about to open a whole chapter of the history of her community.
In my exchange of emails with Karen, she was excited to find out that Umatilla Street was once the main thoroughfare of the town of Sellwood, and was its first commercial district.
Now I’ll give Karen, and all BEE readers, a picture of what life was once like during those early days of Sellwood, along Umatilla Street.
It all started over 140 years ago, in 1882, when the Sellwood Real Estate Company announced the opening of a new residential development three miles south of downtown on the east bank of the Willamette River. Shortly, speculators and home-seekers were buying lots and building homes at an unprecedented rate – and the fresh new community’s leaders knew their little hamlet, Sellwood, would need retailers to provide services to all its new residents.
Lumber was ordered, and carpenters, home builders, and contractors were called upon to build storefronts and houses along Umatilla Street – and fast!
False-fronted buildings contained grocery stores, barbershops, shoemakers, bakeries, and even the first Postmaster of Sellwood -- all lining both sides of that packed road. Horses and wagons bustled up and down the slope from the river’s edge, as riverboats and sternwheelers came and went, unloading supplies, people, and livestock along the waterfront. Thus was the start of Sellwood’s first commercial district.
Edwin L. Corner claimed to have bought the first lot in Sellwood, He operated a general store out of his home at 4th and Umatilla. Overlooking the Willamette River, “Edwin’s Corner Grocery” was positioned to view any approaching sternwheelers or boats landing at the Sellwood dock. The sounding of horns announced to all within earshot the arrival of yet another steamboat filled with supplies and passengers. It was a brief break from their daily chores by shopkeepers, residents, and busy housewives who had little leisure time available.
The arrival of a passenger boat was one of the highlights of their day, and residents crowded the landing at Umatilla Street when the ferryboat or steamer pulled into the dock. Edwin was among the first to unload his goods when any boat arrived.
Edwin’s Corner Grocery was where the first residents picked up their mail and supplies, and Edwin decided to circulate a petition to open an official U.S. Post Office in the community. He was successful, and he himself held the title of Sellwood Postmaster for the next ten years.
Other businessmen began building both residences and stores, and a new business district began filling up vacant land along Sellwood’s first thoroughfare.
Teamsters and wagon drivers meeting, and loading up from, the steamboats at the Sellwood Landing had to make their way uphill on Umatilla Street, until it leveled off at about 8th Avenue. Not many merchants were situated along the steep portion; most shopkeepers preferred to build in the stretch from 11th to 15th Avenue, and most commonly on the south side of the road.
Besides the first two grocery stores, early pioneers in business there included Lionel Sayre’s Barber Shop, H. L. Lindeleaf’s boot and shoe emporium, Ingate W. Ball’s boat construction business, and the shops of dedicated cabinetmakers William Goetten and Mathias Kallio.
Among other pioneering businessmen setting up shop on Umatilla Street was Fred Petsch, a sheet and iron worker, who worked from his home. There were a lot of laborers who worked at the Shindler Furniture factory in Willsburg, just east of Sellwood, and were hired on as skilled painters, finishers, masons, and cornice makers.
The town of Willsburg was centered around the Oregon and California Railroad tracks, more or less where McLoughlin Boulevard runs today. Willsburg had a small lumber mill and brick factory, and drew many workers to the area. Commuting to their morning shifts was less than a mile for most of the employees. Willsburg had few places to buy goods, except for a general store and post office located by the train tracks; it didn’t even have lodging for newcomers looking for work there. So Sellwood was where most of the workers and their families resided.
Those successful in finding full-time work usually lived along Umatilla or the adjoining streets, or else they settled along 17th Avenue near Umatilla, where two hotels – The Sellwood, and the St. Charles – as well as a druggist, a blacksmith shop, and a couple of saloons were open. For a few Sellwood leaders this section was considered the “seedy area” of Sellwood, and during the summer – when the horse-racing and outdoor activities were drawing folks from downtown to the City View Park – high-spirited men would continue the their revels late into the night at these saloons and hotels.
The Sellwood Real Estate Company, trying to attract homemakers and families, donated a large section of land on the south side of Umatilla Street between 15th and 16th Avenues for the establishment of “Sellwood School” – where today you will find Sellwood Middle School.
Land on the waterfront was reserved specifically for large sawmills, furniture factories, or other large businesses expected to attract more workers who’d need housing and local retail services.
George Albers was proprietor of the Sellwood Furniture Manufacturing Company, built on the riverbank in 1888. S.W. Brown established a sawmill, but he soon sold it to the team of Sorenson and Young, who began supplying lumber used in many of the stores and houses being built in the neighborhood.
The independent town of Sellwood was beginning to take shape, and the commercial district was slowly emerging along Umatilla Street. Those who were dedicated to establishing a community there had come for the long haul, and a volunteer City Council was formed in 1888 to fix boundaries for the community, and to serve its new residents.
John Campbell offered his second-floor storage room above his grocery store as a place for the town’s meetings and gatherings. City Council Members voted to improve city streets, lobbied for clean drinking water, and encouraged large businesses to set up new factories near the Umatrilla Street commercial district.
Access to Sellwood was a major issue: An efficient ferry system was begun – and, while the Ferry “The Sellwood” was delivering passengers and some freight to the Spokane Street Landing to the north, merchants and businessmen wanted visitors to be disembarking at the foot of Umatilla Street, to benefit the businesses open there.
A formal dock was built at the base of Umatilla, and Harney Street and Umatilla Landing became a major destination for steamers, riverboats, ferries, and the launches commuting up and down the Willamette River.
Eventually a steamer, “The Bateman”, began making daily landings at the foot of Umatilla for people who had chosen to live in Sellwood, but who worked downtown. The steamer provided convenient service for Sellwood residents needing to visit a doctor’s office downtown, or who had a business transaction to attend to – though many of those using the steamer just wanted to shop or enjoy entertainment downtown. For only a dime, passengers could board the boat in Sellwood and arrive at the Washington Street Docks on the west side of the Willamette River. The Bateman made six trips a day, and often passengers had to share space aboard the riverboat with light freight, and noisy farm animals – such as snorting pigs and restless horses.
The independent City of Sellwood and its City Council lasted for six years, until the community decided to accept being incorporated into the City of Portland in 1893. Decisions on important matters and policies in Sellwood would thereafter be decided by the Portland City Council. However, the local businessmen did not believe that all of Sellwood’s needs were being met under this new arrangement. Consequently, the Sellwood Commercial Club was established to create committees, and push forward special needs particular to the merchants and shop-owners of Sellwood.
The Commercial Club then needed a place where they could meet monthly – so in 1910 dues were collected, and an impressive two-story four-square clubhouse was built on Umatilla Street, at the corner of 13th Avenue.
Residents and community leaders cheered when the final rails for the Eastside Streetcar were laid down along 13th Avenue in 1893. The streetcar rails extended all the way from Bybee Boulevard south past the outskirts of Sellwood to Ochoco Street. Sherrett Street was the south boundary of the Portland City Limits – until the following year, when Multnomah and Clackamas Counties agreed to move their mutual county line farther south to Ochoco Street. The Eastside Railway started providing a faster commute to downtown Portland, and new homes could be built closer to transportation, expanding the community in both directions from Umatilla Street, and ultimately changing the main business streets of Sellwood.
The streetcar line seemed good for everyone, but there was also a downside to this more efficient form of transportation: New entrepreneurs hoping to sell their wares and peddle their merchandise started building along 13th Avenue, as Sellwood’s second business district began to emerge.
In the following decades, as new grocery stores opened along 13th Avenue, Umatilla merchants saw their business declining as a result of all these new destinations.
Merchants seemed to be on the move, renting one storefront or relocating down the street by the from year to year. Herber’s Market in the 1900’s was now Curtis’ Dry Goods Store, and where Sellwood’s Fish and Poultry Market once stood was now home to the Sellwood Hat Factory and Cleaning Parlor. Hugh Knipe’s took over the popular Campbell’s Grocery, eventually becoming a landmark destination there for the next 30 years.
J. P Zirngiebel, who amassed a fortune painting signs around town, settled in Sellwood and built one of the first two-story commercial buildings at 13th and Umatilla. Small shops like the Berlin Davis Shoe Shop, Canfield’s Dry Goods, the Sellwood Pharmacy, and the Elite Dressmaking Parlors, moved in to the bottom section of the Zirngiebel building – while physicians and dentist offices were open upstairs.
Residents of Sellwood could now make appointments with Dr. Howard A. Young, R. S. Sterns, or G. J. Fanning, thus avoiding a long trip by ferry to downtown for such services. For dental care, H. C. Fixott and H. M. Brown were available for new patients. Sometimes nervous patients were soothed by the music offered by Eugenia Brown, who taught music classes to young students just down the hall. By the 1940s this building became the iconic Black Cat Tavern – until it was torn down just a few years ago, to make ways for “The Madison at Sellwood” multi-story apartment building.
In 1906 Sellwood and the rest of the Portland metropolitan area found itself in the midst of an unprecedented housing boom, as a result of Portland’s successful hosting of the “Lewis and Clark Exposition” World’s Fair -- which ran from June to October in 1905 in Northwest Portland. Thousands of people from the East Coast, across the country, and around the world came to Portland to relish American culture, to travel on one of the largest streetcar systems in America, and to enjoy the many entertainments of Portland’s World’s Fair. Indeed, Oaks Amusement Park was opened in 1905, originally to provide a Sellwood-area destination for World’s Fair visitors to reach via the streetcar line.
After the Lewis and Clark Exposition was over, so many people had been enchanted by their visit to the Rose City and its neighborhoods that they decided to stay and live here – many of them near the end of the streetcar line in Sellwood!
Now, as for the answer to the question asked of me by Karen McColloch about when her house had first appeared on Umatilla Street
With help from city staff members and a 1906 street map of Umatilla Street from the Portland City Archives, Karen learned that Harry A. Pratt, a glass finisher, first occupied her house. During her intensive research, she found out that after Harry moved away, a succession of renters came and went over the next few years – and she was even able to connect with relatives of Laura Kiekenapp, who had later resided there for over twenty years.
What Karen also found was that Charles Thompson, the third editor of THE BEE, once lived in her house between 1912 and 1914. He might even have published this newspaper in the basement of her home! That was because rent was expensive for most business owners, and few newspaper publishers made enough money to afford rental space for their printing presses, so it would have been logical for Charles to print the newspaper downstairs in that house.
In an article celebrating the 65th Anniversary of this newspaper in 1971, longtime reporter and local historian Evangeline Nyden wrote that, early-on, “THE BEE was produced a the little shop on Umatilla in a tabloid size, and running four to eight pages.” Could that have been the house that Karen McColloch now lives in? At least Karen knows that a prominent citizen of Sellwood once lived in her house!
But, now let’s move on to finish the history of Umatilla Street in Sellwood.
The street hit its pinnacle when a new brick building for the Bank of Sellwood opened in 1907 at the corner of Umatilla and 13th – after which, just east, across from Sellwood School, the community’s first free public library was opened for students to use. That became the City of Portland’s first branch library, two years later.
Famous and well known Sellwood residents opened their first businesses along the wooden-plank sidewalks of Umatilla Street – including Dr. John Sellwood, who operated a pharmacy before establishing the Sellwood Hospital on Harney Street. In 1920 he later helped to build a nurses’ school in a house purchased on 15th and Umatilla.
Peter Hume, President of the Bank of Sellwood, partnered with his brother-in-law to operate the Umatilla Meat Market along Umatilla, and longtime Sellwood residents Oscar H. Wallberg, H. E. Sellwood, and Harold Gatewood dabbled in real estate in various locations along the street. Wallberg operated his small real estate shack next to the Golden Pharmacy, just across from the Zirngiebel Building at 13th Avenue.
The Twentieth Century ushered in a new era of cleanliness. In the early 1900s, washing machines were scare, so spring-cleaning chores required the family to haul their rugs outdoors to be shaken and beaten, and to wash their bedsheets and pillows in a tub of lard (!!) and hot water. Sheets and blankets were usually taken to the Sellwood Woolen Mill to be washed in professional machines. It is hard to imagine sleeping on freshly laundered sheets finished with a delicate coating of lard. It was another time…
At the beginning of the 1920s, Sellwood was bustling with activity, as the nation’s economy reached an all-time high. Employment was easy to find, contractors were busy building new homes east of Milwaukie Avenue, and more stores were opening along 13th Avenue. Umatilla merchants also enjoyed the increase of sales the “roaring ’20s” brought – but, when the Sellwood Bridge opened in 1925, although it was great for the community, it was the start of a permanent down-trend for businesses in what many now considered the older portion of Sellwood, centered on Umatilla Street.
The good times ended abruptly when the American economy crashed in October of 1929, taking the rest of the world with it. Many of the retail stores and shops closed when their customers were no longer able to pay for what they needed (and had often obtained on credit).
After WWII, as prosperity returned after the Great Depression, grocery stores and small shops briefly popped up again along Umatilla Street, but many business buildings that had graced the street were by then turning into single family residences. The once-bustling business district of Umatilla had turned into a quiet residential neighborhood by the late 1950s.
The only sections of Umatilla where retail business still prospered, and prosper today, were at the intersections with 13th and 17th Avenues.
Gone now are the twenty different grocery stores, meat markets, and bakeries that once supported households and families along the street. Names like Knipe’s, Campbell’s, Sellwood Bakery, Erickson’s Hardware, the Golden Pharmacy, and Corners Post Office were replaced with single-family homes. Only the structure where the Portland Puppet Museum is now located, on Umatilla west of 13th, now serves to remind us of the past history of Sellwood’s first business district..
There’s no shortage of memories on Umatilla Street for those looking for them. The old brick façade of the Bank of Sellwood still sits majestically at the corner of 13th and Umatilla, and those bicycling or walking by can see where the garage of the Sellwood Transfer Company still stands – and opposite it where Mrs. Randall once operated her boarding house.
Where the “Sellwood Inn and Pub” and “Piece of Cake” are now, on 17th Avenue, mark where the rowdy celebrants of Sellwood once gathered in the evenings to drink and be merry at the two saloons that served drinks there.
Now, as you wander the street, you might find Karen McColloch sitting on the front porch of her bungalow on a sunny summer day, engrossed in the latest issue of THE BEE which, over a century ago, Charles Thompson edited and published for a few years in her home.
In the newly-opened OMSI exhibition “Orcas: Our Shared Future”, a Science Educator explains that the as large as the lifelike scale models of these orcas are, they’re still much smaller than the actual “killer whale” due to size limitations in science museums. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
‘Orcas’ exhibit opens at OMSI
By DAVIDF.ASHTON For THE BEE
Starting on Saturday, May 13th, Southeast’s world-class Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) opened a new exhibition that invites guests to dive into the mysteries of the oceans’ apex predator: Orcas, also known as “killer whales”.
In this, the United States premiere of multimedia presentation called “Orcas: Our Shared Future”, visitors won’t be finding huge tanks of water and performing orcas.
What they will find by walking through the two floors of displays, playing immersive games, and viewing the many videos set up in small theaters, is that they are immersed in the themes of ecological activism, popular culture, and Indigenous beliefs. Throughout all this, the goal is for you and your family to gain a deeper understanding the connection between orcas and humans – both believed to be intelligent animals.
“We’re especially excited for visitors to connect with Indigenous knowledge and stories about orcas,” OMSI President Erin Graham shared.
And among the exhibition’s 100+ artifacts and objects there are:
An Indigenous artist’s Articulated Dance Mask
A carved gold Killer Whale Box
An especially-commissioned painting in “Haida manga” (a contemporary style of Haida comic art that explores the elements of both traditional North Pacific indigenous arts) by artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
“Legacy”, a full-size wooden orca skeleton by artist Ken Hall, fashioned of reclaimed cedar, to honor its traditional use by the First Nations.
And, discover how orcas happened to receive the nickname “killer whale”; what currently threatens these mammals; and how humans can help protect them.
The new OMSI exhibition, “Orcas: Our Shared Future”,will run through January 28, 2024, and is included with the normal cost of museum admission for visitors. OMSI is situated on S.E. Water Street, just north of the Ross Island Bridge, and under the east end of the Marquam Bridge
For more information, go online – http://www.omsi.edu; and – to tour the exhibit with THE BEE,here’s a brief and exclusive video!
The shaded block of S.E. Claybourne Street made shopping comfortable on the hot opening day of the 2023 Sellwood-Moreland Farmers Market. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Sellwood-Moreland Farmers Market flourishes at latest location
By DAVIDF.ASHTON For THE BEE
If the success of their opening day for the season on May 13 is any indication, changing the day, time, and location of the Sellwood-Moreland Farmers Market (SMFM) last year continues to be a winning strategy.
“This is the 17th season for this market, and it’s the third location since we started,” pointed out SMFM Manager Lannie Kali on the 2023 opening day. That new place fills the entire Westmoreland block of S.E. Claybourne Street between 17th and Milwaukie Avenues.
“This location worked out surprisingly well,” Kali told THE BEE. “I think that, because the neighborhood is changing, it’s working out better to be a Saturday market than having it on a Wednesday afternoon, as we formerly did.”
Closing off the block of the city street is challenging, the market manger conceded. “But it is nice, because we have some shade and some grass and that feels good; plus we have lots of parking, thanks to our partner, Wells Fargo Bank.
“One of the things that has made our use of this block on midday Saturdays possible is that the Portland Bureau of Transportation has provided us the street-closure space without cost,” said Kali. “And, shoppers are telling us that this location is much more walkable for the bulk of the neighborhood.”
The shade of the trees made the unseasonably warm opening day pleasant for the many shoppers who strolled and made purchases from among the 38 vendors. “Next month, we’ll have three additional farmers coming in!” Kali remarked.
Sellwood-Moreland Farmers Market
May 13th - October 28th 2023
Saturdays 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
1650 S.E. Claybourne Street – between 17th and Milwaukie
Customer parking at Wells Fargo Bank lot next door
Now, take an exclusive BEE video stroll around the Sellwood Moreland Farmers Market on opening day, May 13, 2023. Although it was a hot summer day, the trees provided welcome shade for shoppers and vendors! Here’s the video –
At its May 8th ZOOM meeting, the Woodstock Farmers Market Board made the decisions for the upcoming season discussed in this article. Shown, from upper left to lower right, are Peggy McCafferty, Anji Preslar, Jenelle Nowak, Kelly Fischer, Grace Littig, Alex Osteen, Kendall Koppen, and Lucinda Klicker. (Courtesy of Lucinda Klicker)
Woodstock Farmers Market’s 13th season brings new vendors
By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF For THE BEE
The Woodstock Farmers Market’s thirteenth season opens on Sunday, June 4th, with several new vendors, as well as music and children’s activities.
Market Manager Lucinda Klicker told THE BEE that information on the new vendors, as well as the first newsletter of the season, will be posted on their website before opening day – http://www.woodstockmarketpdx.com
On the first of May, Klicker reported on new vendors who had by then already signed up for the season:
Tutuilla True Fish: A native fishery bringing fresh-caught salmon from the Columbia River Gorge.
Kulfi: A classic ice cream stand, serving ice cream bars, and Popsicles with Indian-inspired flavors.
Carioca Bowls: This longtime local business is bringing refreshing acai bowls to the market, and partnering with other vendors to provide exciting toppings and flavor combinations.
Canby Farm and Kitchen: These chefs-turned-farmers will be bringing their collection of heirloom vegetables to the market. They should be able to give great recipe recommendations if you ask.
Farm D’ICI: It’s a women-owned certified organic farm, and it specializes in French, Italian, and Asian varieties of produce.
The Woodstock Farmers Market has a new Volunteer and Community Coordinator this season: “Kendall Koppen is excited to spend her Sundays getting to know our volunteers, vendors, and community organizations,” said Klicker. “Volunteering is a great way to deepen connections to the community and to local food systems. We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join us at the market.” For more information on volunteering, go online – https://tinyurl.com/yxuchbh6
Volunteers needed include “floaters,” who greet market goers and answer questions. Each of the three shifts per week is 1.5 hours, with the first and last shifts also helping with set-up and takedown, and the middle shift being an opportunity to volunteer for those who cannot do heavy lifting.
Volunteering at the market is made easy with training usually done on-site, and with the Volunteer and the Community Coordinator present for help if needed. Additional training is required for those who want to help at the SNAP/Info Booth.
SNAP matching benefits at the market are made possible by Farmers Market Fund, which has received a GusNIP (Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program) grant. Thanks to the GusNIP grant, the Farmers Market Fund has been able to fully support SNAP matching at the Woodstock Farmers Market this year. FDNP (Farm Direct Nutrition Program) and WIC (Women Infants and Children) checks can be spent directly at farm stands that have those programs.
Families are encouraged to come to the market and participate in the Kids Passport Program. Each week there will be kids’ activities hosted by the Woodstock Farmers Market volunteers and community organizations. For each completed activity, children will get a stamp in their farmers market passport which counts towards earning free prizes.
The Woodstock Farmers Market is open to all every Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting on the first Sunday in June each year – this year, June 4th. It’s on the parking lot behind the KeyBank at S.E. Woodstock Boulevard at 46th Avenue. Find fresh produce, support local farmers and small businesses, and meet neighbors and new acquaintances.
In front of Kenilworth Presbyterian Church, six and seven year old Girl Scouts celebrate a successful Earth Day neighborhood cleanup which they were a part of. (Courtesy of Kari Hay)
Creston-Kenilworth’s ‘Earth Day cleanup’ aided by Girl Scouts
By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF For THE BEE
To celebrate Earth Day, which every year is on April 22nd, Kenilworth Presbyterian Church – at S.E. 34th and Gladstone Street, in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood – joined efforts by the neighbors for a trash and litter cleanup.
For the second year, Creston-Kenilworth resident Kara Bredahl organized a neighborhood cleanup in partnership with SOLVE. And this year she asked the church if they would be willing to be the staging and meet-up site for the cleanup. The church said they have an active “Green Team”, and that the cleanup would be complementary to the church’s mission.
“People seemed happy to be out on a beautiful spring day,” Kara Bredahl told THE BEE. “Thirty-four volunteers set out to pick up litter and trash from Cesar Chavez Boulevard [the former 39th] to 28th Avenue, and from Powell to Holgate Boulevards.”
Almost half of the volunteers this year were girls and parents from “Daisy” Girl Scout Troop 10525. (“Brownies” is a familiar term for a younger group of Girl Scouts, but “Daisy” is less well known. “Daisy” is the initial level ages 5-7 that was introduced in 1984. This level is named after Juliette Gordon Low, nicknamed “Daisy”, who started the nonprofit Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia in 1912.)
Theresa Brown, Reed neighborhood resident and leader of the Daisy troop of Girl Scouts, brought eleven girls aged six and seven and nine parents from her Troop to join the cleanup. “This is a first-year Daisy Troop, and they have been learning that even though they are small, they can still make a big difference in the world,” remarked Brown. “The girls were very excited to participate in an Earth Day event, and to earn a badge called “Make the World a Better Place”.
In preparation, the young girls learned a little about Earth Day, and how they could impact and inspire the community by picking up litter. “The girls had a lot of fun using the grabbers, and making the cleanup kind of a game, hunting for litter and trash,” said Brown.
The Troop broke into four groups, each one having three girls and two “chaperone” adults. Both the Troop and the other people working on the cleanup reported that the most common litter they’d picked up were disposable facemasks, cigarette butts, and food wrappers.
According to anecdotal and survey reports, young children who participate in such neighborhood activities are more likely to grow up to be conscientious citizens who help make their community a better place. And this Girl Scout Troop was proud of its accomplishments at the end of the two hours. “We had people in cars honking and waving, or on bikes ringing their bells in support, which made the girls feel really proud and special,” reported Brown.
SOLVE makes a cleanup easy because they provide the trash-grabbers, gloves, bright colored vests, and plastic bags. SOLVE also gives such instructions as what to avoid, to make the cleanup safe for all. However, they do not dispose of the trash collected unless the cleanup organizers apply for a grant.
At the end of two hours, 14 grain/malt bags filled with trash weighed an estimated 112 pounds. ‘’Bredahl says some church members helped stuff the bags into the Bredahl’s cargo van, and the load was taken to the Metro Transfer Station Dump.
Bredahl hopes to continue organizing these cleanups in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, and thinks the next one will be sometime in the fall.
By 9:20 a.m., only twenty minutes into the annual fund-raiser, the line to purchase plants at the Woodstock Neighborhood Plant Sale extended into the street. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
2023’s annual Woodstock Plant Sale called ‘best ever’
By DAVIDF.ASHTON For THE BEE
Even before it officially started at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, neighbors were swarming the Woodstock Community Center’s front yard and the parking lot to the east, snatching up everything on display – from perennials to organic vegetable starts, herbs, ground covers, houseplants, shrubs, and even trees.
“I think it’s the biggest sale ever!” exclaimed the sale’s Co-Chair Sandy Profeta not even two hours into it. “The best part of this is being able to talk to all of these gardeners, learning about new plants; it’s what we all enjoy.”
Of the 2,000 plants for sale, Profeta estimated that about 98% of them had been donated from neighbors’ gardens – mostly in Woodstock, but a few from Eastmoreland, Westmoreland, and even Tigard. There were a total of 54 plant donors.
“We had 32 volunteers, plus Gail Budde, Administrator at the Woodstock Community Center, who provided moral support and assistance – including treats -- during the days we prepared for the sale at the community center,” remarked Profeta after it was over.
“We grossed slightly over $7,000 – about $700 more than in previous years. We use the proceeds of this plant sale to pay for maintenance and supplies all year, which helps keep the Woodstock Community Center [owned by Portland Parks and Recreation] open.”
In addition to the neighborhood plant donors and volunteers, Profeta lauded the businesses who contributed to the success of the annual plant sale:
DianeSykes, Attorney at Law, PC Surf's Pup Doggie Lounge Bi-Mart and Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens Papaccino’s Coffee Shop Safeway Papa Murphy's Woodstock Ace Hardware Tony's GardenCenter Symbiop One Green World Happy Bee Garden Center
The nonprofit’s fundraising plant sale was a big success – at least partly because of the huge inventory of plants and starts available. Here, shoppers were browsing the selection. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
‘Community Transition Program’ has fund-raising plant sale
By DAVID F. ASHTON For THE BEE
The Brentwood-Darlington Community Transition Program began an extended Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, April 22nd, at their greenhouse on S.E. 60th Avenue. The sale extended well into May before it was over. Shoppers arrived from far and wide to browse the tables of plant and vegetable starts – a sale that presented a stunning sea of green across the large greenhouse.
“Yes, this is the beginning of our annual Spring Plant Sale,” confirmed Rachel Hermansen, the Vocational Transition Specialist is a fund-raiser for the nonprofit. “This sale puts money back into our program, to help it continue.
“The Greenhouse Program is one of our vocational training sites. Students who are interning here in the greenhouse actually start all of our plants from seeds, or by propagation – and then care for them throughout the year.”
“We offer this class in the Community Transition Program because research has shown that students who are engaging in the community, and are working in hands-on activities, have better learning results,” Hermansen pointed out. “Some of our students have gone on to have paid employment in gardening positions – some in retail outlets such as Portland Nursery, and Parkrose Hardware.
“For students not interested in doing this as their vocation, it still gives them knowledge and skills to garden as a hobby, and a lifelong activity to enjoy,” Hermansen remarked.
Hermansen expressed their appreciation for the contributors to the success of the sale, including Stumptown Coffee, Portland Nursery, and Al’s Garden Supply.
Learn more about the Community Transition Program, a service of the Portland Public Schools, by visiting their website – http://www.pps.net/domain/412
Inside Woodstock’s All Saints Episcopal Church, the professional musicians of the nonprofit Portland Chamber Music began their May 13 benefit concert. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
‘Portland Chamber Music’ returns to Woodstock for benefit concert
By DAVID F. ASHTON For THE BEE
As evening began, on Saturday, May 13, classical music aficionados made their way into Woodstock’s All Saints Episcopal Church for a concert by the professional musicians of the nonprofit Portland Chamber Music organization.
Tickets weren’t sold for the performance, however – but attendees were asked to bring shelf-stable foods to donate, to help supply the Woodstock Pantry rum by the church.
“Tonight, we are having a chamber music concert – it’s with no specific theme – we’re going through centuries of beautiful music,” is how the group’s Musical Director and soprano, Anya Kalina, described the program.
“Although we’re a nonprofit organization, the level of education and experience that our musicians possess deserve at least partial compensation,” Kalina told THE BEE before the program began. “That’s why we’re super grateful to our sponsors – the Oregon Arts commission, the Oregon Community Foundation, the Multnomah County Coalition, and the Oregon Trust.”
As the six players tuned their instruments, Kalina added, “We love playing together, and it’s so much more fun with an audience here to listen!”
Portland Chamber Music strives to make “fine music” available to communities, explained Kalina about their mission. “Our goal is to bring this music to our community affordably, and locally in the neighborhoods, so people don’t have to travel a great distance to attend. Many of them walk to the concerts.”
The audience was then treated to a concert consisting of ten selections, ranging from a piece by Antonio Vivaldi, to Johannes Brahms, to a Ukrainian folk song.
The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden’s Head Gardener, Frank Trees (left) joined volunteer Lincoln Proud in loading purchased plants, from the newly-revived Mother’s Day plant sale, for delivery to the buyers near the entry Gatehouse. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)
‘Rhododendron Garden’ resumes special events after pandemic
By RITA A. LEONARD For THE BEE
After a three-year pandemic hiatus, the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden on S.E. 28th Avenue, across from the Reed College campus, was free once again this spring to celebrate long-established special events – such as their two-day Mother's Day Show & Sale on May 13th and 14th.
And the public responded. That weekend, thousands of visitors of all ages and abilities converged on the Garden to enjoy the glorious colors of the park's five acres of rhodies, azaleas, and companion plants. In the park’s Exhibit Hall, competitors brought samples of named cultivars to compete for prizes and awards. At the back service lot, over 500 plants were available for sale – ranging from yearlings to mature five-foot-tall shrubs.
The Garden is a public-private partnership between Portland Parks & Recreation and the nonprofit Friends of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, the Head Gardiner is Frank Trees.
70 years of history The origin of this seven-decade Portland treasure was in 1950, when Portland Parks initiated development of a display and test garden. A site was suggested in Eastmoreland near Reed College – five acres then overgrown with brush and blackberries, at the north end of the Eastmoreland Golf Course.
Through the efforts of the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and other volunteers, and with the support of Portland Parks Superintendent C. P. Keyser, the garden flourished. The first planting of rhodies was in October 1950. The following May, the garden was dedicated as the American Rhododendron Society Crystal Springs National Test Garden, and the City of Portland granted stewardship of the rest of the property (the peninsula and entry garden) for development.
The original garden, on what is now called “the island”, was designed by Ruth Hansen, a landscape architect. The first rhododendron show was held there in 1953 in a makeshift structure. As many as 25,000 people attended. In 1955, stewardship of the garden was transferred to the newly-formed Portland Chapter of the ARS, and the garden was renamed the Crystal Springs Lake Island Test Garden. In 1956, the show was first held in what is now called the Exhibit Hall.
The Garden in the modern era The garden's last name change was in 1964 when the “test” element was dropped. The portion of the park known as the Peninsula was designed by Wallace K. Huntington, a well-known Portland landscape architect, and was dedicated in 1977. The rocks used to build the waterfalls and other features came from Mt. Hood & Mt. Adams. The garden paths were redesigned in the 1990's to bring them into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Most primary routes through the garden are now accessible by wheelchair.
The more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants have all been donated by volunteers & interested individuals, or purchased with specially-donated funds from sales profits. By early spring, the plants provide a magnificent display of color. During autumn, many companion trees and plants add dramatic coloring. Spring-fed Crystal Springs Lake surrounds much of the garden, attracting many species of birds, waterfowl, and even nesting eagles. The Garden is enjoyed by thousands each year.
All donations and admissions and event fees go directly to improvement and upkeep of the garden. Volunteers come on Wednesday afternoons to spruce up the grounds. Phone for information at 503/267-7509.
Events & Activities
JUNE 4 Sellwood Garden Tour today: This year's Sellwood Garden Tour is today – and is a benefit for the Sellwood Middle School PTA. Pick your time today, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Enjoy a self-guided tour of seven of the area’s finest gardens! This year's gardens include locations in Garthwick, at the south end of Sellwood; Eastmorelandl; and Woodstock. Event sponsors include PDX Sliders, McQuiggin’s, and The Robin Springer Real Estate Team. It’s still not too late to buy your tickets online – http://www.sellwoodgardentour.com
JUNE 7 Kids’ Craft Night at Brooklyn Park: On the first Wednesday of each month through August, 4 to 5 p.m., “Biscuits Co.” sponsors a “Kids’ Craft Night” at the Brooklyn Park Shelter at S.E. Haig and 10th. “Do your kids love to do arts and crafts, but never know what to make?” A themed craft is presented each month, for kids of all ages, and materials are provided. It’s free, but a suggested donation of $5 per kid helps cover the cost of the materials. “Please drop us an RSVP if you can; email – email@example.com”
JUNE 11 “Summer Outdoor Worship” begins in Woodstock: The Outdoor Service returns – a fun, intergenerational opportunity to worship in nature on the All Saints Episcopal Church green, every Sunday at 9:15 a.m., starting this morning. This service lasts approximately 30 minutes, and includes engaging storytelling, folk hymns, and interactive roles for kids. Bring your own picnic blanket, folding chairs, and coffee or other morning beverage. Pets on leash are welcome. Details online at – http://www.allsaintspdx.org
JUNE 24 ‘Kids’ Weaving Day’ class in Woodstock today: The Columbia Basin Basketry Guild is inviting youths in grades 3 to 8 to a special free “Kids’ Weaving Day”, today, 2:30 to 5 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 4033 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. “This is an opportunity for young people to create a basket, and to learn about basketry, which is one of the widest-spread crafts in the history of any human civilization,” according to Susan Hanks, weaver and Kids’ Weaving Day coordinator. “With this event our guild is reaching out to the next generation, and introducing them to basket weaving.” Every child participating must be accompanied by an adult who will assist the child with the weaving. Registration required; adults may register their young weavers online at – https://tinyurl.com/2p8eh3xu. Although the class is free, there is a $10 registration fee – but that will be refunded at the weaving-day event. For more information, email – ColumbiaBasinBasketryGuild@gmail.com – or visit: http://www.basketryguild.org
JUNE 25 Milk Carton Boat Races today in Westmoreland Park: The final official event of the 2023 Rose Festival is presented by the Royal Rosarians today at the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond – it’s the 50th year of the Milk Carton Boat Races! The event still focuses on the fun of kids and families racing milk carton boats they have built themselves. Registration is required for those competing (it’s free), go online to – https://tinyurl.com/mryyaujx – for the registration form, rules and regulations, and a waiver form to be signed by the participant or adult guardian, and also for instructions on how to build a milk carton boat. The races today are free to spectators, and are a lot of fun. The races start at noon – bring the family!
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