Over the last two weeks the Oak Lodge History Detectives succeeded in installing two historic markers on River Rd., commemorating the first two schools in the Oak Lodge area.
The idea of “first schools” historic markers was hatched six years ago when the exact location of the Oak Lodge area’s very first school, established by Orville Risley in 1856, was identified from an 1856 Clackamas County survey. That school was a log structure located at the intersection of River Rd. and Laurelwood Dr., and students from both sides of the Willamette River attended. By 1866 the student population had outgrown the little log building, so the pioneer community built a newer structure further south on River Rd., at today’s River Bluff Ct. – on what later became part of the Roethe farm. Students from today’s Lake Oswego, West Linn, Gladstone, Jennings Lodge, Oak Grove and the Concord area attended the little school. But the pioneer population continued to grow, and in 1890 the school district again needed a larger schoolhouse. It was then that Michael and Minerva Oatfield sold the school district 1 acre in the S.W. corner of their farm – where today’s Concord play area is now – and the first Concord schoolhouse was built.
The historic markers for the first two schoolhouses were made possible in part by a grant from the Clackamas County Cultural Coalition, managed by the Clackamas County Arts Alliance, and with private donations. The bronze plaques were made by the Paul Zimmerman Foundries in Columbia, PA. The black basalt boulders were purchased locally at Portland Rock & Landscape Supply, were transported to their respective locations by Knapp Construction Company, Inc., and mounted by Greg Sandidge of Eagle Creek Engraving.
OLHD is excited to have completed this first historic marker project. Suggestions from the community for more markers have been solicited, and OLHD looks forward to the installation of many others in the future.
“What Can You Tell Me About My House’s History” is the most frequently asked question received by the Oak Lodge History Detectives (OLHD). With well over 1,000 homes in the Oak Lodge area the answer is generally “not much”. Our best advice is for curious homeowners to learn how to do it themselves and enjoy the discovery, using many available tools.
OLHD will be giving a talk on this subject on May 6th at the Estacada Public Library at 12:00 noon. It is open to all. You are welcome to join us for an educational afternoon.
Mike Schmeer Chairman, Oak Lodge History Detectives
OLHD has lost a long time member. Carol Powers had been an active and supportive member of OLHD since 2015. She attended most of our meetings and followed OLHD on Facebook. She passed away on Feb. 19th.
There will be a service for her on Friday March 10th. You can read her obituary below.
On March 4, 1849, General Joseph Lane of Indiana was sworn in a Oregon’s first territorial governor. The location of this event was the William L. Holmes House at the Rose Farm in Oregon City. The house will be open on Saturday to commemorate the event. Come and learn about Lane and how he came to Oregon.
Not having met since October the Oak Lodge History Detectives will again be meeting on Thursday Feb. 9th, at 7:00 P.M.
This will be another opportunity for folks to renew their membership to OLHD, and purchase our new “Hooked on History” OLHD T-shirts. We’ll also be announcing our recent grant from the Clackamas County Cultural Coalition (managed by the Clackamas County Arts Alliance) made possible by funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust.
There will be a one hour program entitled “Mystery Man of La Roche” presented during the meeting. Come and learn about an important, yet relatively unknown participant in our local history.
Due to an unexpected health episode by yours truly over the Thanksgiving holiday OLHD was unable to schedule a meeting in December. But things are looking up for early 2023. Stay tuned.
The holidays are now upon us and it’s time to celebrate with those we love. OLHD wishes you and yours a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR! We look forward to sharing much more about our local history in 2023.
(The attached photo was found in a very old family book that belonged to my great-grandparents).
Mike Schmeer Chairman, Oak Lodge History Detectives
Thursday Oct. 13, 2022 7:00 P.M. Historic Concord School 3811 SE Concord Rd.
(Upper floor, N.W. corner)
FINALLY! After 2 ½ years of hiatus due to the Covid pandemic the Oak Lodge History Detectives will again be meeting IN PERSON.
The North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District has kindly offered us a space to meet in the historic Concord School. The room is on the upper floor, at the N.W. corner (closest to Spaulding Ave., at the top of that entrance’s stairs). You may access via the Spaulding Ave. entrance, the front “Grand Stairs”, or if you are in need of the elevator you can enter via the Concord Rd. entrance at the south end of the building. [See drawing]
After having waived membership dues for the last 2 years, this meeting will be an opportunity to renew your membership. Come a little early to allow extra time for this. Dues are still $15 per individual, or $20 per couple.
OLHD is also promoting our “First Schools Markers” initiative to raise funds for historic markers at the locations of our first two schools – in 1856 and 1866. In support of this effort we will be offering our new “Hooked on History” T-shirts for sale ($20) and accepting donations. There will also be a 30 minute “Oak Lodge’s First Schools” presentation given on this topic.
After a 2 year hiatus of no in-person OLHD meetings because of Covid, OLHD will FINALLY be meeting again on Oct. 13th, 2022 – – – at the historic Concord School.
As the owner of the Concord complex the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD) has begun scheduling the use of spaces within the historic school for use by community groups. OLHD has reserved a very nice room at the north end of the building, on the upper floor, for Oct. 13th and hopefully months after. This room will accommodate between 40 and 50 individuals, has a screen and ample electrical outlets, and even A/C if needed. And it is available for our usual meeting times from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Because OLHD suspended annual dues during the pandemic we will be accepting renewals at this meeting. So bring your checkbooks! Your contributions help support an organization dedicated to promoting the place and appreciation of local history in the Oak Lodge area.
We will also be making our new OLHD T-shirts available for sale. Proceeds from these shirts will support our latest “First Schools” initiative designed to place historic markers at the locations of Oak Lodge’s first schools – in 1856 and 1866. You’ll learn more about it at our meeting.
So, SAVE THE DATE of Oct. 13th and join us at Concord School to resume learning about Oak Lodge’s fascinating history. We’ll be sending out reminders, and more details, in the coming weeks.