HAPPY HOLIDAYS from the Oak Lodge History Detectives

History is all around us all of the time
All we need do is look for it

Image of an undated Brownell Family Christmas Card
A Brownell Family Christmas Card

The Oak Lodge History Detectives
Wishes You and Yours

Happy Holidays

and a Very Merry Christmas

We wish you the very best in the upcoming year

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OLHD Installs Two Historic Markers In Oak Lodge

Image of commemorative marker erected by OLHD in 2023
Site of the First Oak Lodge School, 1856 – 1866 — Served
Concord, Gladstone, Jennings Lodge, Lake Oswego, Oak
Grove, and West Linn. Established by Orville Risley.
OLHD, 2023

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.

Image of commemorative marker erected by OLHD in 2023
Site of original Riverside School, 1866 – 1890 — Served
Concord, Gladstone, Jennings Lodge, Lake Oswego, Oak
Grove, and West Linn. Named by teacher Mary Devore.
OLHD, 2023.

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.

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Oak Lodge Library Groundbreaking Cermony

Come and celebrate the long awaited groundbreaking for the new Oak Lodge Library.

Enjoy free ice cream, and learn a little history.

Saturday, September 16, 2023
1-3 P.M.
Concord Property
3811 S.E. Concord Rd., Milwaukie

Construction is beginning on the new Oak Lodge Library and community park
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Discovering Your House’s History Talk


“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

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Carol J. Powers Obituary

Carol J. Powers
1949 – 2023

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.

Obituary of Carol J. Powers

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William L. Holmes House Opening

General Joseph Lane, Oregon’s first territorial governor

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.

Date:  Saturday, March 4, 2023

Place:  536 Holmes Lane in Oregon City

Time: 12 noon to 4 pm – refreshments will be served. Admission by donation.

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OLHD article in the Clackamas Review

Read the Clackamas Review article: Oak Lodge History Detectives get $2,000 for pioneer schoolhouse markers

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OLHD February 2023 Meeting

7:00 P.M.

Concord School
3811 S.E. Concord Rd.
Upper Floor; N.W. corner room


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.

Mystery Man of La ROche
A slide presentation by Mike Schmeer

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.

See you on February 9th!

Mike Schmeer

President, Oak Lodge History Detectives

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An OLHD Christmas Greeting

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

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OLHD Resumes In-Person Meetings!

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]

Floor plan of the Concord School in Oak Grove, Oregon

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.

We look forward to seeing you again on Oct. 13th.

Mike Schmeer

Chairman, OLHD

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