RIP Adele Marie Wilder

Photo of Adele Marie Wilder

OLHD is saddened to have learned of the passing of Adele Wilder, an avid supporter and volunteer for the Milwaukie Museum along with her sister Enid. Both Adele and Enid were videotaped in an OLHD interview several years ago. Adele was a joy to be around. Our sincere condolences go out to her family.

Memorial Service to be held on Sunday, 9-30-18 2:00 pm
at Milwaukie Covenant Church [map]
(next to Linnwood Elementary School)
12201 SE Linwood Ave.
Milwaukie, OR 97222

Photo of Adele Wilder dresed in a chicken costume Photo of Adele Wilder and her sister by a boat called "Two Sisters"

Obituary for Adele Marie Wilder

June 17, 1928 to Sept. 16, 2018

By Adele’s sister, Enid Briggs

Adele was born on June 17, 1928 at our home on Briggs Avenue, as were all her brothers and sisters. She was the daughter of Maurice and Rachel (Birkemeier) Briggs. Her siblings were Enid, David, and Jack. Jack passed away at the age of two. Adele had ten aunts and uncles and thirty-one first cousins from the Birkemeier side of the family. She had six first cousins on the Briggs side of the family.

Adele enjoyed growing up in Milwaukie with family reunions, ice skating on Kellogg Lake, hay wagon rides, catching crawfish in Kellogg Creek. She had great memories of family picnics on her Uncle Chet McLoughlin’s farm, and family wiener roasts in the Brigg’s family backyard.

Adele is survived by her sister, Enid Briggs, daughters, Paula Ewald and Becky Scott, son-in laws Mike Ewald and Al Scott, grandchildren, Nick Ewald and spouse Shelbey, Paul Scott and spouse Kirsten, and Julia Scott, great-grandchildren, Eva Ewald, Westyn Ewald, and Elijah Scott, as well as many cousins.

Adele attended Milwaukie Elementary, Milwaukie Junior High, and Milwaukie High School, and George Fox University. Since there was no church or Sunday School in the Minthorne area of Milwaukie, her family and others decided to start a church and it was called Minthorne Community Church. Adele married the pastor’s son, Paul Wilder in 1954. They had two children, Paula and Becky. Later the church joined the Covenant Church, which later became Milwaukie Covenant Church.

Adele was very active in the church over the years. She had charge of the cradle rolls in the community reaching many parents. She was active in Youth for Christ and the Milwaukie Youth Council. Later she was active in Women for Missions, Tuesday Fellowship, and Senior Connection. She also served for years as the church’s wedding coordinator.

She loved gardening and was an active member of the Milwaukie Garden Club. She served two years as President. She was an active member of the Milwaukie Historical Society. She served three years as President. She worked hard to keep the museum from closing.

In her later years, grandson Nick Ewald purchased the old family home. Adele moved into a cottage on her daughter Becky’s property. She later moved into Town Center Village in Happy Valley, where she spent her last days.

She was greatly loved and cherished by many in the community.

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OLHD 2018 Summer Field Trip

Mark your calendars for our Aug. 4th field trip to North Clackamas County’s oldest extant church!

Visit to 1907 Jennings Lodge Church

Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 10:30 AM

The oldest church still standing in northern Clackamas County

Tour of Church and Original Bell Tower

Our Lady of Grace Pro-Cathedral

18403 S.E. Blanton Street

Special Presentation

Grace Church History as Part of Preserving Oak Lodge Historical Sites

Hot Dogs and Ice Cream Social

Guests Encouraged to Bring Photos of Oak Lodge Historic Landmarks for Discussion

OLHD Members Free, Suggested Donation $5

Wheelchair Access to Main Level and Ramp to Sanctuary

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Sandes of Time is for sale


The historic Harvey G. Starkweather house on River Rd. is for sale. OLHD was privileged to have been given a tour of this house several Christmases ago.

Harvey Starkweather House

This house and property is an icon in our community – connected to the Risley family history in that Harvey Starkweather’s wife was Mary Alice Risley, and the house was built on Alice’s portion of her father, Jacob Risley’s, Donation Land Claim. Harvey Starkweather was a community leader – extremely active in education and local politics and even real estate. A teacher and farmer, he played a major role in Concord’s history. A daughter of Harvey still resides in our community.

This house, built in 1909, is a designated Clackamas County Historic Landmark (SHPO #151). The house is in immaculate condition, and sits on a very large lot. We will need to watch how this sale unfolds, to see if it remains intact, or a developer tries to break the property up into smaller lots.

Mike Schmeer
Chairman, Oak Lodge History Detectives

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OLHD June 2018 Meeting

7:00 P.M.

Oak Lodge Water Services District Offices
14496 S.E. River Rd. @ Maple St.


Our next OLHD meeting is coming soon, and it will be the last meeting before our summer break. The next meeting won’t be until October 11th — so mark your calendars.

At this next meeting we’ll approve the April Minutes, bring you up to date regarding the Jennings Lodge ERC Section 106 process, remind you of this summer’s Trolley Trail Fest in Oak Grove, and review other local history-related events.

The evening’s program will be “Concord – A Legacy Worth Preserving”.

If you have something you would like to include on the evening’s agenda please forward it to me by the end of the day Monday June 4th.

We look forward to seeing you June 14th.

Mike Schmeer
Chairman, Oak Lodge History Detectives

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OLHD April 2018 Meeting

THURSDAY APRIL 12TH ​ 7:00 p.m.
Oak Lodge Water Services District Offices
14496 S.E. River Rd. @ Maple St.​


Our next OLHD meeting is coming up fast, so be sure and get it on your calendar.

At this meeting we will be explaining OLHD’s new Membership Renewal Plan – you’ll learn how, and when you can renew or join OLHD, and the benefits available to OLHD members.

We’ll also point out the new content recently posted on the OLHD website, and our plans to continue adding more.

We’ll give you updates on the Concord School transition to North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District ownership, and the status of the Jennings Lodge ERC Section 106 process – both involving OLHD.

OLHD maintains an extensive Digital Archive, but most people only get a glimpse of its contents once in a while and it is constantly being added to. The evening program will be “A stroll through the OLHD Digital Archives” so we can all get a better sense of what the archive consists of, and how its being managed.

If you have something you would like to include on the evening’s agenda please forward it to me by the end of the day Monday, April 9th.

We look forward to seeing you April 12th.

Mike Schmeer,
Chairman, Oak Lodge History Detectives

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OLHD Member Benefits

One of the advantages to belonging to an organization is the benefits it offers.  To a large extent OLHD’s benefits are intangible — a sense of pride that  one is supporting a good cause.

However, because OLHD is a dues-paying member of the Clackamas County Heritage Council (CCHC), that means dues-paying members of OLHD can enjoy CCHC’s reciprocal admissions benefits.

See the list of participating sites below. When visiting one of these sites let them know that you are a dues paying member of OLHD.

OLHD member benefits through the Clackamas County Heritage Council

And when we issue membership cards in October you’ll even have proof!!!

Go to the CCHC website to find out what upcoming history-related events are in store for us.​

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Concord School Mystery Solved

Most of us are aware that Concord School has been at the same location for over 125 years.

Plat map of the Concord school area, with colored shading to indicate property changes over time
But we also know that the current building was not the first – there have been three. So the question arose, where on the property was the first little one-room school house located? OLHD set out to solve this mystery.

Using photographs, deeds, Donation Land Claim records, surveys and newspaper accounts we were able to determine exactly WHERE the first two Concord School buildings were located. The first, 1890 building, was located just a few feet back from Concord Rd. (then called Oatfield’s Rd) where today’s play area is.

Photo of both the 1890 and 1910 Concord school buildings, with Concord Rd in the foreground

That’s a very muddy Concord Rd. in the foreground. The second building, constructed in 1910, was built a few yards behind the first – also in today’s play area. It was after construction of the current building, in 1936, that the area of the first two buildings was set aside as a play area.

Aerial photo of Concord School with inset photos of the 18090 and 1910 buildings showing their original locations

So next time you take your children, or grandchildren, to Concord’s play ground take note that you will be walking on hallowed ground.

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Appeal for “Park Letters”

March 9, 2018

Dear History Detectives:

As you know from presentations at recent OLHD meetings, the Oak Lodge History Detectives have been involved for some months in Section 106 negotiations about the former Jennings Lodge campground as required by the National Historic Preservation Act.  OLHD’s involvement in this effort is consistent with OLHD’s mission. Although the former Jennings Lodge Camp, established in 1904 was designated eligible to be considered as a National Historic District by Oregon’s State Historic Preservation Office or SHPO, the Campground is, nevertheless, slated to be demolished and replaced by a residential development.

The History Detectives along with the Jennings Lodge Community Planning Organization (CPO) are consulting parties to negotiations being led by the US Army Corps of Engineers to consider whether any part of the camp meeting site can be saved, and if not, what types of mitigation will be needed to offset resulting damage.

As a part of the Section 106 process, the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District has offered to purchase approximately two to two and a half acres from the developer, Lennar Northwest, for a small park to commemorate the history of the former camp in Jennings Lodge.  In an area severely lacking in public park space, any park space would be most welcome by  residents of Oak Lodge.  Such a park could also serve to honor the nearly 110 year old former evangelical camp meeting site and help preserve its legacy.

The cost of such a park could be a severely limiting factor on its realization.  Normally, land purchased for public use from a private party should be consistent with Fair Market Value or FMV.  In this case, the exigency of paying for a public green space in the Oak Lodge area could well result in a higher than average FMV than NCPRD or BCC would normally authorize.

The developer has already expended funds for overall development of the former campground property during the last two years. Thus, Lennar NW may want greater reimbursement for the lots and therefore ask for greater than FMV for any lots sold to the NCPRD. At the same time, Oak Lodge remains severely underserved in terms of park space despite 26 years of paying taxes to the NCPRD for parks. Therefore the NCPRD and the county might determine that paying more than FMV would be appropriate in this situation where available land for parks is so limited.

Right now, we do not know exactly what has transpired between the developer and NCPRD, and rightly we cannot expect to know the details of such negotiations.  However, we DO KNOW that purchase of the park may be discussed very soon by the Board of County Commissioners who also serve as the Board of North Clackamas Parks and Recreation.  We suspect the discussion of park purchase will take place at an upcoming executive session early this coming week (Executive sessions are not open to the public) .

Therefore, we ask History Detectives members and friends to write, email, or telephone the BCC by five pm, TUESDAY, asking the NCPRD/BCC to support purchasing  land for a small park to honor the Jennings Lodge Camp which will also provide new public green space for all of Oak Lodge.  In this situation, if you believe the park is important enough to merit paying greater than the customary FMV, please say that also. And if you believe Oak Lodge needs more park space, we hope you will also mention the importance of providing new parks in our area.

Thank you.


Michael Schmeer, Chairman, OLHD



Chairman Jim Bernard               

Commissioner Martha Schrader

Commissioner Paul Savas          

Commissioner Ken Humberston

Commissioner Sonya Fischer     

County Administrator Donald Krupp

NCPRD Director Scott Archer     

Mailing Address for the Board of County Commissioners:
2051 Kaen Road
Oregon City, OR 97045

Mailing Address for the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation:
NCPRD Administration Offices
150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City, OR 97045

Telephone number for the BCC:  503-655-85

Telephone number for NCPRD:    503.742.4348


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OLHD February 2018 Meeting


Oak Lodge Water Services Bldg.
14496 S.E. River Rd. @ Maple St.
7:00 P.M.


Come and join us Feb. 8th to learn what’s been happening in the world of local history.  A tentative agenda includes:

  • Resumption of OLHD co-chair nominations
  • Concord property
  • Evangelical Retreat Center update
  • Trolley Trail Historic District project
  • The past meeting the future: Concord history; Fair Oaks litigation

Please send me your requests for items to be placed on the agenda by Monday Feb. 5th.

See you Feb. 8th.

Mike Schmeer
Chairman, OLHD

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A new Oak Lodge Library is in the future!

Photo of the Oak Lodge Library building

Monday, January 29th is your chance to learn about a plan to build a new library in Oak Lodge—and provide your vision and ideas.

A library is more than a place to house books. Libraries are also places for residents to gather, learn and build relationships with one another. Come tell us what YOU want to see in a new library!

The meeting will also include information about a partnership between North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD) and North Clackamas School District (NCSD) to provide new community spaces throughout the NCPRD service district.

Oak Lodge Public Meeting: Library and Community Spaces
Monday, Jan. 29th, 2018
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Rex Putnam School
4950 SE Roethe Rd., Milwaukie, OR map

What’s happening at this meeting??

Learn About Projects in Your Community: This meeting will highlight two major projects in the Oak Lodge area:

  • Planning for the Oak Lodge Library: Clackamas County is moving forward with planning for a new library in Oak Lodge. Community input is needed to help determine the location of the new Oak Lodge Library and what kinds of amenities and services it will provide. Give us your input and vision for the library, while learning more about the library planning process. Learn more.
  • NCPRD and NCSD Strategic Partnership: Learn about the partnership and the properties that will become community spaces for public use (including the Concord School building in Oak Grove). Learn more.

Can’t make it to the meeting? Participate online!

The information presented at the meeting will be available online with a survey for you to provide your input. The online survey will be available Jan. 29-Feb. 19 at

Will there be other chances to get involved?

Yes! This meeting is just the first opportunity to learn more about what’s happening in your community. You’ll be invited to other opportunities to get involved as the projects move forward in the coming months.

Get on the email list (select Oak Lodge Library Updates) to receive updates and stay engaged.

Please share this invitation with anyone you know who is interested in learning more.

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