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Cedar Mill News
Volume 3, Issue 9


September 2005

Cedar Mill School

First Cedar Mill School, a simple wooden clapboard structure, built in 1884. (Courtesy Gertrude Walters Pearson Landauer.)

Conjecture has it that settler Sam Walters had so many kids he decided to have a school built closer to home to avoid the long, muddy commute to Union School on present day NW 143rd. School district #62J was established in 1883 and the following year he presented the new district with a one-acre parcel of land from his donation land claim along the south side of Cornell Road

District #62J was a joint county school that included a portion of Multnomah County within its boundaries. The first year saw enrollment at 27 pupils. The first structure was a modest one-room frame building used for eight grades and Capitola Seaman was hired as the first teacher. Gertrude Walters Pearson Landauer recorded a description of the school in her memoirs

“Double desks were shared by two students. There was little other furniture besides a teacher’s desk, kerosene lamps for light, and a large wood stove to provide heat. An ante-room on the front served as a cloakroom and in one corner was the school water supply with one tin cup to be used by all. A shed in the back held the wood supply. Two outside toilets marked “boys” and “girls” stood on the school grounds.

Later, the school structure was moved to the north side of Cornell where it was used for 43 years. Plans were formulated for a new school to be built and in 1927 the Beaverton Enterprise announced:

“Bids are being asked for a new school house at Cedar Mill. The building will be 2 rooms and basements, frame and stucco building with furnace heat. Spanish style architecture will be used.”

Newly completed second Cedar Mill School, 1928. (Courtesy Carl Stark.)

The old school building was sold to Adam Clark and moved to his property west of NW 107th and Leahy Road. He lived there for several years until the property was sold and the structure was torn down. The new school was built on the site of the old and it continued to grow to meet the needs of the community. A PTA was formed in 1936, a hot lunch program was started and a small kitchen installed in the basement, maintained by volunteer parents.

In 1938 a population explosion occurred when Lost Park was subdivided and for nearly a year students attended classes in Leedy Grange while two new classrooms were being built. A gym and three more classrooms were added on in 1950 and more construction was completed in 1959 and 1960. In 1971, six more classrooms and a media center were added.

Up into the 1980s some of Sam Walters’ descendents still attended the school. Today, the school retains its sense of place, rich in history, traditions and involvement in the community.


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The Cedar Mill News
Published monthly by the Cedar Mill Business Association, Inc.,
P.O. Box 91177
Portland, OR 97291-0177

Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229