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Cedar Mill News
Volume 2, Issue 10


October 2004

The Cedar Mill Garage

By Nancy Olson, co-author, Cedar Mill History
and Virginia Bruce

The Cedar Mill Garage, which still stands at the south side of Cornell just west of the Barnes intersection. was constructed in 1919. The specialized repair shop and gas station, operated by Byron Stark, was the first in the area to service the growing number of automobiles. Stark attended YMCA automotive school in Portland, where he studied the new field of auto mechanics. After he completed the 18 month course, he opened the 30’ by 50’ garage.

An early photo shows Ediger with Standard Oil representatives. The common misspelling of our community’s name on the sign reflects the fact that several small mills were located in the area at this time.

Much of Stark’s time was spent repairing Model T’s, although he also tuned various commercial vehicles such as delivery trucks for the general store and the local dairy. He also repaired farm equipment, including sharpening plowshares.

During the time Stark owned the business, he lived with his aunt and uncle, Louis and Maggie Stark, who owned the general store across the road. In 1929, he sold to partners Dave Ediger and George Foege. Stark moved to Portland and founded the No Knock Piston Ring Company, later known as Stark and Norris.

Ediger and Foege purchased the garage, with the help of their parents, for $1,150. They honored an agreement made by Stark to handle Standard Oil brands exclusively. Red Crown gasoline, a Standard product, was sold for 8 cents a gallon with a wholesale price of 6 cents.

As more families in the area became car owners, the business expanded. As the garage’s reputation grew, customers brought their vehicles from Portland to be repaired in Cedar Mill. The small garage was expanded to 30’ by 100’ and a grease room was added. Now Ediger and Foege could repair as many as four cars at once. Parts were purchased in Portland.

Over the years, as automobiles were improved, so was the repair equipment. Ediger recalled that a heavy-duty drill press, a Walker electric hoist, a South Bend lathe, and a 40-ton Lempco hydraulic press were included among the necessary machinery.

Ediger and Foege were instrumental in organizing the Cedar Mill Fire Patrol in 1942. In 1958, they sold their business. George Foege became Chief of the Cedar Mill Rural Fire Protection District which eventually merged with Washington County Fire District #1 in 1972. Ediger established himself as a mechanic for the Wolf Creek Water District. A park on Cedar Hills Boulevard was named in honor of George Foege.

The old garage building has been the home of many businesses throughout the years. Rick White, DVM, acquired the it along with the veterinary office in the mid-eighties from Terry Allen, the notorious veterinarian who was caught dumping dead pets down by the stream southeast of the office. At that time, a lawnmower repair shop occupied the building. It was followed by a deli with an auto repair shop in the rear portion. In the mid-nineties a barbecue rib restaurant moved in. When they moved to Bethany it was briefly a used furniture shop. The building is currently vacant.

White plans to incorporate the structure into an expanded and remodeled veterinary facility. “I want to do something that’s compatible with the Town Center Plan,” he says. “We’re going to be putting our best foot forward.”

Some have suggested that this corner, so central to our community, would make a great site for a park district Community Center, with the old garage becoming a performing arts center. That’s a big dream, and would take a lot of money and work. It remains to be seen if Cedar Mill can pull off something like that.



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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

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