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Cedar Mill News
Volume 3, Issue 10


October 2005

How telephones came to Cedar Mill
By Nancy Olson, co-author, Cedar Mill History

In the early part of the 20th century, the growth of utilities contributed to the urbanization of Cedar Mill. Most of these arose as a result of the residents seeking improvements to the community. Very little evidence exists to document early telephone service, for an example, but it did happen.

In 1901, the nearest communication point was a telegraph station in Beaverton. By May 1902, the Beaverton Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph Company was established with five lines. Long distance telephone connections to Cedar Mill were available the following year.
This was very likely a simple “farmer” line extending from Beaverton to Cedar Mill with one or two phone instruments serving the entire community. Typical of many rural areas, a telephone was made available at the Cedar Mill General Store for public use. Usually, the farmer lines and telephones were purchased and installed by each customer. Magneto, or hand-crank phones were joined to a single wire strung on trees or fences leading all the way back to the exchange where it was connected and grounded.

In 1909, the Pacific States Company made a yearly service charge of $15.00 to its farmer line customers. Records cannot be found beyond 1911 when the concern was sold to a smaller utility enterprise in Washington County. By this time, folks were beginning to discover the wonders of the Communication Age and life was to never to be the same again.



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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