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Cedar Mill News
Volume 4, Issue 3


March 2006

THPRD Board adopts JQA Young House management plan

The JQA Young house on Cornell before it was acquired by THPRD

The historic John Quincy Adams Young house on Cornell near 119th was acquired by Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District (THPRD) a little over a year ago. An ad hoc committee was formed to recommend a plan of action to the THPRD Board. On March 6, the board unanimously agreed to accept the management plan at their regular meeting. Currently there is no schedule for work on the house to begin but it is expected that it will get underway shortly.

Sue Conger, the chairperson of the ad hoc committee, introduced the report with these words, which reflect the hopes of the committee for the role the house will play in our community.

"The Ad Hoc Committee for the John Quincy Adams Young house has just completed a Management Plan suggesting steps for the District to take to make this property ready for public use. Key recommendations the committee is making are to:

• Restore the exterior to 1869, the period of its original construction
• Rehabilitate the interior to code including electrical, plumbing, heating and access
• Make the first floor and grounds available for public and private community use and facility rentals
• Install passive historic interpretation displays in the interior
• Develop opportunities for historic educational activities on the grounds
• Disband the Ad Hoc Committee upon the board’s approval of this Management Plan
• Form a volunteer group affiliated with THPRD and its Foundation to raise funds and to give volunteer assistance for the restoration and ongoing care of the property

Rather than going into detail on the contents of the report, the Ad Hoc Committee wishes to tell you about the significance of adding this park to the THPRD inventory.

Each of you as a member of THPRD Board of Directors has hoped to fulfill the promise you made to your electorate to provide both natural spaces and recreational activities. You hope to shepherd good plans to enrich the lives of our citizenry. We wish to let you know that you have gone beyond these goals; you have given a community an opportunity to define itself and its legacy.

This site along with the development of the falls area will be the centerpiece of the Cedar Mill Community. Adults and children both ask, “Why this name? Cedar Mill, what does this mean?” Now, the story has an opportunity to be told.

The JQA Young House, circa 1905

The Young House will teach what life may have been like 137 years ago, highlighting the mill’s location and its importance in shaping Oregon. Children may go to the house and study diagrams depicting such a mill. They will learn that when it was built, the civil war had ended four years earlier; that it will be seven years before the telephone is invented; that it will be ten years before the light bulb is invented; and that in five years the structure that began as a residence will become the Cedar Mill Post Office and general store. Adults may go the herb garden to see chamomile as it was grown, then dried, and finally brewed into tea to help calm nerves…the tranquilizer of 1869.

We then may walk to the mill’s location and be mesmerized by the sight and sound of the waterfall. We may pause to listen to birds singing and the sound of the wind in the trees that grow along the creek. This is the best of natural open space. We can wonder why there are no traces of the mill and then reason (from the lessons learned when visiting the house and garden) that the machinery was too precious to be left behind when the cedar trees were depleted. We reflect why the mill was dismantled and its valuable parts were moved to a new site. We understand that the house structure could stay in its place to be used for new purposes.

We then can walk eastward past the falls and step onto the four-mile long trail that takes us along the upper edge of the canyon, then loops back to our starting point near the falls.

We can walk, or jog, or bicycle and appreciate our opportunity to gain healthful exercise. We can understand the pioneers did not have this need, for their life was strenuous – simply performing the necessary daily tasks made them strong and tired. We can feel lucky that we have experienced a new perspective, and we can feel pride that we are the current residents of this historic area. We thank THPRD for giving us this treasure.


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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