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Cedar Mill News
Volume 4, Issue 4


April 2006
Bauer hay wagon en route to Portland markets via NW Lovejoy, about 1920. (Photo courtesy of Mrs. Arthur Bauer, from Cedar Mill History)

History in the News
Early farms in Cedar Mill

By Nancy Olson, co-author, Cedar Mill History

Farming served several purposes in the settlement of Cedar Mill. For early settlers it was a means of survival. Families tended personal gardens and lived off the meat, eggs, dairy, and vegetables raised. Later, these products would be traded with the ready market in Portland.
Timber was everywhere in those days, so plentiful that it wasn’t worth harvesting, and many acres were burned and otherwise destroyed to make clear land for both gardens and orchards. A common method of clearing woods was to drill holes in standing trees into which hot coals would be poured.

For some, gardens and orchards served as reminders of their old homelands. Nearly all the settlers started a small orchard as soon as they could clear enough land to plant it. Sam Walters set out the first orchard – he brought his trees up from California in the spring of 1852. William Walker brought trees all the way across the plains with him and set them out in 1853. Luckily for many Oregon settlers gold was discovered around this time in California. With apples selling at $1.00 per pound to the newly flush miner population down south, orchards provided welcome income to many settlers.

German immigrants Gottlieb and Caroline Bauer left their homeland with two children, Henry and Lena, and settled in South Dakota. After a few years, the family moved to Oregon and lived in several locations before arriving in Cedar Mill. In 1919 the family purchased an 80-acre farm located on the western portion of what is now the Sunset Science Park industrial area. Bauer and his sons worked together raising wheat and dairy cows. Their thresher and baler were driven by a wood-burning steam engine. Clifford Bauer recalled that the engine was accompanied by a horse-drawn water wagon that was filled twice a day from creeks and ponds during harvest season. After the death of his father, Henry, the oldest son, and his wife Erna acquired acreage on Saltzman Road. Their property eventually passed on to their two children, Willard and Gladys. This land was developed in 1982 and is now a housing development called Bauer Woods.

More stories of early farming in Cedar Mill are available in the book, Cedar Mill History, available from cedarmill.org/cmbook.html



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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