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Cedar Mill News
Volume 6, Issue 2


February 2008
nancy olson
Nancy Olson, co-author

Cedar Mill History, the book

by Nancy Olson, co-author, Cedar Mill History

Cedar Mill is one of Oregon’s older communities. Although small in population, it is significant in the richness of its history, for it represents many of the various strands, both constant and contradictory, of the first century of growth in the Oregon Country. In Cedar Mill History we define and interpret the area's major developments and document many of the lives of those who shaped them.

In broad geographic terms, Cedar Mill is located in Washington County, seven miles west of Portland, nine miles east of Hillsboro and four miles north of Beaverton. Since specific boundaries for the area have never been established, we were forced to draw our own conclusions during the research. The method we used to define Cedar Mill was to conduct oral interviews with pioneer family descendants near the core business area and later to extend ourselves outward until our interviewees no longer identified themselves with the Cedar Mill area. We found that in the opinion of residents, Cedar Mill is bounded by the communities of Bethany on the west, Bonny Slope on the northeast , Multnomah County line due east, the old Swedeville community to the southeast and Highway 26 directly to the south.

bauer steam engine
The Cedar Mill History book has many wonderful old photos like this one of the Bauer family's steam engine that was used for many tasks around the farms of early Cedar Mill

In writing Cedar Mill History, we found it necessary to identify places by roads that were mostly nonexistent during pioneer times. Cornell, Barnes, Saltzman and Leahy were little more than meandering horse paths. However for reader convenience, we identified places by roads as we know them today.  There is a chapter in the book that provides interesting information on the development of local roads and transportation.

Using available information we tried to record the history that distinguishes Cedar Mill. At the time of our initial research several fourth and fifth generation descendants continued to reside in the area and old landmarks were still standing. Most are gone as are the farms and fields and muddy dirt roads.

One significant fact is that although Cedar Mill was never incorporated, it has continued to retain some of its own identity. Despite shifting land use and increasing population pressures, a remarkable sense of community still exists.

[Editor’s Note: although the book Cedar Mill History is out-of-print, Nancy Olson still has a few copies available for purchase. Use the form available on the website for ordering: cedarmill.org/cmbook.html. Several stories from the book are on the Cedar Mill website at cedarmill.org/history, and an archive of History in the News articles is at cedarmill.org/news/index.]




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