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Cedar Mill News
Volume 7, Issue 2


February 2009

History in the News
Walters family farms in early Cedar Mill
By Gertrude Walters Pearson Landauer

Excerpted from memoirs of her family and early days in Cedar Mill. Her grandfather, Samuel Walters, was the first pioneer to settle in the area.

Walters Farm
Cedar Mill landscape & clouds, with Sam Walters farm in foreground, June 23, 1946.  Photo by Al Monner, courtesy of Historic Photo Archive (historicphotoarchive.com)

My father’s acreage included a 5 acre piece across Cornell Rd. with 107th as the west boundary and the school property as the east boundary. It continued south across Cornell Rd. to join Uncle Sam’s property. On the east it bordered on Aunt Martha’s section. Leahy Road, now 107th, was the west boundary.

Sam Walters’ property also joined Martha’s property on the east and continued south to a property line of the donation land claim. A portion of it joined John’s property on the west and Ervin’s acreage on the east. John did not reside on his property which was located west of Uncle Sam’s, but instead sold it at a later date. Norman owned 15 acres adjoining John’s on the north. Other boundaries were 110th, Cornell Road, and 107th. He also sold his portion rather than to live on it.

Ervin built a home on his part with a barn and garage located on Leahy Road adjoining Uncle Sam’s property on the west and continuing east to the west boundary of May’s property. Leahy Road was the north boundary and the south was the boundary line of my grandparents’ acreage. The family of Ervin Walters, including his wife Olga and their three sons, moved to Portland after living in this home for four years. He sold his house and property to John Walters who then moved to it with his wife, Pearl and son Elmer.

When I was small, four of these families lived only short distances apart so social life was enjoyed by them. Sunday dinners were often at one of the houses. It was not uncommon for mamma to invite thirty or more for Sunday dinner. Baking on Saturdays for the weekend and well stocked cellars provided food for heavily laden tables.

Summertime picnics were common in a grove of trees on the Churchley property across from Cedar Mill school. Later a grove of trees formerly on May’s property, then owned by the Fairley family, was a favorite picnic spot. Crawfish feeds at Aunt Martha’s are to be remembered too. The crustaceans, caught in Cedar Mill Creek, were cooked in large vats with spices over an open outside fire and enjoyed by large family gatherings.

Families worked together. When it was time for haying, one field at a time would be mowed after which the men worked together to shock it with their pitchforks into mounds. Later it was loaded onto wagons to be hauled by horses to the barns. As children, we were allowed to ride on the wagons loaded with hay. At the barn huge forks were attached to the hay to be elevated to the haymow. This involved large pulleys at the top and one end of the barn and the use of the horses to pull the hay upward then across the haymows to the spot where it was to be dropped. We played in the haymows, too, as a favorite pastime.

Grain was threshed with threshing machines. The men again worked together standing bundles of grain into shocks and later threshing it. Women would gather to prepare harvest meals with each family trying to outdo the previous one. The quantities of foods were great. Children got into the act, too, by helping where they could.



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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291