|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
By Nancy Olson, co-author, Cedar Mill
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
More stories of early farming in Cedar Mill are available in the book,
Cedar Mill History, available from cedarmill.org/cmbook.html