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Cedar Mill News
Volume 6, Issue 4


April 2008

History in the News
Lost Park

By Nancy Olson, co-author, Cedar Mill History

Lost Park c. 1927
Lost Park, about 1927. Baseball diamond is on right, and the swimming hole is at the center below the sign. Photo courtesy of Lois Reeves Jordan.

In 1926, Cedar Mill was the location of a popular recreation site called Lost Park which drew visitors from Portland, Beaverton and Hillsboro. Located on 150 acres of wooded land, the private amusement center stretched between Cornell and Damascus Roads, on the east side of 113th.

Originally the property was a summer activity spot for Cedar Mill pioneer descendent Frank Hall Reeves and his family. Reeves built several large tree swings for his kids and their friends. He dug a large swimming hole in Cedar Mill Creek, which he renamed Alder Brook. He built stone stoves with sheet metal tops for his wife and friends’ picnic cooking. Lois Reeves Jordan recalled that her father once designed a “wiggle woggle” for the swim hole. It was a suspended pole used as a balance beam. Reeves offered $5 to anyone who could walk the length without splashing down.

In a few years, the park grew so popular with neighbors and friends that Reeves opened it to the public. It had been improved to include a large picnic area, two baseball diamonds, horseshoe pits, swings and children’s play equipment. The swimming hole was improved to a “commodious swimming tank,” with paving on the long, sloping sides.

Shady trails named Alder Lane, the Loop and Lover’s Lane were designed for hikers in the wooded portion of the park. The creek held abundant amounts of fresh, edible crawfish for the catching.

Mazama Lake was named in honor of the Portland outdoor club who sponsored a trip to the area in 1926. Their announcement read: Leave 4th and Stark on Southern Pacific Train at 7:40 am for Beaverton. Hike over Canyon and Barnes Roads to Cedar Mill. Lunch in the playgrounds of New Lost Park. Then, Barnes Road to top of hill and home stretch by way of trails and woods, arriving at 16th and Jefferson. Fare, 40 cents, Distance, about 10 miles.

When the Depression peaked in the 1930’s, the park declined in popularity. Many people who had enjoyed the facilities could no longer afford the time or cost of recreational entertainment. Reeves and his brother subdivided the property. Lots and partially constructed houses were sold for $1,000—ten dollars down and ten dollars per month—terms that helped many obtain housing in the depressed area.

Much of Lost Park's wooded areas are preserved today in Jordan Park, located at the top of 107th.




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