Local History: Our Town – Our Story: Do You Remember?

By Ann Koppy, BHSoc Historian

Vintage newspapers are informative and entertaining treasure troves of town happenings, long-gone place names, obituaries, and reactions to significant events. We recently came across columns in 1921 issues 23 1910s Beavers Baseball Teamof the Beaverton Times in which the writer asked several nostalgic questions. We have reprinted and answered four.

When was the first paper printed in Beaverton?

Oscar Thayer, formerly of the Portland (Oregon) News and Mercury newspapers and a Mr. Clarke launched the Beaverton Chronicle as a weekly seven-column folio. Some sources give the date as 1891, but the Oregon City Enterprise first makes note of the new publication in March 1893. George Thyng, later a prominent Beaverton confectionary owner, was identified as typesetter. Thayer had moved to Washington by 1898, but eventually relocated to South Tualatin and Gaston where he took up farming.

Where did Beaverton have its baseball diamond?

Baseball fever took hold of the United States in the 1880s and over the next 20 years most communities as well as many businesses and fraternal organizations had one or two amateur teams. Locally, there were Tigard, Cornelius, Reedville, Sherwood, and Scholls. Our city had the Beaverton Beavers and the Beaverton Colts.

In the first game of the 1913 season, the Beavers beat Portland’s Stiletto Nine 10-4 and in the second, defeated the Tillicums, also of Portland, 6-0. Coincidentally, Beavers’ manager/player Lev Hardy owned a confectionary in the Morse Building on Broadway Street and sold a full line of Spalding baseball equipment and likely supplied the home club. As that year’s pennant winners, they were still playing in 1922.

The ball diamond was at the corner of SW Farmington Road and SW Hall Boulevard.

When did Frank Stroud bring the first auto to Beaverton?

J. Franklin Stroud was a leading Beaverton businessman in the 1910s and 1920s whose firm, Stroud & Co., Inc., sold real estate, fire and auto insurance, and made loans through Western Loan & Building Company.

In early 1916 he bought a new Ford— almost certainly from Otto Erickson’s recently established Beaverton Garage dealership– and expected to travel extensively that summer.

Four months later, a woman driving a large unidentified vehicle hit Stroud’s car, knocking it 30 feet into a gas lamp pole and caused $50 damage ($660 in 2015). The unnamed female was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and sentenced to five days in jail, but was released on bail after appealing the ruling.

Where did residents hold 4th of July celebrations?

Festivities were held at the corner of Farmington and Hall, also the location of the baseball diamond and eventually, electric company powerhouse. Eloquent orations by dignitaries, group singing, reading the Declaration of Independence, parades, and bountiful picnics entertained residents in the 1910s. Gaily-decorated, horse-drawn floats, farmers’ wagons, and brass bands paraded east on unpaved Broadway Street in front of happy spectators and stores festooned with bunting and banners.

For the sporting crowd, there were tug of wars, a baseball games pitting the Beaverton Beavers against a fraternal organization, and foot races for men, children, and women.

Thinking about Beaverton’s contemporary history makes us ask if our readers remember The Library Inn and the Taste of Beaverton. We hope you will share those memories.

Interested in more local history? Visit the Beaverton History Center or go to: www.historicbeaverton.org