In 1912, Beaverton celebrated July 4th with a host of activities

In 1912, Beaverton celebrated July 4th with a host of activities

The rural spirit of America

In 1912, Beaverton was a small farming community with a population about 400 residents. That year’s Independence Day celebration exemplified the spirit of rural America: parade, sports, picnic, speeches, and buildings embellished by flags, streamers, and bunting.

Parade Grand Marshal, E.A. Hendricks, was followed by the Beaverton Military Band on unpaved Broadway Street. Spectators cheered elaborately decorated horse-drawn floats, carriages, local farmer’s wagons, and prominent residents. The Goddess of Liberty and her Maids of Honor, chosen from the town’s popular and attractive young women, personified American ideals and freedom and proudly waved the U.S. Flag.

The parade route passed in front of Gus Rossi’s 1900 Saloon, George Thyng’s confectionary, Morse Hall, the Bank of Beaverton, and M.P. Cady’s general merchandise store.  Mayor W.E. Pegg kicked off the traditional program with a welcoming speech, later followed by a lengthy patriotic oration, group singing, reading the Declaration of Independence, and a picnic.

Locals eagerly anticipated the perfect hot-weather dessert, banana splits sold at the booth operated by George and Lillian Thyng. Her specialty homemade toppings, available only during summer months, were layered over Portland-made Mt. Hood or Hazelwood ice cream.

Regular events of the era featured tug of war and a Beaverton Beavers baseball game played in a field east of the Oregon Electric Railway depot at Broadway and East Streets.

That year, the local nine took on Garden Home, winning by a score of 4-1. Foot races for men, children, and women added to the merriment, although it wasn’t an easy venture wearing an ankle length skirt, long-sleeved and high-collared blouse, petticoat, corset, and corset cover.

Crowds cheered for their favorites in both pie eating and bronco busting contests. Completing the busy day were an evening Beaverton Military Band concert in their open-air bandstand and Progress Quartet vocal offerings.

The Owl newspaper declared Beaverton celebrated in “royal style on the fourth.”


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