The monthly meeting of the Historical Society was canceled due to excessive heat.
With Kim Huey, our historian emeritus, present this month, the historical update was the highlight of the meeting. She had been running a contest on the Growing Up in Gladstone page on Facebook. The question: Apart from the I-205 bridge, how many bridges have crossed the Clackamas River in Gladstone? The winner of the contest was our own society president, Bill Osburn, with his guess of twelve. The bridges of Gladstone, both existing and fallen, are quite historically significant. High Rocks is home to the remains of the pilings of a railroad bridge built by Ben Holloway in 1869. It was not only the first railroad bridge across the Clackamas River, but the first railroad bridge in Oregon, and even the first railroad bridge in the Pacific Northwest! Keep your eyes open for Kim’s next history contest.
The many bridges of Gladstone are also assisting in the dating of historical photographs. Kim has discovered that she can identify the dates of mislabeled pictures based on which bridges are visible. This discovery is helping her with her work on the upcoming Gladstone history book for Arcadia Publishing. She reports that she has already completed writing nearly three-quarters of it. We are all looking forward to its release.
An amazing history teacher at Gladstone High School is planning to teach his students some of our local Gladstone history, particularly the Chautauqua meetings. We salute him for his work, and plan to share some of our resources. Tami Stempel reports that he has already proven a great inspiration to many of his students.
When Kuri Gill of the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office came to visit us in May, along with sharing the work other cities have done with their historic districts, she also discussed the many benefits of becoming a “Certified Local Government,” or CLG. Although the name does not suggest it, a CLG works cooperatively with property owners to identify and designate historical locations. It also receives state funding to help preserve and enhance historical sites, remaining true to the character of the town. We hope to introduce the establishment of a certified local government in Gladstone to the agenda of a city council meeting in a couple of months. Gladstone is fortunate to still have a comparative wealth of history within its boundaries; let’s save it while we still have it!
Note: Apologies for the lateness of this post; I had attempted to post at the time of this meeting, but was having technical difficulties. I thought it had finally gone through, but now I find that it hadn't. Better late than never, I hope.
Posts are written by members of the Gladstone Historical Society.
Photo: 1900 photo showing one of the many pear orchards that were a popular crop in early Gladstone. Center background is the Cason/Cross house. Right is possibly the "Little Red Schoolhouse", located at the southwest corner of Gladstone Park and part of the original Cason land claim.