Tag Archives: Gresham Historical Society

Gresham to PDX shuttle airport

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Gresham is a welcoming community of hard-working people where tradition and heritage meet innovation and opportunity in Oregon’s fourth largest city.

Located just minutes from iconic Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, the city of Portland, and Portland International Airport, Gresham’s location is ideal for families and businesses wanting to start something new and grow.

Gresham’s residents care deeply about our heritage as a homestead and agricultural community, and are committed to building a vibrant future. Today, Gresham is a dynamic, innovative and rapidly growing city with a mutual desire and drive to thrive. In Gresham, we are family.

The Gresham Historical Society was founded in 1976 by a group of volunteers dedicated to preserving the history of Gresham and the surrounding areas. We are a nonprofit organization, funded by donations and staffed primarily by volunteers. Currently, our membership is 300 strong, comprised of individuals and businesses.

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In 1990, the Gresham Historical Society took over the old Carnegie Library on Main Avenue.  Built in 1913 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie, our building served as Gresham’s public library for over seventy years.  Renovations in 2012 restored the old library to its original appearance, and it looks today much as it did a century ago.

 

Gresham PDX shuttle airport
Gresham PDX shuttle airport

Gresham History

  • Gresham elected its first mayor and city council in 1904. Permission to incorporate Gresham was granted by the state on Feb. 11, 1905.

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Historic landmarks

The City maintains a list of sites and structures that have achieved the honor of being placed on Gresham’s Historic and Cultural Landmarks List. These properties have retained their historic character, serve as a past record of a certain time, place and use, and are often associated with a historical figure, event, building designer or architectural style.

Gresham’s most recent inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places in June 2016 was prepared by the Historic Resources Subcommittee.

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Charles Hunter Hamlin built this unique Gothic Revival home in 1888. Hamlin was the engineer on the first steam ship to navigate up the Willamette River through the Willamette Falls Locks in 1878. The Reverend Jonas Johnson, a leader in Gresham’s Swedish immigrant farm community, purchased the home in 1903.

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The Zimmerman House has history back to the pioneer resettlement in Oregon Territory. In 1869, Jacob Zimmerman, a German immigrant, purchased a 320-acre donation land claim and built this house in 1874. One of the first pioneer families in the Gresham/Fairview area, the Zimmerman family lived in this home until 1992. Now a museum, the home continues to tell the Zimmerman’s story.

Early settlers

The lure of land enticed settlers to what would later be known as Gresham. Before 1884, Gresham was known to many as Camp Ground or Powell’s Valley, after one of the first pioneer families that settled in the area.

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Workers sorting strawberries at the Gresham Berry Growers Cannery. Gresham was once known as the “Raspberry Capital of the World.” The growing and processing of berries commercially began in 1914.

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Donahue and Kelly Logging Co., Powell Valley Road circa 1890. Logging was an integral part of the early local economy. Cutting was done by hand, using oxen and horses to transport logs to local sawmills.

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Cedarville Confectionery circa 1900. In the late 1890s, the Forbes family built the confectionery near Linnemann Junction; it sold ice cream, candy, groceries and feed for livestock.