The "Events and Activities" for the month are beneath these featured stories!
|Trains like this once ran through Inner Southeast Portland! In 1869, the Eastside Oregon Central Railway Company was renamed the Oregon and California Railroad Company by owner Ben Holladay. Eventually the O&C R.R. became part of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and today the Union Pacific. (Photo courtesy of Wells Fargo Archives)
The Great Portland Railroad Race
By DANA BECK
Special to THE BEE
In 1869 a golden spike was driven into the ground at Promontory, Utah, signifying the linking of the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad, and the completion of the first transcontinental railroad route.
For seven long years these two heavyweights battled each other over who could lay the most track, ending only on May 10th when that spike was driven.
But that was in Utah. Out in the Northwest, steam was building, as a new battlefront was forming – although on a much smaller scale. As early as 1863, speculative investors, eager farmers, demanding Portland merchants and especially persistent legislative leaders in Salem, lobbied for a railroad of their own connecting the fertile lands of the Willamette Valley to the desirable markets of Northern California.
On July 25th, 1865, in a special session of Congress, and with plenty of finagling by Oregon Senators, the federal government enacted a bill granting alternate sections of free land – if a railroad and telegraph line could be constructed from Portland south to Sacramento, connecting Oregon to the nation’s not-quite-finished transcontinental railway.
Two rival groups stepped forward to accept the challenge – one wishing to build on the west side of the Willamette River, and the other on the east side.
West Portland contestants included some of Portland’s most powerful and wealthy businessmen: John C. Ainsworth, William Ladd, Simeon Reed, and a host of other notable merchants, all intent on increasing trade with San Francisco.
Their opponents would be Simon G. Elliot and the wheat farmers of Southern and Eastern Oregon, who were tiring of paying high prices to ship their products to California on steamships owned by west-side Portland merchants.
As it happened, Oregon Governor George L. Woods and a handful of Oregon politicians and California promoters favored a railway along the east bank of the Willamette River, and they also wanted to send a powerful message reminding the City of Portland that Salem was in charge of Oregon’s future!
The coveted prize for the winner of this eastside/westside railroad race was to be 3.7 million acres of land containing prime forest lumber, with the opportunity to divide and sell the remaining acreage and real estate to settlers and new arrivals to the Northwest. The amount to be realized from the sale of these lands would be a king’s ransom for the winning parties.
While the west side railroad promoters were favored to be awarded – and were actually promised at one time – the prized land grant, a new provision was added by Congress to insure that unscrupulous prospectors didn’t steal the land grant without actually building a railroad.
That provision was that the first railway company to complete twenty miles of track would be declared the winner by the State Legislature. And with that, the great Portland Railway Race was officially on!
On October 6th, 1866, west side promoters announced their new railway, to be called the Oregon Central Railroad Company.
And, in a strange and baffling turn of events, Simon Elliot and his east side supporters presented to the public the establishment of their new railroad company with the same name! Local newspapers and common conversation simply referred to these dueling railways as the either the “East Side Company” or the “West Side Company”.
The west side company took a commanding lead at the start, as described by Kenneth Munford in his pamphlet about The Oregon and California Railroad race: “On April 15th, 1868, with due ceremony on Portland’s southwest Fourth Street, at the foot of Marquam Hill, on which the medical school now stands, the West Side broke ground for its road.”
By late summer, five miles of land had been cleared and graded southward from this spot, but workers on the west side were faced with the slow and onerous task of building through a steep grade and hilly slopes.
On the opposite side of the Willamette River, hoping to gain the right of way from the landowners along the route where the railway would travel, pioneer Gideon Tibbetts donated a portion of his farmland for the project. Local newspapers recounted that on April 16th a parade led the way to the ceremonial breaking of ground with Chinese laborers in tow, at a spot just south of today’s Division Street, near a ferry dock.
The east side construction crews fared much better in making a pathway south, as the land was more flat and level than on the west. But sloughs and winding streams, along with sections of trees and heavy brush, retarded progress.
The east side company quickly ran out of money as few, if any, of the east side investors had the deep pockets or hard cash that their rivals across the river possessed. Most farmers along the Willamette Valley who desired a railway on the east side dealt mainly in cash crops, and hard cash was just not available.
Grading 25 miles for a railroad track through untamed land and wilderness was easier imagined then conceived, and both sides struggled to continue their push southward. With winter weather arriving, construction by both rivals halted till spring.
|Besides building the O and C Railroad, Ben Holladay (shown) owned various Portland waterfront warehouses and a steamship company, and he also invested money in Portland's streetcar system. He built two mansions – one in Portland and the other on the coast, in Seaside. (Photo courtesy Oregon Historical Society)
In September of 1868 a new player arrived on the scene by steamboat. He was Ben Holladay, and among Midwest speculators he was known as a well-experienced government surplus dealer, an entrepreneur extraordinaire, and onetime owner of one of the largest Overland Stage Lines in the West. Small town Portland business owners were about to get a taste of a big-time player.
Standing over six feet tall and heavily built, Holladay’s commanding appearance and supreme confidence caused townsfolk to stop and take notice, and caused uncertainty among the local business executives. Holladay decided to visit the Rose City after having bought some bonds that Simon Elliot was selling in California to help raise additional capital for further investment in his east side train.
Curious to know what he had bought, Holladay looked over the situation, and knew exactly what was at stake. He wanted to be more than just an observer; he wanted to be a player.
Portland was about to experience one of the most ruthless and unscrupulous businessmen ever to set foot in slab town, and both railroad companies were about to be involved in one of the greatest manipulations of politics in Oregon history.
The West Side Railway supporters saw Holladay as an arrogant, boastful, incalculable scoundrel. Their East Side rivals welcomed him as a savior sent from heaven, and that was the side that Ben Holladay decided to support.
Holladay rolled out the red carpet; he held lavish parties, receptions, and banquets, and invited anyone who could be influential for his cause to attend. Newspapers were lured, and State Representatives in Salem were openly bribed. Using his own cash, Holladay got construction up and running again for the East Side Oregon Central Railway.
Close to 150 men were employed to run a two sawmills – one near Milwaukie and the other in Brooklyn, where timbers were cut and used for railroad ties and building trestles. Brick and wooden buildings were later constructed to build passenger coaches and freight railcars, and also for an engine maintenance and repair shop that eventually became known as the Brooklyn Car Shops.
Outfoxed by Holladay, the west-siders realized they were suddenly at risk of losing the competition. On October 28th, 1869, headlines in the local newspapers announced that rails were finally being laid, and within a month Holladay was riding aboard his locomotive as far as Milwaukie.
George Wills negotiated a stop at his town of Willsburg, located east of a small community eventually to be called Sellwood, and by Christmas Eve the needed twenty miles of railway track was completed to New Era, south of Oregon City. The East Side Central Railroad was declared the winner of a hefty government contract.
Conceding defeat, supporters of the West Side Central Railroad sold their company to Ben Holladay.
Holladay continued his dominance, forcing a buyout on Simon Elliot, so that he became the sole owner – and he re-named his rail line the “Oregon and California Railroad Company”. Rails were soon being laid through Salem and then Eugene, and by 1872 the track was completed as far as Roseburg – where work ceased for the next ten years.
Using cash and bonds that had been intended to support his railroad project, Holladay increased his empire by acquiring a rival steamboat company and becoming involved in the streetcars being built around the area. With his acquisitions, Ben Holladay was now becoming one of the most powerful figures in Oregon. But his extensive purchases, lavish spending, and over-extended credit, would soon lead to his ruin.
English and German prospectors had purchased close to 11 million dollars worth of railway bonds during the ensuing years, and became worried about their investments when the railroad to California was still not finished. German Civil War correspondent and newspaper reporter Henry Villard, well-versed in English, was elected as an agent and sent to Portland to investigate.
What Villard saw was a pompous and over-zealous company president who was wasting investors’ money on worthless contracts not related to the construction of the railroad.
Villard turned from reporter to investor and seized control of Holladay’s holdings, and forced him out of the railway business by buying him out. The “railroad king of Oregon” was dethroned, and the extension of tracks southward towards California was resumed.
But, like his predecessor, Villard too ran into financial difficulty by over-extending his credit buying other rail lines.
So it came to be that corporate leaders of the Southern Pacific Railroad took control of Villard’s assets, completing the rail line to San Francisco that neither Holladay nor Villard could.
Portland’s first transcontinental connection was completed to California with official dedication ceremonies on December of 1887. The final days of the Oregon and California Railroad were over forever, as the Southern Pacific Railroad would become the reigning railway in Portland.
In poor health, and with his goal of being “railroad king of the West” thwarted, Ben Holladay spent his last days in Portland – dying in 1887 a mere pauper. In 1884, Villard was forced to resign from all his companies, and returned to Germany in despair and failure.
It was the residents of Oregon who benefitted the most from the failed investments and dirty dealings of railroad politics. Merchants and farmers at last had reasonably-priced transportation by railway for their products and goods to markets south and east; Portland merchants had better access to other cities along the West Coast. And today, even the Southern Pacific is gone…merged into the Union Pacific that rides its rails today.
About five percent of the land in the Brooklyn neighborhood was owned by the Oregon and California Railroad. If property owners in Brooklyn look at their title closely, they just might find “sold by the Oregon and California Railroad” on their deed.You can visit some of Oregon’s historic locomotives – like the famous steam engines SP&S 700, and the Southern Pacific 4449 – and read other stories about the history of the railways, at the new Oregon Rail Heritage Center near OMSI. While you won’t be able to ride on the Oregon and California Railroad – now long gone – you can take a step back in time by booking tickets aboard the Holiday Express excursion train, running between the Oaks Park Station, where tickets are sold, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. See the November 29 date listing in the Events and Activities calendar in this issue of THE BEE [see below] for the excursion schedule.
|At The Joinery, lovely “Witchiepoo” Wendy Weaver serves up treats to green dragon Nico Allison, Jeanna Nicotera, and David Allison, on their way to the Woodstock Community Center Hallowe’en party. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Hallowe’en fest returns to Woodstock
By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE
After a year’s pause, Woodstock was again the place to be on Hallowe’en evening, October 31.
It started for costumed kids with a “not too spooky” storytime at the Woodstock Branch Library – then a walk along the boulevard, stopping in to get candy and treats from merchants. Finally kids and parents ended up at a party at the Woodstock Community Center, which provided many fun experiences for little trick-or-treaters.
“Months ago, when I was having a table at the Woodside Farmers Market, families came up and said that they would really like to see more activities in the neighborhood for small kids and their families,” said this year’s organizer, Woodstock Neighborhood Association President Becky Luening.
She’d also heard from Ruthann Bedenkop, who is credited with originating the event in 2007, and past organizer, Tom Vice. “They spoke wistfully about the activities, saying it was so much fun. It seemed like something the neighborhood could really get behind.”
Supporting that notion, Luening said, several families with young children had started to attend the Woodstock Neighborhood Association meetings lately, and had expressed their support.
Although Luening and Elisa Edgington were the primary organizers, on the day of the event volunteers Merrilee Spence, Janet Kneedler, Terry Griffiths, and perennial “Popcorn Witch” Virginia Peterson appeared – along with many others.
With the support and encouragement of the Woodstock Community Business Association (WCBA), businesses and organizations in the area opened their doors and supported the afternoon with gifts and sponsorships – as Luening pointed out, on a poster listing 32 sponsors and participants
“And, we’re thankful for the food provided at the Community Center by Mezza, Otto's, Tom Yum, First Cup, Papaccino's, Safeway, US Bank, New Seasons, Lewis School, and the Woodstock Neighborhood Association.”
Some 300 kids circulated through the Community Center, playing games, doing crafts, enjoying a snack, with most of them having their photo taken by Michael Gary Photography.
It was a Woodstock evening with many treats – and no tricks.
|Mommy Stacie Moenning holds her little mummy, Lucy Moenning, at the festival. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Hallowe’en Fest perks up Mt. Scott Community Center
By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE
As evening approached on Friday, October 25th, costumed characters and creatures of all shapes, sizes, and descriptions made their way to PP&R’s Mt. Scott Community Center, at S.E. 72nd and Harold Street. Its annual Hallowe’en Carnival was getting underway!
“It’s so fun to have an event that brings out so many in the community,” smiled its host, and Portland Parks’ Recreation Coordinator, Jeanne Kraje – as she welcomed guests to the party.
“We keep the cost very low, so all of our families can enjoy it,” Kraje said. “Volunteers from local high schools come out and help us, and many other volunteers assist in putting on the party.”
This is perhaps the biggest-drawing attraction of the year at the Center, reported Kraje. “Typically, at least 500 people attend. It’s a great mixture of young and old; it’s a true family event, featuring many games and prizes, and a huge indoor playground, complete with bounce houses and attractions.”
Of benefit to the Community Center, Kraje added: “We see new people come in to the Center at special events like these – people who don’t usually come here for activities or events. It’s a good family time.”
|These smiling ghouls are, from left, Emmett Bregoli, Matt Bregoli, Paul Jordan, Kathleen Jordan, Allison Bregoli, and Mason Bregoli. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Monsters again cheerfully prowl Westmoreland
By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE
As has been the tradition for a dozen years, participants and observers of the annual Moreland Monster March filled Westmoreland streets on the Sunday afternoon of October 27.
Year after year, participation in the parade – started by Llewellyn Elementary parents, and now shepherded by the Sellwood-Westmoreland Business Alliance business association – has grown from a few costumed revelers to a throng of thousands.
The clouds that brought a steady rainfall cleared away about an hour before the march, which brought out even more participants this year.
To keep the route length manageable for little kids, organizers haven’t expanded it to accommodate the rising tide of parade-goers. Participants late to the line-up in front of Llewellyn Elementary School don’t seem to mind waiting their turn to step off – which, now, is long after the Sellwood Middle School Band that leads the parade has returned and disbanded along with the early marchers in the playground.
Perennial “Monster March minder” Bent Heeb from Stars Antiques Malls again this year praised nearby QFC Market for donating gallons of apple cider and cases of cookies to the festivities.
“The Business Alliance continues sponsoring the Monster March partly to honor the neighborhood mothers who started it years ago – and partly because it’s so much fun! As I recall, SWBA President Tom Brown took it over when the moms decided to ‘retire’, which was even before the Business Alliance was formed.”
Seeing hundreds – perhaps thousands – of neighbors out having fun builds “community”, Heeb commented. “It’s an important part of the Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhood, and it’s a way for the businesses here to give back to our friends and neighbors.”
|This modest bungalow, at 6715 S.E. 17th, the home that prompted this article, is one of three surviving model homes in the original Westmoreland – built a year before the subdivision opened for development in May of 1909. (Photo by Eileen G. Fitzsimons)
The “first” homes in the original Westmoreland
By EILEEN G. FITZSIMONS
for THE BEE
After reading my August BEE article on the “oldest house in Westmoreland”, an alert homeowner in that neighborhood asked me: If the lots in the original subdivision called Westmoreland went onto the market in May of 1909, as I mentioned, how could his own house, which is within that subdivision, have been built a year before that Westmoreland plat was filed with Multnomah County?
There are two possible answers to his question.
First, that his house was the dwelling of an employee of the Crystal Springs Stock Farm, which totaled 750 acres in size, and stretched from Milwaukie Avenue east to 39th Avenue.
But that is unlikely, as the farm was centered in the vicinity of what is now S.E. 28th and Woodstock Boulevard, on the eastern slope of the hill above what were then the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks. Also, according to city records, his bungalow was built in 1908, and if the stock farm was about to be redeveloped, the Ladd Estate Company would not then have been building houses for employees – unless, perhaps, as a “reward for services.”
However, since William S. Ladd had died in 1893, it is unlikely that his heirs, eleven years after their father’s death, had any sentimental attachment to either his rural properties or his employees.
A second, and more likely explanation for the construction date of the house at 6715 S.E. 17th, and three others also built in that vicinity in 1908, is that they were speculative or model houses – used to entice potential homeowners to buy a lot, and construct a similar dwelling in the brand new suburb of Westmoreland.
In that August article, I stated that the “oldest” house in Westmoreland was at 7625 S.E. 22nd Avenue, across from Westmoreland Park. It merited its designation, due to the construction date of the structure, not its length of time within the subdivision. It had been built in 1907 in a different part of the neighborhood, and was moved to its present site in 1950.
Due to this technicality, it was the “oldest house within the Westmoreland subdivision”.
Of course, within the boundaries of the 40-block, 700-lot original Westmoreland subdivision, there are hundreds of houses, built between 1908 to the present.
The Westmoreland subdivision, or plat, should not be confused with the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood (SMILE), whose boundaries were defined in the mid-1970’s by the City of Portland. Within the SMILE boundaries are more than 30 smaller subdivisions, including that early Westmoreland – although now, the whole north end of the neighborhood is called Westmoreland!
The transformation of the Crystal Springs Stock Farm into a subdivision was not announced in the Daily Journal of Commerce until May of 1909, but anyone riding the Sellwood streetcar along Milwaukie Avenue would have noticed that change was underway for at least two years before the lots were offered for sale.
In May of 1907, THE BEE – then less than one year old! – reported that “a large crew of men are busy grading on East 17th Street. A new sidewalk is being built on East 17th this week”.
Because this area was primarily pastureland for a herd of 250 Jersey cows, the Farm’s acreage was relatively free of trees. However, site preparation by men and horses would have followed the removal of livestock, fences, and outbuildings, and doubtless large bonfires fueled with underbrush. Next would have come teams of surveyors, and the staking of lot lines. Finally, the streets would have been graded, followed by poured concrete sidewalks and curbs.
At this time, Bybee Boulevard was extended to the east of Milwaukie Avenue to 22rd. Unlike old-fashioned Sellwood, Westmoreland was announced as a “modern” neighborhood, whose residents would not have to implore the City of Portland for proper sidewalks and Bull Run water!
Of course, in the new subdivision, these improvements were included in the purchase price of the lot, which averaged $500.00. By comparison, in 1909, Portland’s City Council approved only “wooden sidewalks, curbs, crosswalks, and box gutters” in Sellwood.
When the Westmoreland lots were ready for sale, an imposing stone arch with wrought iron letters spelling “Westmoreland” was erected at the northeast corner of Milwaukie and Bybee. Through this arch could be glimpsed the future – but, to help make that dream tangible for potential homeowners, several model houses were constructed.
The real estate company employed its own architect to design the structures, which ranged from two simple two-bedroom bungalows, at 6715 and 7417 S.E. 17th,to a larger four-bedroom four-square home at 7107 S.E. 17th.
In the following year, the same scheme was repeated by the Ladd Real Estate Company when Eastmoreland was opened. Two adjoining houses, one a two-story Craftsman-style and a larger, six-bedroom Colonial model, were simultaneously available for tours in that new subdivision in 1910.
According to city building records and county tax assessor’s rolls, there were at least four houses finished in 1908, the year before the Westmoreland subdivision was officially opened. All of these houses were built within one block of the Milwaukie streetcar line, making it easy for home-seekers to reach the houses via the newly-installed sidewalks along Bybee Boulevard.
As stated in my earlier story, I believe that one of these houses, a large one built in what is now the parking lot behind Suboro’s Sushi House restaurant, was demolished. As it was the one closest to the streetcar stop, it probably served as the main sales office for the new subdivision. But the three other houses have survived, and for the most part they retain their historic features.
The two medium-sized bungalows have wide overhanging roofs, carved rafter tails and brackets, and full front porches. The third – a larger four-square – has a smaller entry porch, bay windows, balconets, and an attic. Soon after its construction it was occupied by Columbia Trust sales manager Emerson L. Mills, his wife Laura, and their two adult children, Beatrice and Louis. Emerson must have been a persuasive salesman, as he moved two years later, to take a job with a real estate firm in a different part of the city.
The bungalow at 6715 S.E. 17th is the one that triggered this follow-up story. It was recently purchased by Tim and Kelsey Coulter, who are only the fourth owners of the house, which is now 105 years old. According to Tim’s research, the lot was one of the first to be purchased in Westmoreland, by a George Drysdale, who paid a Sellwood carpenter $2,000 to build the house, then bought by A.H. Burrill. By 1912 Mr. Burrill’s widow, Minnie, was losing her home in foreclosure proceedings.
Later, renter Peter Dyrhaug – who was a professional steamfitter – connected the house to the city sewer system, and in 1921 he and his wife Selma purchased the house, which remained in the family for more than 65 years! The Dyrhaugs apparently finished the attic into a bedroom, and Agnes – the second Mrs. Dyrhaug – sold to the Nelson family in 1986. They, in turn, sold it to the Coulters, who are family friends.
As yet I have not completed the research on the other two model houses, also finished in 1908 – but I hope that this account answers the question that was raised by the Coulters.
To change the subject at the end of this article: If you are heading to the North Oregon coast in December, there is another opportunity to hear Dr. John Sellwood’s pipe organ in its rehabilitated glory!
The restoration of the instrument is almost complete, although now it is facing a “lung transplant”, because its original leather bellows need replacing. However, all three manuals are working, and it has been re-voiced.
On Sunday, Dec. 1, 4 pm, the Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center (the former Lutheran Church at 16th and Franklin, where the organ is housed) will hold its eighth annual “Messiah” sing-a-long, with the organ playing the original harpsichord accompaniment. The cost of the performance is being underwritten by local businesses, but donations will benefit the food bank.Check online – www.clatsopcc.edu/community/arts-ideas – for other musical events at the Performing Arts Center, and arts-oriented events at the college.
|Christie Schleich and Amy Vanditti get a sample of Gigantic Brewing's “Nao Ohdera”. Gigantic is located in the Reed neighborhood in Inner Southeast. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
OMSI’s “After Dark” delights adults
By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) has been holding monthly events for five years now, geared to grownups, called “OMSI After Dark”.
“It’s a 21-year-old-and-older evening, here at the museum,” explained OMSI Events Director Andrea Middleton at the September 25 edition. “People can come and check out the museum, enjoy local beers, wines, and snacks – with no kids around.”
OMSI originally tried the idea, Middleton said, because adult patrons kept commenting, “I love kids, but I don't want to spend my time here being elbowed aside by a seven-year-old when I’m trying to look at an exhibit.”
The evening has turned into a popular “date night” venue, she added. “We host hundreds of visitors during our ‘After Hours’ events. It seems that adults really do enjoy coming here for fun – and, at the same time, perhaps learn a little bit while they’re doing it.”
Guests encounter a different theme every month. “We provide new demonstrations, hands-on science activities, and we invite in local vendors that are related to that theme. We also have DJs playing music, and other types of entertainment and fun, in an energetic environment. It’s an elevated museum experience,” summarized Middleton.
These evenings are typically held on the last Wednesday of the month. But this year, there will be a single November/December event held on December 4. “The theme for that ‘After Hours’ will be ‘Forensics’, coinciding with the new Sherlock Holmes exhibit.”
The regular After Dark schedule will resume in January. Learn more by visiting their website: www.omsi.edu
|Even in the rain, shoppers don’t miss one last “day at the market”. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Woodstock Farmers Market ends season in sprinkles
By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE
Although dodging raindrops ranging from light showers to deluges on Sunday, October 27, the final Woodstock Farmers Market of their regular season was again filled with both vendors and customers.
“In fact, it’s been ‘crazy busy’ today – successful despite the rain,” Market Manager Emily Murnen commented to THE BEE. “It’s been such a great season. Each season just keeps getting better, it seems. We have a really happy vendors, and happy customers.”
According to their records, some 1,800 customers made their way to the Woodstock Key Bank parking lot location of the Woodstock Farmers Market each Sunday throughout the season.
We’ve had a full roster of 32 vendors each week,” Murnen added. “We’ve had a high return of vendors each year; most of our ‘farms’ have been with us since the first season. They get to know the customers, and build relationships.”
While it might be easier to shop at Safeway nearby, Murnen said, “Our market days are a community event. We have fun music, exciting kids’ activities, and the vendors are great. We have a lot of variety among our local and distant vendors. Here, customers can learn more about the food they eat, directly from those who produced it.”
But, the market was not quite closed for the year. It had one last “hurrah” for the season… “We’ll be back on Sunday, November 24, for our annual Pre-Thanksgiving Harvest Market,” Murnen said.
For updates on plans for next season, go online to: www.woodstockmarketpdx.com
“Holiday Express” train rides begin today. The “Holiday Express” is an annual Holiday excursion between Oaks Park and OMSI through Oaks Bottom, operated by the all-volunteer Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation (ORHF). The 9th annual “Holiday Express will run three weekends, starting at noon TODAY. It will be pulled all three weekends by the SP&S 700: Nov. 29th - Dec. 1st, Dec. 6th - 8th, and Dec. 13th -15th. All Holiday Express rides will leave from “The Oaks Amusement Park” Station. Today, the rides start at noon, and then continue at 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 pm. Tomorrow, and on the other Saturdays and Sundays, there will be morning trains at 10 and 11 am also. On the next two Fridays, trains depart Oaks Park at 2, 3, 4 6, 7, and 8 pm. For more information and tickets, visit online: www.orhf.org – or call TicketsWest at 503/224-8499 – or visit participating Safeway TicketsWest Ticket Centers.
“Snowflakes in Sellwood” Holiday Bazaar. Today and tomorrow, it’s the annual Snowflakes in Sellwood Holiday Bazaar, offering the chance to shop for affordable, unique, quality gifts for friends and family while supporting local vendors – with the event located at and sponsored by the Sellwood Community Center, operated by Portland Parks and Recreation. Hours are 9-4 today, 10-3 tomorrow. The Center is situated on S.E. Spokane Street, at 15th.
“The Reindeer and the Dreidel” puppet show. This morning at 11 am, and tomorrow at 4 pm, Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street presents a public puppet show for the whole family – an enchanting tale about a little girl named Rachael who is on her way to celebrate Hanukkah. Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer collides with her, and they begin to teach each other about their own Holiday traditions. However, a greedy innkeeper and his ungrateful daughter might ruin the Holidays by stealing Santa's magic bag from Rachael. The show lasts 45 minutes, and show tickets are $7 for all. Rod Puppets by Dragon Theatre Puppets. For reservations or information, call 503/233-7723.
Boy Scout Christmas Tree lot opens today. Troop 351 Boy Scouts and Venture Crew unite for their 2013 Christmas Tree and Wreath sales lot, on the southwest corner of the St. Ignatius parking lot – 3400 S.E. 43th at Powell Boulevard. The non-profit sale funds the Boy Scouts and Venture Crew’s summer camps and activities for the entire year. The sale is run by the volunteer boys, girls and parents. The trees have been hand-picked from local growers, and this year they also offer for the first time a limited number of SERF-certified trees (grown on sustainable farms). Now taking VISA and Mastercard for your convenience. Open weekdays from 5 to 9 pm; weekends 9 to 9. For more information call lot – at 503/775-2848. For future reference, the Cub Scout Recycle Tree Lot will be open December 27 through January 11 at the same location – weekdays 4 to 9 and weekends 9 to 8.
Tea and flapjacks at Moreland Presbyterian. Today marks the first Sunday in Advent at Moreland Presbyterian Church – with a communion service at 9:30 am, and a Christmas Tea and Flapjack Breakfast at 10:30 am. The church is situated at 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard. Public welcome.
Michael Allen Harrison benefit concert on Division. St. Philip Neri Catholic Church presents Michael Allen Harrison in concert with special guest Julianne Johnson tonight at 7 pm; it’s a benefit for the St. Philip Neri Church Altar Society. The location is S.E. 18th at Division Street; tickets at the door: $15 regular admission, and $25 preferred seating.
Duniway Holiday Home Tour today! The Duniway Holiday Home Tour celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary with a selection of graciously decorated Eastmoreland homes. From historic stunners to modern creations, tourgoers will enjoy their visit to six homes, while supporting Duniway Elementary School. A special feature of this year's tour is the addition of Mayor Charlie Hales and Nancy Hales' home. The Hales have been Eastmoreland residents since 2007, and are excited to open their doors to the community in support of Duniway Elementary School. The morning session today runs from 10 am to 3 pm; the evening session is 6 to 9 pm. When you purchase your ticket(s), the tour booklets include descriptions of each home as well as a map showing their locations. Attendees can enjoy the tour at their leisure in whatever order suits their fancy. Tickets are $25 each, and have been available since early November at Duniway Elementary School, online at http://www.DuniwayHomeTour.org – and at local area businesses. The home tour is the Duniway PTA's biggest annual fundraising event. All proceeds go directly to Duniway Elementary School.
Willamette View “treasures and collectibles” sale. Today, 9 am to 6 pm, Willamette View is holding a one-day Holiday sale – with twenty-five tables loaded with bargains priced to sell. Glassware, housewares, silver, linens, jewelry, antique photos, puzzles, cards, paper products, dolls, toys, decorations, artificial Christmas trees, and fun “old stuff.” This is not a bazaar. Proceeds go to The Willamette View Foundation. The public is invited. The sale is in the Willamette View Main Auditorium – 12705 S.E. River Road, off McLoughlin Boulevard from Sellwood, just south of the City of Milwaukie.
“Quiet Joy” at Sacred Heart Church in Brooklyn. This evening at 7:30 pm, you’re invited to the 12th annual “Quiet Joy” concert by the Sacred Heart Church Choir (Marie Phillippi, Director; Rick Modlin, piano) – “an evening of scripture, stories, and song”. Invite friends, neighbors, family to come with you. No charge, but freewill offering accepted. Refreshments and fellowship afterward at Sacred Heart Villa on Milwaukie Avenue. The church itself, where the concert is, is situated at 3926 S.E. 11th Avenue.
“Homemade for the Holidays” Bazaar. Today from 9 till 3, Trinity United Methodist Church in Woodstock, on the corner of S.E. 39th (Chavez) and Steele, presents its annual “Homemade for the Holidays” Bazaar, homemade chicken noodle soup lunch, pie, coffee and tea; vegetarian soup available. Homemade cookies, Holiday breads, candies. And much more from local vendors – and there’ll be a variety of craft items too.
Lewis Elementary School Holiday Bazaar, in Woodstock. The Lewis Holiday Bazaar and Tree Sale is the school's largest fundraiser of the year. It is today, from 10 am to 4 pm. Hand-crafting vendors alongside student vendors have the perfect Holiday gifts for sale -- so you can pick out your tree, and your gifts to place under it, all at Woodstock's Lewis Elementary School today!
“’Twas the Night Before Christmas” puppet show. This morning at 11 am, and tomorrow at 4 pm, Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street presents a public puppet show for the whole family – in which Mrs. Claus narrates Ping Pong’s special version of Clement Moore’s classic tale. The show lasts 45 minutes, and show tickets are $7 for all. For reservations or information, call 503/233-7723.
“Woodstock Winter Wonderland” this afternoon. Woodstock’s “Winter Wonderland” tree-lighting event will be held this afternoon, 4-5:30 pm, at the Homestead Schoolhouse across from Otto’s on Woodstock Boulevard. The primary sponsor this year is the Woodstock Neighborhood Association. The tree lighting will occur at 5pm, giving attendees time to mingle and visit vendor booths prior to the “main event”. Santa pictures will again be taken at Papaccino’s Coffee 2:30-4:30pm by photographer Michael Gary. Hope City Church will be providing the emcee services and music for the event. There will be ornament craft activities available for the kids, along with hot drinks and snacks provided by vendors. Open to all to start the festive Holiday Season!
Annual S.E. Rotary Club charity auction in Woodstock. The Southeast Portland Rotary Club presents its annual auction, which funds various nonprofit activities in Inner Southeast and worldwide, including its own Families in Crisis program, community grants, and the worldwide effort by Rotary to end polio forever – and Rotary is almost there! The auction is 5-9 pm today at Our Lady of Sorrows’ gym, S.E. 52nd and Woodstock Boulevard. $20 admission ticket includes a buffet dinner catered by Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que. The auction itself is in three parts – a silent auction, a silent auction of hand-decorated fresh wreaths, and the oral auction of various vacation and other prizes by professional auctioneer Brad Caldwell. It’s all a lot of fun.
Children’s Christmas Pageant at Moreland Presbyterian. Today is the second Sunday in Advent at Moreland Presbyterian Church, with the worship service at 9:30 am, and the Children’s Christmas Pageant at 10:30 am. The church is situated at 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard. Public welcome.
“Sing-along Messiah” at Reedwood Church. Tonight at 6:30 pm, come to sing or just to listen to this classic Handel oratorio performed in the Worship Center of the Reedwood Friends Church, 2901 S.E. Steele Street in the Reed neighborhood. Free. Many copies of the music will be on hand, but feel free to bring your own copy. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 503/970-5939.
“Sleigh Bells Ring With Puppets” at Ladybug Theater. Famous Ladybug Theater for kids presents “Sleigh Bells Ring With Puppets” this morning at 10:30 am (doors open at 10:15 am), and again next week on the 18th at the same time, at SMILE Station, S.E. 13th at Tenino Street, a block south of Tacoma. Admission is $4 per person, for all ages, at the door – cash or check only Please call 503/232-2346 to reserve your seat(s), then pay at the door. The show is appropriate for all ages, and lasts about 45 minutes.
“Nutcracker Cracked!!!” puppet show. This afternoon at 2 pm, and tomorrow at 4 pm, Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street presents a public puppet show for the whole family – their own wacky send-up of the beloved Nutcracker Ballet. You've never seen a version quite like this: Imagine – the entire ballet in 38 minutes! What a time saver!! It’s a miniature satire of epic proportions, with Tchaikovsky's enchanting music, and 84 new rod puppets. It came out wild and crazy – and best of all, appropriate and fun for children as well. It repeats on December 21st at 2 pm; December 22nd at 4 pm; December 28th at 2 pm; and December 29th at 4 pm. Show tickets are $7 for all. For reservations or information, call 503/233-7723.
“Chrismon Tree” and Wassail at Moreland Presbyterian. Today is the third Sunday in Advent at Moreland Presbyterian Church, with a worship service at 9:30 am, and decoration of the Chrismon Tree – followed at 10:30 am by a Wassail Party. The church is situated at 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard. Public welcome.
“Christmas Music and Dessert”. In the Worship Center of the Reedwood Friends Church at 6:30 pm, “hand bells, brass instruments, piano and choirs, all celebrating the Holidays, with treats in the Friendship Center afterward. Free. Bring a dessert to share, or bring a centerpiece for a table in the Friendship Center. For information, call 503/654-9762. Online at www.reedwood.org; the church is situated at 2901 S.E. Steele Street, just north of Reed College.
Family Christmas Party at Reedwood Church. At 6:30 pm this evening, you’re invited to the Friendship Center of the Reedwood Friends Church for a free Christmas Party for the whole family. This annual “Holiday Bash” includes crafts, stocking stuffers, games, the reading of the Christmas story, and a special appearance by the Dickens Carolers. Free. The church is at 2901 S.E. Steele Street.
Music at Moreland Presbyterian service. Today is the fourth Sunday in Advent at Moreland Presbyterian Church, with the worship service at 9:30, with Solid Brass Group included. The church is situated at 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard. Public welcome.
Children’s Choir at Moreland Presbyterian. At 5 pm at Moreland Presbyterian Church, “Children’s Choi, Family Bells” on Christmas Eve. The church is situated at 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard. Public welcome.
Christmas Eve Service at Reedwood Church. At 6:30 this evening in the Worship Center of the Reedwood Friends Church, 2901 S.E. Steele Street, you’re welcome to a “quiet, intimate celebration of the birth of Jesus. Enjoy the beauty of a room lit by candlelight, and echoing with traditional hymns.”
Candlelight Communion Service at Moreland Presbyterian. At 11 pm this evening, Mroeland Presbyterian Church offers a Candlelight Communion Service, featuring Dujo con Brio, violin and violoncello. The church is situated at 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard. Public welcome.
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