June 15th, 2010


Discoveries of past history

In the past couple of days we have learned that the land we have just purchased is much of the site of the old town of Scofield, Oregon, of which few traces now remain.  Here is what the Western Oregon Communities website says about it:

Scofield was a railroad station on the Tillamook railroad line named for Alva Scofield, an early settler. The post office was established on June 25, 1926 and operated until January 13, 1934, when the impact of nearby 1933 Tillamook burn changed the face of the landscape.

Today Scofield road remains in Western Washington County not far from where the Sunset Highway tunnel is located. Standard Box and Lumber had a major sawmill near the townsite at one time, but the evidence of it is gone now.

Specifically the townsite of Scofield was located between the 2 railroad crossings on Scofield road where there was a railroad depot, Post office , and in the back there was a siding that the RR maintenance crew lived in box cars made into houses.

Standard Box and Lumber was no small mill for the area. It was actually quite large with a lot of employees. Most lived in row houses which where located on the small straight stretch by the intersection with Nowakowski Rd. There was a church , commissary and Ball field there. The mill was state of the art for the time(1920's--all electric). Electricity was generated by steam boiler and turbine. The row houses had lights. Scofield had electricity before even Hillsboro did. The mill site is still there and part of the mill pond which is located at the west end of the little straight stretch on the south side. Standard Box bought allot of land in the area and logged out like spokes on a wheel from the mill with narrow gauge track. The school which has been transformed into a house and unrecognizable ( nice looking house )was right across from where Cape Horn Road joins Scofield Road on the south side.

A special thanks to John Vidler for much of the historical information on the community of Scofield.

The siding where the railroad maintenance crew lived in box cars made into houses included a part of our property.  No wonder that when Bo and Lee were using the metal detector to search for the corner marker, it proved of little use for it detected metal virtually everywhere!  (Bo told me this last night.)  I don't doubt that the ground beneath the brambles that have since grown up there is littered with bits and jibbles of the detritus of human habitation: old nails, lost coins, broken tools, etc.. 

The bermed way leading across a narrow part of the property from Scofield road to the railroad was one of the few roads of the little town, and the site of the proposed driveway is also a part of that.

The seller's grandfather (IIRC) was the only dentist in the region.  As such he got the first telephone in the area.

Most auspiciously (to my mind) according to the seller the first school building in Scofield was on our property, in a flattish field, not far from the northernmost stream.  Her grandmother attended that school.  The old school was replaced with a larger one across the road -- now a residence -- when the student population grew to 14 pupils.  Bo is eager to check the area out with his metal detector.  I'm very curious to locate the site.  We saw no evidence that there had ever been any buildings on the property.

This land has housed a place of learning before. 

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    curious curious