Urban-Rural Interface Active Agricultural Challenge #2

There have been numerous families over the years that have impacted the agricultural development of the area.  From an article “A Hidden Community” by Steve Dietz, here is a listing of some of the early family farmers: “Owner names include those of early and well-known families including Shipley, Cook, Laidlaw, Carter, Zivney, Pattulo, Baker, Childs, Papoun, Wanker, Fiala, Hagl, Borland, Johnson, Bethke, Walling, Athey, Schaber, Long, and Legett. A few of these remain today.”

Can you identify the three Family Century Farms located within the Stafford Hamlet?

Century Farm Designation is for family farms that have remained in “Active-Agriculture for 100 years” (Early Farming Families to choose from: Luscher, Davidson, Crawford, Baker, Pollock, Zivney, Athey-Schaber, Wanker, Shipley, Fiala, Childs, Cook, Johnson, Whitten.)

#1: ______________________

#2: ______________________

#3: ______________________

The answer is below …

Don’t peek…

#1. Athey-Schaber Family Farm-  Established 1875 Homesteaded 160 ac in Stafford, by Matthew Athey and his wife who had 5 daughters one of which was name Emma who married Leonard Schaber in the early 1900’s. Eight children were born while living on the family farm on the North side of Borland road across from what is now Rolling Hills church.  Farming included raising numerous crops and a variety of animals for family use. They ran the only mill for grinding local grains from numerous neighbors and others in the region.  Wheat, Oats, Barley, Rye and corn were some of grains that were produced. The Athey-Schaber family has been active in farming for over 144 years on Borland Road in Stafford area.

#2. J.P. & Susie Cook Family Farm-  Established 1900. James Preston Cook came west in 1883 to work for the Oswego Iron Company, cutting and hauling timber to make charcoal to melt the iron ore.  Having also worked on the Adam Shipley farm over the years J.P. and his wife Susie purchased the farm from Shipley’s wife and son on June 12th 1900.  Over the years the Cook family have grown numerous crops and raised Sheep, Chester White Swine’s, cattle to mention a few.  Currently the Cook family is growing Marechal Foch and Pinot Gris wine grapes on their farm while maintaining the National Register of Historic Places 1860 Barn and 1862 Home along with the State and Clackamas County Heritage Tree Grove. Cook’s Butte Park and Stevens Meadow were part of the original 130 acres that the Cook’s purchased.

#3. Fiala Farms – Jerry and Lucy Fiala started out life in an Austro-Hungarian Empire city called Kutna Hora. South East of Prague in today’s Czech Republic.  Their families knew each other but emigrated separately in the 1880’s. Each found their way to Portland Oregon and reconnected at the Bohemian Club, in 1896. They married and had 3 children (2 lived) before buying the farm in 1906. The Fiala’s have had many iterations of farming over the past 113 years. Jerry and Lucy had a small dairy operation from the very beginning, selling milk and cream to an Oregon City Creamery. They also grew cabbage for the Portland Farmers Market. Grain, hay and silage were main stay to support the family farm. During the Great Depression, their son Jerry Jr. had the first wheeled tractor in the whole region. He grew wheat, oats and other grains for sale and use at home. During the 1960’s Jerry Jr. and his wife Nellie had a pole bean operation that was sold to a cannery in Sherwood. Starting in the 1970’s the family grew row crops for whole sale to the Safeway and Fred Meyer warehouses. Today the Fiala’s grow and sell many varieties of fruits and vegetables for sale in the Farm Stand. The 3rd, 4th and 5th generations of the Fiala Family work the land today and plan to continue farming operations with future generations.  

If you have any fun facts about agriculture in the Stafford Area, please email the information to Rick Cook at RICKJCOOK@FRONTIER.COM.


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