Just the Other Day

Gresham High principal returns from cross-country trip in 1936
by: file photo, Sharon Nesbit

1916 - The film playing at Smith's Theater in Gresham 90 years ago was 'Undine' featuring Ida Schnall as a beautiful water nymph and backed by 200 beautiful mermaids. It was, the billing said, a famous French classic. Admission was 5 cents and 10 cents.

Meanwhile, on the Mexican border where Oregon guardsmen were protecting the nation from Pancho Villa, it was 127 degrees in the shade and rattlesnakes were plentiful. So were oranges, which cost 5 cents a dozen, a local soldier reported.

1926 - President Calvin Coolidge sent a flag to fly in front of the Bealey Military Academy at Troutdale 80 years ago. The school was located on property near the Multnomah County Farm in a building called The Cedars. At the time of the flag dedication, the school had 18 students.

1936 - Gresham High Principal Charles Saverude returned home 70 years ago after a 7,752-mile cross-country auto trip with his two sisters and an aunt. The cost of the trip, he figured, was 2 and one-quarter cents a mile. Saverude spent 26 days on his trip through the South and back through the Midwest, 19 days behind the wheel.

1946 - Bill White, 15, of Powell Valley Road, got his picture in the paper 60 years ago for picking 605 pounds of boysenberries in a single day. In other agricultural news, hog raisers from five western states would be in Gresham for the Duroc raisers sale and show. And two returning war veterans, Lynn McKeel and Jimmy Moore, opened their own business in Gresham, fulfilling plans they had made while serving during World War II. The two launched the Pastime, which featured a lunch counter, tap room and poolroom.

1956 - Gresham Bowling Alleys, located in The Center building on Powell Boulevard, got rid of its pinsetters 50 years ago and installed an automatic pin setting machine.

1966 - A mid-county dispute over a backyard peacock made news that spread across the nation 40 years ago. Rodney Karr, an 18-year-old Reynolds High School student, had a pet peacock named Alexander in the backyard of his family home at Northeast 146th Avenue and Russell Street. A neighbor, Hal Shade, objected and the matter had been through several sessions before the Multnomah County Commissioners. For the moment, the peacock was safe.

1976 - Ten years later, Multnomah County was struggling with an ordinance that called for the licensing of cats 30 years ago. County officials said they received 700 complaints a month about cats, but cat lovers jammed the hearings complaining that a license requirement would make cats unaffordable and the county would be overrun with mice.

1986 - Gresham police were trying out stun guns 20 years ago, but Lt. Dwight Vicars said the guns would not be used much because they had to be in direct contact with a person's skin and required recharging. And Multnomah County Commissioner Gordon Shadburne, was in trouble on several fronts and told to leave office by the county counsel.

1996 - Troutdale renamed its community park on the Sandy River 10 years ago to honor former mayor and longtime state legislator Glenn Otto. Ted Kulongoski, then chief justice-elect of the state Supreme Court, was one of the speakers. In other changes, the Bonneville grade school, a fixture since the construction of the dam in the 1930s, merged with Corbett.

2005 - At this time last year Gresham's Zion United Church of Christ had taken a stand supporting gay marriage as part of its ministry. Gresham and Multnomah County seemed to be hammering out an agreement to give Gresham control of its roads, but that trip was due for a few more bumps.

Researched and compiled from The Outlook files.

Reporter Sharon Nesbit can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 503-492-5120.