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Fairview man ducks bullet

by: File photo, Sharon Nesbit

1917 - On April 6, 90 years ago, the United States officially entered World War I by declaring war on Germany.

Likely one of the first shots fired in Oregon was by Raymond Dunbar of Fairview, who was part of the freshly mobilized Oregon National Guard at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas. Dunbar, a member of the coast artillery, was smoking a pipe while on guard duty when someone attempted to break into the camp and fired a shot in his direction. Dunbar, however, had been fumbling with his pipe (a characteristic common to many pipe smokers) and as he stooped to grab for his pipe, managed to duck a bullet that would otherwise have killed him.

Just why anyone was trying to sneak into the army camp was never explained.

1927 - Gresham's Seventh-day Adventist Church was dedicated 80 years ago when a small church building was erected on Mignonette Avenue at cost of $1,550. Part of the proceeds came from the sale of a church in the Pleasant View district.

1937 - Works Progress Administration projects, intended to refuel the flagging economy, were making a difference in Gresham 70 years ago. The grounds of the high school were being improved with destruction of the old bus sheds and new landscaping and drains were being added to several Gresham streets.

1947 - Gresham's Fieldhouse Chevrolet, owned by Hope A. Fieldhouse and Jane and Elliott Truman, was sold 60 years ago to Ross and Bertha Fanning. Ross Fanning would become a community leader, and later, a benefactor to the community. And in other advances in the community, E.S. Ellison, senior meteorologist of the Portland Weather Bureau, flew over Larch Mountain sowing pellets of dry ice into heavy cloud formations hoping to cause man-made snow. It was unclear what resulted, but a lot of rain was reported.

1957 - Corbett was planning an Elizabeth Morgan appreciation day 50 years ago. Automation had ended the days of the Corbett phone system with Morgan operating the switchboard and, consequently, the entire community. And Gertrude Jensen, longtime champion of preservation of the Columbia River Gorge, engineered a timber trade that would preserve 360 acres of land above Multnomah and Oneonta Falls.

1967 - The end was near for Gresham's 57-year-old Portland Traction Company railroad station 40 years ago. Built in 1910 in the era of passenger trains, the old station served only freight traffic from the Gresham-Boring area.

1977 - Fairview gained a tiny park 30 years ago when local resident Susan Clift rounded up people to landscape the wedge of land near the city's original jail. Restoration of the site was paid for in part with a $1,000 bicentennial grant. Mayor Henry Keller put on his work boots and helped lay sod for the new green space.

1987 - Gresham's first woman mayor, Margaret Weil, resigned 20 years ago in the wake of a defeat by voters of Gresham's urban renewal plan. Weil said the urban renewal loss wasn't the only reason and described her jobs as a business consultant, raising a family and being mayor as a 'classic case of burnout.'

1997 - The trail to the top of Multnomah Falls was closed 10 years ago after a 16-pound rock fell, injuring a Japanese tourist. U.S. Forest Service officials believed the rock fell from an area where trees were damaged in an October 1991 forest fire.

2006 - At this time last year, an anonymous donor kicked in $1,500 to fund the Gresham firefighters' 56th annual egg hunt. In the same edition was a story promising that construction would begin in the fall of the railroad overpass on 223rd Avenue at Fairview, a much delayed project that failed to come to pass.

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.