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Boring history comes to life in new book

Part of 'Images of America' series


A new book, one of Arcadia Publishing's “Images of America” series, brings Boring history to life.

Arcadia has been printing history books on small-town America for more than 20 years and claims to be “the leading local history publisher in the United States,” with a catalog of more than 8,500 titles.

Compiled and written by local writer and history buff Dan Bosserman, the book has 150 historic photographs from the Boring area with details about early settlers and their lives in the captions.

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED: ARCADIA PUBLISHING CO. - The cover of a new book, Images of America: Boring contains 150 early photos from the Boring community.Several of the photos came from Bob Boring, a great-grandson of pioneer settler Joseph Boring, who arrived in the Boring area in 1853 by oxen-drawn covered wagon over the Oregon Trail. In 1859 he married Sarah Hougland. The book shows more photos of Joseph's brother William, who fought in the Civil War and immigrated in 1874, with his wife, also named Sarah. The first chapter is devoted to the Boring family, but throughout the book are black-and-white pictures of old buildings and landmarks including a blacksmith shop that sold Studebaker wagons and buggies and the train station at Boring Junction.

Most of the book's photos were donated by the Sandy Historical Society while some came from local families. A portion of the book's profits will go to the Boring Oregon Foundation.

According to the publisher, highlights of the book include:

n A Civil War veteran, William Harrison Boring, donated the land for the first school in the community that came to bear his family's name.

n What used to be a rough and tumble sawmill town is now the headquarters of an international wood products business, Vanport International, with offices in Canada, Russia, China and Japan.

n Clackamas County and the state of Oregon have officially declared Aug. 9 as “Dull and Boring day in perpetuity.”

Then as now, agriculture was a mainstay of life around Boring, and the book shows many scenes of early farming, ranging from women in long skirts and bonnets picking raspberries to men gathering hay onto horse-drawn wagons.

Education also is featured in the book, with photos of early school houses in Boring. One shows a typical school room from the 1890s with teacher Anna Olson Rodlun standing in front of a blackboard. The caption says Rodlun was the aunt of Philip Jonsrud, local historian and grandson of pioneers Torkel and Kari Jonstrud, who came from Minnesota in 1877 to settle in Kelso. The school year began on July 15 and the teacher's salary was $40 per month.

Another photo, on Page 79, shows early postmaster Sarah Frank in a horse and buggy as she delivered mail. Frank was postmaster from 1901-1919. Also pictured on the same page is a photo of her husband, Reuben Frank, playing the violin while another man plays piano. Each man is missing an arm, but that didn't stop them from making music, according to the picture's caption: “Sarah's husband Reuben Frank lost an arm in a sawmill accident. He made an attachment that he could wear on his stub arm to hold a violin bow and joined a group of one-armed musicians and went on the vaudeville circuit as a musical novelty act.”

The timber industry also receives treatment in the book with photographs of logging operations including, on Page 48, a photo of Bert Jonsrud and his logging team of four white horses pulling a huge log to the Jonsrud lumber mill.

The last chapter in the book focuses on Boring's partnership with Dull, Scotland, and joins pictures from each town on many of the pages. On Page 121, for example, a 1920-era photo of a prize-winning Dull quoits team (something like horeshoes) tops the page while a photograph from 1921 shows the Boring baseball team.

“Images of America: Boring” goes on sale Sept. 1 in retail stores, online book stores or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or call 888-313-2665.



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