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Attend Silver Tea on Saturday

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Early Clackamas County resident Harley Crawford Stevens, Jr. wasnt as frugal as his sister, Mertie.

The Clackamas County Historical Society is hosting a Silver Tea from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Stevens-Crawford Heritage House museum at 603 Sixth St. in Oregon City.

The event commemorates the birthdate of Mertie Stevens, an Oregon altruist who continues in a vein of lifelong help and hospitality, though it has been 50 years since she died.

Admission to the tea is free, but donations of “silver coin” in any denomination are welcome.

The event is also an opportunity for the 31 recipients of the 2014 Harlie and Mertie Stevens Scholarships to visit the 1908, 15-room home of the benefactor who envisioned the scholars’ achievement many decades ago.

Mertie was born into Victorian society in October 1987. She enjoyed social life, but at the same time, shrewdly invested the money that her parents left her, with a business sense that her brother, Harley Stevens, Jr., may have lacked.

While he experienced the thrills of showgirls and automobiles, as well as three divorces, Mertie studied music, attended plays and took great care of the antiques her grandparents brought over the Oregon Trail. She saved things that others would have thrown away. One of her favorite sayings regarding wasting food or resources was “You’ll see the time when you’ll follow the crows a mile for that.” In 1968, she left her family home and contents to the Clackamas County Historical Society.

“Although Miss Stevens was a frugal person, we’ve learned that she was also very loyal, and generous to her friends,” Clackamas County Historical Society volunteer Johna Heintz said. “She helped those in need, and the fact that Mertie set up this scholarship exemplifies the way she tried to share with the people that she cared about.”

At the informal tea, Stevens-Crawford Heritage House staff hope to welcome new volunteers from the community who can give a couple of hours per week to staff the welcome desk, so that free public tours can continue to be offered of the preserved historic home.

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