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From Our Vault: Mary Goodall played a key role in preservation of LO's history

MARY GOODALLDemolition of the J. R. Irving farmhouse on Boones Ferry Road was Mary Goodall’s inspiration for founding the Oswego Heritage Council in 1970.

The farmhouse, built in 1877, was an example of carpenter Gothic architecture that Goodall did not want to see torn down and replaced by a shopping center. She worked tirelessly to find other like-minded individuals who were interested in preserving the history and beauty of the home, but in the end, the Mountain Park shopping center replaced the Irving farmhouse.

When interviewed for “In Their Own Words” — an anthology of oral histories that can be accessed via the Lake Oswego Library website — Goodall said, “I hope that when I am gone from here, others will carry on in the same way, even if they forget my name. I would like to see more natural materials used in building here. For instance, a civic center of wood would be more appropriate than a cement block structure.”

Not only was Mary Goodall an influential citizen, but so were her mother, her father and her sister. Her mother wrote for The Oregonian. Her father, who owned a drug store, was the recipient of a menagerie of animals that captains of sailing ships would bring him. He turned the menagerie into a roadside zoo which later became the Oregon Zoo. And Mary’s sister, a landscape architect, designed the rose test garden in Washington Park.

Mary Goodall loved Lake Oswego; she served our city well, was a harbinger of preservation and a great steward for promoting historic legacy. Some of her other accomplishments include:

• Writing “Oregon’s Iron Dream”;

• Writing “Mary Cullen’s Cottage” for the Oregon Journal;

• Saving the historic Peg Tree;

• Helping found the Festival of the Arts;

• Serving on the Lake Oswego City Council for eight years;

• Saving the giant sequoia at Fifth Street and A Avenue – now the city’s holiday tree; and

• Serving as honorary trustee of the Lake Oswego Junior Historical Society.

“From Our Vault” is written by Nancy Dunis for the Oswego Heritage Council; look for it on the third Thursday of every month. Have something you’d like to add to the vault? Leave a message for Dunis at 503-635-6373 or email her at r2d2n3@yahoo.com.

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