The best estimate for Depot Barber Shop's founding is 1917, when founder 'F. Krueger' first appeared in the county directory

This story has been updated

Depot Barber Shop is the rare business that's been around so long that no one's quite sure how old it is.

PHOTO BY RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Barbershop owner Al Kelley trims a customer's hair while Dean Bollinger gets another customer ready for a haircut.The best estimate for the barbershop's founding is 1917. Depot founder "F. Krueger" first appeared in the county directory and took out an ad that year in the Hesperian, Oregon City High School's commencement publication.

"Our idea is to please," Krueger wrote in the Hesperian ad. "An A1 cut for Graduation Day."

Near the intersection of Railroad Avenue in downtown Oregon City, the Depot has a train theme and is filled with historic railway memorabilia. Current barbershop owner Al Kelley noted that among his many regular customers is a 102-year-old man.

"I'd like to thank all of the loyal customers who have been with us for so many years," Kelley said.

Dean Bollinger is a longtime barber at the Depot who also helps run his wife's school for salon professionals in Wilsonville.

"I'd like to thank Dean, who's leased a spot from me for over three years, for being such a loyal and hard worker," Kelley said.

Oregon City's oldest barbershop is not the state's oldest, even though it's located in the oldest city. That title belongs to the 136-year-old Jacksonville Barber Shop, which successfully fought off an eviction notice last year.

The Depot has similarly stayed loyal to old-fashioned cuts and prices as the world around it changes. It has remained at 218 Seventh St., right at the foot of the elevator, even though its original building burned down. A new building was built around 1928, and the Depot moved back in right away.

The Depot also survived a deep recession that hit Oregon City especially hard because the Arch Bridge was closed from 2011-12. Shortly after the bridge work was done, city officials expanded efforts to bring more retail downtown, and that's been good for the few remaining longtime merchants.

"This town has been really good for this barbershop, because they've rejuvenated the downtown and it's caused a lot more people to walk around here," Kelley said.

Depot's patience and old-school style was rewarded last year with the chamber of commerce-organized People's Choice award as the best place for men to get a haircut in Oregon City.

Depot Barber Shop

WHERE: 218 Seventh St., Oregon City

WHEN: 9 a.m -5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays

COST: $17 adults/children; 62/retired $15; Saturday $17

INFO: The place is walk-in only, but you can call for more information at 503-657-7397.

This story has been updated with correct haircut prices. We apologize for the errors.

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