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Molalla author Gail J. McCormick shares the history of the 'boutique' building that burned Feb. 6

Peter S. Noyer, Jr. & William D. Adams

112-114 North Molalla Avenue

1885 – 1909

COURTESY PHOTO: MOLALLA AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - This 1913 view of the first block of North Molalla Avenue is looking north.  At the far right, a car is parked in front of the Noyer - Adams Building.   If you could enlarge the photo, you would see  a sign on the front of the building that says 'H. N. Everhart'.   The Ferman Co. building was later torn down and replaced by Masterton's Garage which is the building that Bentley Feed and Seed operated from.

The Noyer – Adams Building was located in the heart of town at 112-114 North Molalla Avenue, Molalla, Oregon. Until a fire destroyed the building on February 6, 2019, it held the esteemed position of being the oldest commercial building in Molalla. The architectural style was Vernacular. The building had a foundation of large logs and it was framed using square nails. The two-story part of the building was built by Peter S. Noyer, Jr.. There he operated a mercantile, with family living quarters upstairs, for five years. Family records state that William D. Adams, called Bill, added the lean-to when he moved in in 1890.

Over the years, the building had been used for many businesses, including the wagon, furniture and casket making business that Bill Adams started. He operated the business until 1909, when he sold to Harvey N. Everhart. Mr. Everhart was married to Bill's granddaughter, Gertie Adams. Everhart ran a furniture and casket making business there until 1926, when he built Molalla's current Everhart Funeral Home at 220 East Main Street. The longest business operating from the building was George Case Plumbing from the middle 1920s to the middle 1970s. The building has hosted many other businesses over the years. They may have included a speakeasy during Prohibition and a small school on the upper floor.

The Tolsteads

From 1975 until February, 2019, Mrs. Tommi Tolstead and her son, Guy, owned the building. Until 2017, when the street was closed down and upgraded, Tommi had continuously operated a beauty parlor and a lady's clothing shop called "Teens & Queen's Boutique". Over the years, the Tolsteads had the building inspected by professionals, who said it was strongly built and could have lasted another one hundred years.

PHOTO FROM THE AUTHOR'S COLLECTION - The Noyer - Adams Building in 2017.    The two-story part was built in 1885.  The lean-to was added on in 1890.  Mrs. Tommi Tolstead stands near one of the new lamp posts installed during the 2017 road improvements.  The original windows were boarded up for protection against damage from the construction.

Peter S. Noyer, Jr.

Peter S. Noyer, Jr. was born in 1837, in Ohio. His parents were Peter S. Noyer, Sr. and Jane Sharrock Noyer. In 1840, the family moved to Illinois and, in 1845, they moved to Dallas, Texas. When 16 years old, Peter was struck with the gold fever. He went to the California gold mines, by way of New Orleans, Nicaraqua and San Francisco. After two years, spent mining gold, he emigrated to Clackamas County, Oregon.

BULLETIN NEWSPAPER, OCTOBER 31, 1973 - Front row from left:  Peter S. Noyer, Jr., and his wife, Delilah, with their family. The article in the Bulletin was about the 100th anniversary of the Mulino Grange #40, which was founded on October 20, 1873.  The Noyers were founding members.

In 1857, he married Delilah C. May. Delilah was born in 1840, in Illinois. Her parents were Thomas Waldo and Nancy Caroline May. Peter and Delilah settled in the Beaver Creek area for approximately 20 years, where he was a farmer. By 1880, they had moved to the Liberal area of Molalla. Between the years of 1883 and 1889, he was in the mercantile business in Molalla. He first purchased the old Stubbs Store. On June 11, 1885, he purchased a parcel of land, for $200 from Laramie Mayer, described as 50 feet by 208 feet on the east side of Hugh Gordon's Donation Land Claim. Here he built a store. In 1890, he sold the store to his brother-in-law, B. F. Linn, who, evidently rented the store to W. D. Adams for the next 19 years. In 1909, B. F. Linn sold the store to Harvey Everhart.

The Noyers then moved to Long Creek in Grant County, Oregon, where they raised stock. In the early 1900s, Long Creek was a small Logging and farming town. By 1910, they had moved back to the Meadowbrook area of Molalla and had built a "fine six-room house". In 1873, Peter and Delilah were founding members of the Mulino Grange #40. In 1874 and 1882, Peter was elected a member of the Oregon State Legislature. For this service, he was considered an "Honorable Statesman". Peter died in 1925, at Molalla. Delilah died in 1927, also at Molalla.

William D. Adams

William D. Adams, was born at North Carolina, in 1835. In 1841, his family moved to Illinois, where he met and married Lucina Loveridge. Lucina was born in 1839, at New York. Her parents were Michael Loveridge and Hannah Lyddon Loveridge. As a young man in Illinois, Bill took up the trade of carpentry and cabinet making. He and Lucina sold their Illinois interests in 1865, and came west. Traveling by wagon train over the Oregon Trail, they left Illinois in mid-April, 1865, and arrived in Molalla, Oregon, in late August. Eventually, they purchased approximately 650 acres of the Gordon Reese Donation Land claim, located about one mile east of Molalla on Adams Road. They first lived in a log house. Bill was a skilled carpenter and made all their furniture. A large cannonball bed, stated to be 150 years old, is part of the Molalla Area Historical Society's collection. It is made of maple and has rope springs.

PHOTO FROM THE AUTHOR'S COLLECTION - William D. and Lucina Adams. They traveled the Oregon Trail in 1865; then settled and lived in the Molalla area the rest of their lives.

Evidently, Bill retired from his busy life in 1909, when he sold the business to Mr. Everhart. Some of his other lifetime accomplishments were serving as a school director and road supervisor. After living in town for several years, he moved back to the farm on Adams Road. Lucina died in 1916, at Molalla. Bill died in 1929, also at Molalla.

Author's Note:

My story about the William D. Adams Building was first written and published in May of 2017. At that time, I was unable to locate who originally built the two-story part of the building. After much research, I found that Peter S. Noyer, Jr., a pioneer in the Molalla area, built the two-story part of the store in 1885, and opened a mercantile business there. I have corrected the story and feel this to be a good time to publish it. In 2017, it was my pleasure to interview Tommi Tolstead and her son, Guy, who lovingly took care of the building for 44 years. Guy had done quite a bit of research on the building. It is with great sadness that we acknowledge his loss and our deepest sympathies we give, to our friend, Tommi Tolstead.

- Gail J. McCormick

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