Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



The society seeks funding to smooth out sidewalks, ensure buildings are protected

PMG PHOTO: CAROL ROSEN - Uneven bricks between the buildings can be seen here.The Molalla Area Historical Society is working on upgrading the sidewalks to and around its buildings and restoring the outside of Von Der Ahe House.

"The Dibble House Museum Complex has been facing some safety and accessibility issues over the past year. The access paths leading to the historic buildings have deteriorated beyond repair," Iris Riley MAHS president, said in a fundraising email.

The courtyard grounds were paved with flagstones in the 1990s surrounding the cupola and the flagpole facing South Molalla Avenue. The walkways were made from recycled building bricks instead of pavers. In the nearly 25 years since, moles have dug under the bricks leaving open holes and potential problems for visitors, according to Riley.

Although the areas have been repaired and some buildings repainted through the years, the areas around the complex have become hard to get through. In fact, last year at the Heritage Apple Festival a power wheelchair got stuck between the flagstones and paramedics had to assist the person to get through, Riley said.

"We want the sidewalks to be safe, smooth, even and up to American with Disabilities Act standards," said Riley.

Older or disabled people sometimes have problems walking or using wheelchairs around the flagstones and Riley says she wants to ensure that everyone is able to come to the complex and see the buildings.

The painting is necessary because the Von Der Ahe House is old and must be kept up during the rainy winters and hot summers.

So the society is looking for funding. They have and continue to contact organizations and area governments for help through grants, but hope to see some funding from the people of Molalla to keep the MAHS going. Riley says she expects the costs to repave to run between $20,000 and $40,000, according to a couple of cost estimates. That doesn't include the painting that will likely cost about $18,000. And, while the organization has some funds in its coffers, they don't have enough to pay for everything and still have funds to support the complex with its daily upkeep.

"It's estimated to take about 25 yards of concrete to complete this work," Riley said in an email. "A conservative estimate is $20,000. We are lining up volunteers to help with the excavation and have long-term plans to add some decorative elements to plain broom finish the concrete. Any amount of funding for this project would be greatly appreciated by the MAHS and its visitors.

People can make donations by using the donate button on the website at Or mail a check to MAHS, PO Box 828, Molalla, OR 97038. MAHS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and will provide a tax receipt for all donations.

Carol Rosen
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