History Notes: 'If it's a goodie, it came from Woody'
Sherwood has a sweet tooth. It goes all the way back to the early 1920s and the Wagner Café and Bakery, located in a milled lumber house just off the corner of Willamette and First streets. By the end of the 1920s, the business became City Bakery with a remodeled interior. A wide variety of cookies was their specialty.
On that first day, old man Olsen, who lived in the "Midwives House" on Willamette lined up the kids in back of him to get their free cookies. That building, in 1999, was called the Toy Store before they bulldozed it down.
In the 1940s, Clarence "Woody" Woodhouse and his wife, Evadine or "Vad," started Woody's Bakery. They located on Railroad Street, next to the Rainbow Market, which is still called the Rainbow Market to this very day. They lived in an old house southwest from Brookman Road.
Clarence Henry Woodhouse was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Sept. 8, 1908. There may have been some serious illness in the family. He had two siblings who died in 1907 and 1912.
His wife was born on April 6, 1906. Her full name was Evadne Henrietta Woodhouse.
In 1949, Woody became the first Robin Hood in Sherwood. He rode on a float in a parade with the Merry Men all around him. Everyone had lots of bows and arrows spiking the float in a glorious array.
The Woodhouse family were involved with the Robin Hood Festival for decades. Woody was president of the organization. Later, he received the rare linen lacework from Sherwood, England which was woven in 1870. There are only five in the world, and it still hangs in the Morback Museum. The Robin Hood Festival bought it to aid the indigent descendants of the weaver.
Then, in 1959, Woody became a charter member of the Sherwood volunteer fire department.
The fire department had three phone lines to alert the firefighters, who mostly worked out of their shops and stores right there in town. One went to the Sherwood police chief — to Gene Hatcher's garage. One went to one of the bars. And one went to Woody's Bakery.
When it rang at the bakery, Woody ran over to the fire station on Main Street to punch the button for the fire alarm. If they had a long fire to fight, Woody made sandwiches. The firefighters noted that the mustard was always thicker on the bread than the baloney.
The bakery closed in the 1960s. Clarence Henry "Woody" Woodhouse died Jan. 14, 1985 at the age of 76 in Sherwood, Oregon. His wife, Evadine died April 5, 2000, in Texas at her daughter's house. She was 93. They were both buried in the Aurora Community Cemetery in Oregon.
Even in the 20th and 21st century, Sherwood has had a sweet tooth. We have seen the Methodist Coffee and Doughnut Saturdays, the Sesame Donuts in the library building, and now there is Hungry Hero and Sprinkles. The sweet tooth is passed on through the decades and is popular with people young and old.
Due to COVID-19, the Morback House Museum and History Center are still closed, but we are waiting to see if Art Walk will happen for Sept. 10. If so, the Sherwood Historical Society will have a history chalk event in the park, so stay tuned.
June Reynolds is a member of the Sherwood Historical Society.
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