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June Reynolds says Sherwood's land deeds have quite a story to tell, and of course, she's happy to fill in any gaps.

PMG FILE PHOTO - June Reynolds"Know all Men by these presents that James C. Smock and his wife of (Sherwood) and the County of Washington in consideration of 80 dollars to us paid by W. F. Young, Lot 1 Block 1 in the town of Smockville." — as recorded in Hillsboro Record, May 31, 1893

Thus, the first block of our Old Town was bought and sold.

As you can see, I have been going down the rabbit hole of land deeds again. It is an interesting way to compile history, but can be time-consuming.

The reason for this right now is to research the "Park Park" that is being made on Block 1, Lot 1 near Clancy's. It has a Robin Hood Theater theme, but before this time, part of it was already developed by the first Ford dealership and garage owned by Emil Lawrenz.

In fact, this area could be touted as the transportation district of town. The other corner, (today anchored by Clancy's) was a wooden livery stable — a place to park your horses for the night and possibly even the traveler would stay if you didn't mind bunking in the hay. James and Ella Brown owned the livery and ran a freight business before the coming of the railroad. They sold that lot to J.F. and Christina Melzer in 1915.

The land in between and Lot 1 on the corner of today's Pine and First streets, was sold by W.F. Young to the Browns in 1906 as a launching place for the freight wagons next to the livery stables.

The Browns also owned a farm overlooking Rock Creek off of today's Oregon Street. They slowly phased out their freight business in town and moved it out to the farm. There was little demand for the business with the development of the railroad. The Browns moved into Portland and rented the land to a Belgian family, the DeConnicks.

Then on May 2, 1919, the corner of today's First and Pine was sold to E. J. Lawrenz and his wife Minnie (nee) Kruger. Mr. Brown's freight business gave way to the future of the gas-powered automobile and Oregon's first Ford auto dealership. The garage was being built even as the ink was drying on the Warranty Deed. Ford Model Ts were being built right on the street and sidewalk of the Lawrenz Hardware store near the corner of First and Washington, and business was booming. Two of the men who built the cars were Mr. Stevie and Ed Troyer.

From the Ford sales records, between 1924 and 1932, 210 cars or trucks were sold to the local community. The 1924-25 sales year also had people from Tigard, McMinnville, Silverton, Hillsboro, the Oregon City RFD, and Newberg Motors.

"Know all Men by these Presents that David Fletcher, a single man of Sherwood, in consideration of One Thousand, nine hundred to him paid by C. P. Kruger and Emma Kruger, Lots Seven and eight in Block 6 in the town of Sherwood."

This warrant was signed May 9, 1919. Minnie's father and mother bought the house directly across the street from the garage lot. The garage faced south-west and the house faced north. CI Calkins and Minnie Reiser were witnesses at the Citizen's Bank. There was a flue fire in the house and repair of the strange upstairs area was required.

Emil decided to purchase more of Block 6 around the corner, move the house facing Pine Street, and rebuild functional bedroom spaces upstairs. This happened in 1926.

Emil and Minnie had four girls: Mabel, Emily, Ada and Della. The first three girls were born in the Midwives' House on Washington and Second streets. Consequently, there are many Lawrenz family members scattered all over Oregon.

Annual meeting

All members, volunteers, potential members, and the community are welcome to join us on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 3 p.m. for our annual Membership Meeting.

There will be a social time, election of officers, a year-in-review session, demonstration of the newly acquired "Square" machine, payment of dues and much more. Following will be the monthly meeting.

Normal opening times are still Wednesday and Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.

Catch up with us online at:

June Reynolds is a member of the Sherwood Historical Society.

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