History in the News
by Nancy Olson, co-author, Cedar Mill History
Saltzman Road is a main north-south artery of the Cedar Mill area.
It was named for Peter Saltzmann who established a homestead near
the crest of Skyline Ridge in 1893. By 1896, the road extended down
the east side of the mountain to the river as well. The steep stretch between
place and Laidlaw Road, though still traceable, fell into disuse quite early.
The steep part of the eastern branch acted as a fire road in Forest Park.
The southern end of Saltzman, joining Cornell near Leedy Grange and Bales
Thriftway had several right angle jogs to avoid cutting through old farms
and has thus escaped the tendency to designate north-south roads by numbers.
This author lived on Saltzman Road in the 1960’s and remembers the right
angle jogs that caused many accidents before they were stretched out
for the Bauer Woods development.
The road has had a long history serving the comings and goings of the
community. Parts of the road had been carved out of the wilderness
prior to Peter Saltzmann’s homestead trail. In 1853 James Flippin claimed
320 acres on upper Saltzman near Burton Road and John B. Hall settled a Donation
Land Claim nearby as did the Nickum family. The area was described
in John Nickum’s will as: …..wild land covered with brush and
timber, except for about 8 or 10 acres that has recently been slashed and
no part thereof is in cultivation except a small patch of garden. There is
a small house and barn on the premises.”
In the 1880’s the Hamel family purchased 149 acres just off Laidlaw
Road, first living in a log house and later building a large family
farm house. In 1903 they expanded their property by purchasing part
of the old Nickum Donation Land Claim. The Henry Bauer family purchased acreage
in 1929 which they farmed, and which was developed in 1982 and is
now a housing development called Bauer Woods. In 1940 Joe and Bertha Peterkort
purchased 131 acres bordering Saltzman Road and harvested wheat and hay in
the area until the close of World War II.
Earlier travel along the road posed challenges. Mail was difficult
to deliver so a community drop-off box was established. In 1915,
Edna Graves Berger aided in distributing mail from the box located
Road near Burton Road. On her way home from school she picked up
mail and delivered to the Wismers on Burton Road, then walked up
Saltzman to the Owens’ house, the several Hamel homes, the Thompsons
and Findleys before arriving at her home on upper Saltzman and Laidlaw roads.
Today’s Saltzman Road contains bits and pieces of the past and still
serves an ever growing population. Peter Saltzmann would shake his head in
wonder at the traffic along the road that bears his name (and what happened
to that second “n”?)