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Cedar Mill News
Volume 4, Issue 6


June 2006

Before it was Beaverton

By Nancy Olson, co-author, Cedar Mill History

The property proposed for a Wal-Mart store in the Cedar Mill area lies at the intersection of NW Barnes Road and Cedar Hills Boulevard. It’s future use is unknown as of this date but its past history is well known. It was originally part of the Josiah and Mary Hall donation land claim and included several acres of rich beaverdam soil. In 1921, two Greek brothers, Frank and Jim Choban,  left their West Portland farm and relocated on a 37-acre tract here which they found ideal for truck farming.

The brothers harvested celery as well as other varieties of vegetables and fruits. Pole beans were sold to a Hillsboro cannery while lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries and watermelon were hauled to Portland to the Yamhill Market and to a farmers’ market on Belmont Street.
The rich beaverdam soil continued to produce heavy crops. Excess produce was donated to the Cedar Mill school lunch program during the school season. Many needy neighbors’ tables were supplemented by Choban produce.

In 1928 Jim, the older Choban, journeyed to Greece, returning with his bride, Marika, and the couple, with brother Frank, resumed their farming activities. In later years, the productive acreage required the assistance of the Choban’s two sons, George and Paul.

The farming operation ceased in 1965 when Jim Choban died. The widow Marika’s sister and brother-in-law, Anna and Jim Christie, moved into the household about the same time. The family formulated a new use for the land and in 1970, their Greek and American restaurant, “Marika’s” was completed, offering authentic Greek cuisine to the community.

The land changed. Barnes Road used to run along the south side of the restaurant and in front of the family home. But Barnes was closed and relocated to its present site. Where the Choban home was located there is now a clinic. The restaurant property is leased to the Tzakis family who run Santorini West as well as Santorini in downtown Portland. It’s better known as a nightclub now than for its food.

George Choban recalls that the property to the east of theirs, at the corner of Cedar Hills Boulevard and Barnes, was a dairy farm owned by the Daniels family, called the Le Grande Dairy. Joseph and Bertha (Teufel) Peterkort purchased that westerly portion of the Peterkort property back in the early 1940’s. Lois Peterkort Ditmars recalls, “As long as we have owned that portion of our property, it was farmed as different kinds of grain crops. When people started moving from Portland and urbanizing the area and it was chopped up by roadways, we were put in the same position that farmers outside the urban growth boundary are experiencing today, a lot of homes and roads don’t provide for successful farming. Little by little, as the population and roadways grew and urbanization became the land use theme, we were forced into planning its future and now 60 years later, here we are today.”

This part of Cedar Mill was originally called Swedeville. We’ll cover its history in an upcoming article.



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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229