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Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Stone House


I had to do some research to find the background on the abandoned shack in Portland’s Forest Park. This is what I found:

"Danford Balch, the original owner of the land in the Lower Macleay Park area, was the first man legally hanged in Oregon. On October 1, 1850, Danford Balch and his family took a donation land claim (DLC) of almost 350 acres near the settlement of Portland. He built a cabin on the land and became fairly successful but drank too much at times. By 1858, Danford and his wife, Mary Jane, had nine children—five boys and four girls. His eldest daughter, Anna, 16, eloped against her parent’s wishes with the hired hand, Mortimer Stump of Vancouver, Washington, on November 4, 1858. On November 18, 1858, Danford tried to retrieve his daughter from the Stumps when they came to Portland for supplies. Instead he “accidentally” shot Mortimer Stump to death with a shotgun. Danford was tried, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. On October 17, 1859, Danford Balch was hung for the murder of Mortimer Stump. He was the first legal execution in the state of Oregon. In 1897, Donald Macleay, a prominent Portland merchant, turned the upper portion of the Balch property, the steep gulch of Balch Creek (pictured yesterday), to the city for use as a park. The Stone House was built during the Depression by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as a restroom alongside then Balch Creek Road. It was maintained until the Columbus Day storm in 1962 took out the plumbing system and heavy vandalism over the years forced park officials to abandon it rather than embark on costly repairs. It remains as a favorite spot to rest along the trail."

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17 comments:

Deb Crecelius said...

Thanks!
I love history
(and my daughter is now living in Oregon,
so I'm even more interested).
Totally wonderful photo.
I'm here via Deb Duty's This or That Thursday.

ZielonaMila said...

Fine story, beautiful photograph, fantastic house,. I am greeting

JoJo said...

That's an abandoned 'shack'? It's so beautiful and photogenic!

From The Heart said...

Great photo and such an interesting story! Sometimes real life is better than fiction,

Tamar SB said...

So cool! I hav done that hike before (my sister lives in PDX - http://goodrandomfun.blogspot.com/2012/01/portland.html) but never knew about the house!

Linda Kittmer said...

What a wonderful old stone house! Thanks for the history behind it. Such an interesting history.

Jeanne said...

Amazing photo, and love the history that you have included in your post.

Dina Lettre said...

Fascinating research...and a lovely shot!

Sarah Segovia said...

Great Post!! nice picture..
new follower here :)
thanks for your lovely comment on my blog!

Kalantikan said...

Awoooo! It looks very nice maybe because your photo is very good, and it's already having a stable biodiversity or micro climate on it.

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Wonderful photo! The colours are so rich and a rather unexpected subject amongst the greenery.

Molly said...

What an amazing place. It looks like something out of a fairy tale scene and I am glad you told the story to go with it too. Love little bit of history like that.

Mollyxxx

Rebecca said...

It looks like something from a fairy tale.

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Oh! What a beauty!!

Small City Scenes said...

Beautiful shot of the cabin and forest. We have a Forest Park in Everett too. Just saw a movie called Gone shot a lot (supposedly) in Forest Park and in the Portland area. Spooky!! LOL MB

Lorelle said...

Reminds me of a beautiful fairy tale. Lovely!

Sharyl said...

This reminds me of something from a fairy tale! Marvelous photos! Thanks for stopping by my blog and inviting me to visit yours! These are delightful! --Sharyl