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1624 Elm Street

 Holloway house c.1907

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The Holloway House is located on lot 1 of Block 37 in Forest Grove, which was part of the original Harvey Clark land claim. Formerly known as 328 Fifth street, the bare land passed through the hands of several owners until it was bought by Ferdinand Starrett. He was a Forest Grove architect and farmer, who at that time lived in the neighborhood east of Maple and 18th Ave, called “Fruitvale.” Starrett arrived in Forest Grove in 1901 from Silverton, Oregon where he had designed several downtown buildings, some of which are still standing. He also designed several homes in Forest Grove’s South Park, and in most cases, his brother Stephen built them. Though still speculative, it is very likely the Starrett brothers (with additional help from Stephen’s son Porter) designed and constructed the Holloway House.

Local newspapers note that “Mrs. Margaret Holloway, a sister of Sam Carlyle, has purchased the Starrett property on Fifth Street. Mrs. Holloway is from Grants Pass and will take possession the first of 1907.” Margaret came to Forest Grove shortly after her husband Alpheus died in December of 1906. Her brother Sam, had been living in Forest Grove for some time, and it’s likely she moved up north to resettle near him. Margaret ended up finding a place a block away from his home. Her deed for this property does not declare that it included a house but the sale price of $2000 implies that one existed on the lot.

Though Washington County tax information states that the home dates to 1936, this Dutch Colonial Revival home, with front-facing Palladian windows, overarching fan motif, and boxed eaves, was stylistically appropriate for the few decades after 1900, and the style was especially in vogue from 1910-1930. The house may have had work done to it in 1936, thus altering its building date in County records, a not-uncommon practice by County adjusters.

In 1908, Margaret and four of her children lived in the house, while her eldest daughter, Mary Esther, was a student boarding at the Rogers mansion (now Rogers Park). Shortly after arriving, Margaret worked as an agent for the Economy Company (something similar to Avon), and she advertised briefly in the FG newspaper. The Holloways are shown living here in the 1910 census, but by late summer of 1910, Margaret and some of the children had resettled in Gales Creek. Apparently it was here that she met her third husband, Harry Thomas, a bricklayer whom she married in 1911. Sometime later, presumably after Harry’s death, she moved to California to be near some of her children who had moved to South Pasadena. Margaret Carlisle James Holloway Thomas passed away in Pasadena in 1957 at the age of 89.

Agnes Belle Watt purchased the Holloway House in 1911. Agnes, who was the niece of Marvel and Nancy Watt inherited a large amount of her uncle’s estate when he died. She later lived with her aunt Nancy in 1900 in South FG, and was next door neighbors of the Shipley’s and the Haines, on 5th Street.

Charles Luther Mocroft was a widower with two daughters, from Hamilton County, Nebraska. They arrived in Forest Grove in 1911. He had been coming to the Grove every year with his family for the climate, and after his first wife died, Charles moved here in part so his daughters could go to Pacific University. He had already built a friendship network here, and through this he met Agnes Belle Watt. Agnes and Charles got married in 1914 and they likely moved into the Holloway House at that point. According to the Forest Grove town directory, they lived at this address at least from 1920 until 1927, though it’s probable they were here as early as 1914. In the 1920 census, the Mocrofts are here, they own the home, and are neighbors with Porter and Lora Starrett who live next door. One of the Mocroft daughters, Edith, married Frank Bennett and they lived right across the street, at 325 Fifth Street in the 1940 census. Agnes and Charles Mocroft moved to McMinnville around 1928.

The Mocroft family however retained ownership of the Holloway House and it was rented out by a number of other families for several years. Walter and Linda Lemke and their family lived at this address in 1930, according to the census. In 1940, the occupants were Clarence and Lenore Runn. Clarence was a logger. After a short residency, the Runn family moved and spent their lives in Coos Bay, OR. By 1942, a new family had moved to the address. Anton and Selma Huschka, and their children Emery and Virginia, likely moved into the home as renters. When Agnes Mocroft passed away in 1946, the administrators of her property and estate contacted the Huschkas, who were eager to purchase the home, which they did in August 1947.

The original address of the Holloway House at this point was 328 Fifth Street, but in 1949 it was changed to 1624 Elm Street when Forest Grove renamed its streets.

The Huschka children, Emery and Virginia, were both very active in high school, and after she graduated, Virginia became the secretary for the Principal. The high school at that time was just next door. In some of the yearbook photos, one can catch glimpses of the house. Emery became a teacher in the Portland school district.

The home was kept in the Huschka family when the parents sold it to their son Emery and his wife Yvonne on January 18, 1983 (Deed 82-33444).

Next, after the Huschka Family had lived here for 57 years, it was sold in 1999 to Mark and Deena Barrett.

In 2017 it was sold to Michael and Cheri Morey.

The latest owners are Andy and Morgan Knapp who purchased the Holloway House in 2018.

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