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1636 Ash Street

the hale & florence bryant house c.1892

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As noted in the City’s Historic Resource guide, the Bryant House is wood-framed and -clad Vernacular Farmhouse, with a composition shingle covered cross-gable roof, and has been given a building date of 1892. “Bryant House” is probably the most accurate name for the dwelling, as the Bryants – Hale D. and Florence B. – owned the property and most likely had the home built that year. There was a Mechanic’s lien against the property, made by J.C. Garman in 1892, when the Bryants owned the lot, thus substantiating the building date. Jerome Clifton Garman was a carpenter and architect from Portland, and presumably was the builder of the Bryant House. We do not know definitively whether, or for how long, the Bryants lived in the house, but they were mentioned as taking part in Forest Grove affairs during the 1890s.

Hale Dudley and Florence Bryant were both children of Oregon pioneers.  Hale was the son of Charles & Elvira Bryant, who came to Oregon in 1853, settling on the shore of what would become Lake Oswego. Charles Bryant was best known for introducing red clover to Oregon. Florence Brock Bryant was the daughter of George & Eunice Brock. Hale and Florence were well-known for their Gaston farm, where they raised their children, one of whom, Archie Bryant, became known as the proprietor of Forest Grove’s Pacific Photography Studio. The Bryants are shown living in the Gaston area in most census records from 1880 to 1920, suggesting they may have not lived full time in the Ash Street house, but perhaps had the home built as a rental property, or had it built for their children to live in while attending PU. There are a few years where Hale is mentioned in the newspaper as being a Forest Grove voter, and their son Claude H. was apparently born in Forest Grove in 1893, but most folks knew the Bryant family as Gastonians. 

On December 23, 1920, Hale and his son Archie were repairing his barn when Hale was killed in an accidental fall off of the roof. 

After the Bryants sold the property in 1898, the house went through a series of short-term owners, including Bank vice president John Templeton.  There is a clear line of title for the house, from Harvey Clarke deeding the block to Pacific University to the present day.

One interesting aspect of the early life of the home is that it had a large number of residents during its first 28 years but only two owners in the last 101.  In 1920 Augustus and Lillian Gardner bought the Bryant House and resided there for the next several decades.  Following the death of Augustus in 1953, Lillian lived in the house until selling it in 1964.

Stephany and Jerry Anderson have been owners of the Bryant House since that time. They are long-time members of the Friends of Historic Forest Grove.  

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