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1724 Ash Street

george & melissa armentrout house c.1899

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The first owners of this Clark Historic District house were George and Melissa Armentrout.  Born in Ohio in 1833, George Armentrout moved to Indiana at age 15, and after 5 years moved to Cedar County, Iowa, where he lived until 1858, at which time he went to the California gold fields.  In 1865, George came to Oregon where he married Melissa Walker daughter of 1844 early pioneer Robert Walker of Roy, Washington County, and they had seven children.

  The Armentrouts created a 244 acre farm northeast of Forest Grove, near the town of Banks, and George was widely known among the pioneer elements.  He was self-identified as a great hunter, and in his 81st year still went out hunting.  He would often drop into local newspaper offices promoting his prowess and earned the nickname of “Nimrod” which ironically means not only mighty hunter, but also can be used sarcastically as meaning dim-witted or stupid.  The Armentrouts retired to this house in 1899.  

In the beginning they owned a large lot and the house was located on the northeast corner of the block facing what is now 18th Avenue.  In 1912 the house was moved south within their lot and rotated to face onto Ash Street.  At that time the entry was changed and a Craftsman porch was added.

This house is predominantly Craftsman while also being a Stick Style home.  The house features many nice decorative touches, including patterned shingles, stick work and a chimney cap.  The Craftsman porch has bargeboards, purlins and braces, and massive posts on piers and exposed rafters.  The siding is made of shiplap with corner boards.

In 1917 Melissa filed for divorce from George and she continued to live in the house.  George passed away in 1921 and Melissa followed him in death in 1924. 

The next owner in 1925, is Frank Allen Frost, who became a widower shortly before he and his 10 year old son Charles moved here from Washington.  Frank is shown in the 1930 census as a laborer in a packing plant.  Frank Frost owned this house until 1945.

Since that time, seven other families have been the caretakers of this beautiful home until the current owners Emily and Matt Rawls purchased it in 2013.  Emily is an elementary teacher with two master’s degrees, who is currently a stay at home Mom, and Matt is a Lieutenant with the Forest Grove Fire Department.   Together with their young son Crosby they have embraced the opportunity of living in a historic home in a historic town.

We are very pleased to present to them a plaque in recognition of the c.1899 George & Melissa Armentrout House.

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