Thank you to those who joined us for this very special Living History walking tour through the grounds of Mountain View Memorial Gardens. This event is a new endeavor for FHFG. We are excited to explore this new approach to the education of our members and others to tell the story of Forest Grove’s early pioneers.
It was not an easy task to choose our subjects, each with a story that is part of our lives. We hope you enjoy this tour, and take away new information and appreciation of our town.
This event could not have happened without our many volunteers and the support of other organizations within our community. Thank you to everyone who helped.
Proceeds from this tour will ensure support of our mission: To enhance and promote the historic environment of Forest Grove through education in areas of historic interest, while acknowledging national, state and local cultural resources.
Tour committee: Co-chairs: Cherie Savoie Tintary and Mary Jo Morelli. Members: Rebecca Vetkos, Amy Weston, Diane Morris, Jim Morris, Brenda French, and Patsy Yoakum.
Tour guides: Mary Jo Morelli, Jim Morris, Cindy Dauer, Kari Fitzgerald, Cherie Savoie Tintary, and Pam Kelso.
Greeters: Joyce Sauber and Rebecca Vetkos
The Cast of Historical Characters
Alvin Thompson Smith
Portrayed by Marcus Hazelett
Script by David Morelli
Raised in Branford, Connecticut, Alvin Smith had deep religious roots. Though trained as a carpenter, Smith wanted to be a missionary. He married Abigail Raymond in 1840, primarily to facilitate his journey West as a lay missionary. The Smiths, along with the Clarkes and Littlejohns, became the first permanent settlers in Forest Grove. Alvin was appointed a magistrate at Champoeg, was a founder of the Congregational Church, and helped establish Tualatin Academy. In addition, Smith was the first Postmaster for the area. Using his carpentry skills, Alvin Smith built a Greek Revival-style house at the south end of Forest Grove that still stands today. Following Abigail’s death, Alvin married Jane Maria Averill.
Rev. Harvey Clarke
Portrayed by Lee H. Tintary
Script by Lisa Amato
Clarke, born in Vermont, trained as a stone mason but instead decided to be a minister. Graduating from Oberlin, Harvey married Emeline and soon they set out for Oregon, in the company of the Smiths and Littlejohns. Arriving in the West Tualatin Plains in 1841, the Clarkes quickly became leaders of the growing settlement. In quick succession, Clarke attending the Champoeg meetings, helped establish the Congregational Church, and aided Tabitha Brown in starting the school for orphans which ultimately become Pacific University. Originally buried on the school grounds, Harvey Clarke was moved to Mountain View in the 1870s.
April 21, 1815 – Aug 1, 1866
Portrayed by Brenda French
Script by Lisa Amato
Born in Lowville, New York, Emeline attended Oberlin in 1836, where she met a young Harvey Clarke. They married soon after and set out on their life’s journey to the Oregon Territory. While Harvey was busy with politics and meetings, Emeline was active too, with the Columbia Maternal Association. This was the very first women’s club west of the Rocky Mountains. Emeline and Harvey raised their three children in what became known as Forest Grove.
Dr. Robert Nixon
Dr. Robert Nixon received his medical and dentistry training in Liverpool, England. Soon after, in 1871, he sailed to New York on the steamship Java. In 1880, Nixon relocated to Oregon, where he married Mary Frances Patton Gerrish, an original traveler on the Oregon Trail. Dr. Nixon’s first dental office was a
25 x 25 foot wood building on Main Street in Forest Grove, ultimately replaced by a brick building in 1912.
Dr. Nixon, along with this son and grandson (your presenter today) have practiced dentistry in our community for 122 years.
Abigail (Raymond) Smith
April 21, 1793 – April 17, 1858
Portrayed by Trish Chan
Script by Mary Jo Morelli
Abigail was the first female child born in Sherburne,
New York, a community established by members of the Congregational Church, with music a primary expression of their devotion. At the age of 47, Abigail
was an “old maid” when she married Alvin in 1840
and set out on the journey West.
Henry Buxton, Sr.
Jan 17, 1797 – Dec 28, 1869
Script by Rebecca Vetkos
Henry Sr. was born in Derbyshire, England. He traveled to Manitoba, Canada, when he was 29, where he married Frances Thomas. In 1841, they journeyed with their son on the Red River Emigration sponsored by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Frances died shortly after reaching Puget Sound from injuries received when she was thrown from a horse on the journey. Distraught, Henry decided to move with his son to the West Tualatin Plains where he remarried.
Henry Buxton, Jr.
Henry Jr., born in Manitoba, came with his father to Oregon after his mother died. At the age of 17, Henry helped cut the first wagon road to Portland. He and his wife Rosanna had 11 children, and founded the community of Buxton. A successful business man, Henry was a Master Mason and Legislative Assembly Representative.
Mary (Richardson) Walker
Portrayed by Judith Pond
Script by Cindy Dauer
As a young woman, Mary wanted to become a missionary, but her application was turned down because she was not married. She solved the problem by marrying Rev. Elkanah Walker in March 1838.
Soon afterward, with Mary a month pregnant, the couple set out for Oregon, spending 129 grueling days on the trail. They settled in the Columbia Basin, but departed for the Willamette Valley following the 1847 Whitman Massacre. There they bought a 100-acre farm in Forest Grove where they raised eight children.
Margaret Dolly Hinman
Nov 27, 1871 – Dec 31, 1961
Portrayed by Tabitha Fitzgerald
and Rachel Alvarez
Script by Mary Jo Morelli
Our “Dolly” is a young girl, just entering a lifetime of learning, traveling, and sharing her gifts with others around the world. Already she has a fascinating story to tell. Later, Dolly would graduate from Pacific University and become a missionary in Turkey where she served during two world wars. Dolly never married, ultimately returning to Forest Grove where she lived out her long life.