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address:68835 E Barlow Trail Rd historic name:St John The Evangelist Roman Catholic Church
Welches vcty, Clackamas County (97049) current/other names:St Johns Catholic Church; The Steiner Church
assoc addresses:old addr: Truman Rd, Zigzag
block/lot/tax lot:N/A / N/A / 00800
location descr:Hoodland, Hwy 26, Truman Rd twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:2S 7E 33 C
resource type:Building height (stories):1.5 total elig resources:1 total inelig resources:
elig evaluation: eligible/significant NR Status: Individually Listed
prim constr date:1937 second date: date indiv listed:12/21/1979
primary orig use: Religious Facility orig use comments:
second orig use:
primary style: Rustic prim style comments:
secondary style: sec style comments:
primary siding: Round Log siding comments:Saddle notched logs; shakes
secondary siding:
plan type: Church/Meetinghouse architect:Unknown
builder:Steiner, Henry
comments/notes:
Moved 1976. This building has been moved from its original location in the Zigzag area.
Survey/Grouping Included In: Type of Grouping Date Listed Date Compiled
   Clackamas County Historic Landmarks Survey & Inventory Project 2008
NR date listed: 12/21/1979
ILS survey date: 09/30/2007
RLS survey date: 08/01/1991
Special Assessment
Status Term End Yr
Expired 1st Term  2009
106 Project(s): None
Federal Tax Project(s): None
(Includes expanded description of the building/property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings and alterations)
ROOF FORM AND MATERIALS: Steep gable PRIMARY WINDOW TYPE: Fixed and multi-light double-hung sash DECORATIVE FEATURES: Diamond windows; paired hinged doors of logs w/ irregular half round windows; king-pin trusses OTHER: Chimney ALTERATIONS: Moved (1976); deck and roof added, (n.d.); windows replaced (n.d.); foundation added (1976). Assoc Resources: Non-historic log gazebo, log barn, house LANDSCAPE: Heavily wooded The St. John Church is located on a large, heavily wooded site to the northeast of Barlow Trail Rd, a lightly-traveled neighborhood road parallel to Hwy 26 and Heckert Creek. Narrow, heavily-wooded driveway is unmarked and insignificant. Some clearing around the church; newer log gazebo (n.d.) to the east; newer log vehicle barn (n.d.) to the south; large, private residence to the north.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
SUBJECT PROPERTY: The resource may be evaluated as an example of a 20th-century church. The subject building was constructed by Henry Steiner, circa 1940. The house has several features commonly associated with the style including the use of natural materials. The church is an excellent example of the Oregon Rustic style. The Oregon Rustic style was popular in this area from the early part of the 20th century through World War II. Proponents of the style favored the use of indigenous materials including fir, cedar and hemlock logs, and stones from nearby creeks and rivers. Frequently craftmen selected curvilinear limbs for porch posts, staircase railings and other functional architectural elements. According to National Register records, the original St. John's Church, built in 1926, collapsed under a heavy snowfall in 1937. The present building was designed by Henry Steiner to replace it. Henry Steiner's famous log buildings were well known at the time and the church favored such a design for its durable qualities. Timberline Lodge was in the final phases of construction during this period, which probably served as an influence to the church's selection of the Oregon Rustic design.The church is one of the last log buildings in the area which remains basically unaltered. Henry Steiner, a prominent local craftsman, designed many exceptional cabins and summer homes during the early 20th century. Steiner was particularly well known for his exhuberant examples of the Oregon Rustic style. According to his son John, Henry Steiner resided in one cabin while designing and constructing the next cabin. Saddle-knotched unpainted peeled logs, chinked with quarter-round molding, and river stone chimneys are among the distinguishing features of Steiner's cabins. Particularly noteworthy is the skill with which Steiner fashioned porch posts and front doors; he incorporated the natural forms of tree branches, rather than use standard-cut lumber. Each Steiner cabin exhibited a unique design, dependant on the natural qualities of the logs or limbs selected. The church was originally located near the confluence of the Zigzag and Sandy Rivers, near Zigzag, but was abandoned by the Catholic Church in 1972 and moved in 1976 when Highway 26 was widened at Zigzag. The original site of the church was selected with the intent to serve both local residents and tourists, who wished to worship, but could not afford to frequently travel up and down the mountain. When the road was improved, the church moved to a new facility, abandoning the subject church to various recreational uses, until its current residential (1976) use was adopted. The building was pledged to the Mt Hood Cultural Center and Museum c. 2000. In the Hoodland study area, the St. John The Evangelist Roman Catholic Church is the only church on the inventory. This building was designed in the Oregon Rustic style and built during the Motor Age (1914-1940). It is the only church designed by Henry Steiner on the inventory in the study area. HISTORIC BACKGROUND Due to the rugged terrain and additional factors, the Hoodland study area was the last part of the county to be developed and is still the most sparsely populated. This is in spite of the fact that the area was traversed by many pioneers traveling on the Barlow Road, the western segment of the Oregon Trail. Initially the Barlow Road was traveled from east to west, from the Dalles to Oregon City. Most travelers passed through Government Camp on the fourth day out of The Dalles, camped at the site of present day Rhododendron on the fifth night, and arrived in Sandy on the sixth day. Later travelers crossed the Cascades eastbound from the Willamette Valley. Government Camp was named for the wagon remnants left by the First United States Mounted Rifles which had abandoned the majority of their wagons in 1849; they had been ordered to Oregon City from The Dalles before the stock had recuperated from a long overland journey. While traveling over the Barlow Road nearly two-thirds of the animals and 45 wagons were lost. This historic site later became a permanent settlement. The Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 spurred settlement throughout much of the county, however, it was the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) which encouraged waves of settlers to seek sites along the Barlow Road. Land records suggest a pace of settlement of approximately six miles per decade. In other words, during the 1860s and 1870s, settlers began seeking claims, clearing land and building cabins east of Sandy. In the 1880s settlers built near present-day Wemme and the former community of Marmot, in the 1890s the area around Welches and Brightwood were settled, and in the 1900s and 1910s settlers developed land near Faubion, Rhododendron and as far as Government Camp. No buildings from the earliest period of development (1865-1883) are known to exist. Sites, such as temporary supply sources, campsites, cache sites, and wagon roads, remain, none of which include standing structures or above-ground features. During the Progressive Era (1883-1913) the Barlow Road continued to serve as an important roadway for immigration to the west and for land travel to eastern Oregon. It also began being used for recreational travel. Tourists could rent a four-horse rig and driver in Portland to take them to Mt. Hood. Later, vacationers took the electric railroad to Boring and a horse-drawn mail stage to Mt. Hood. In 1903, the first automobile was driven to Government Camp by John B. Kelly, a pioneer Portland auto dealer. This paved the way for an auto stage line in 1906 by George Routledge who drove passengers to Welches and adjacent resorts. The construction of facilities in the Hoodland area to serve travelers and recreation seekers corresponded to this usage of the Barlow Road. In the late 19th-century, Americans began to establish retreats in woodland areas. During the previous generations, living in the wilderness was not a romantic notion, but one surrounded with questions of survival. In the early 20th century, however, it soon became desirable and fashionable to travel to the woods for numerous activities such as: fishing, horseback riding, hiking, berry picking, and hunting. The general availability of automobiles made this life-style possible on a part time basis; one could live in the city with all the modern conveniences during most of the year, and retreat to the woods for a summer vacation. Cabins were built during this era as recreation homes in the Mt. Hood area. Indigenous materials were used as an expression of this "back-to-nature" philosophy. There were a number of recreation developments constructed in the Hoodland area such as: Summit House at Summit Meadow, Lamoreaux Cabin (prior to 1907), Three Ring Road Cabin (prior to 1912), Aschoff's Mountain House Hotel (1902-1920s), Welches Resort Hotel (1905-1917), Tawney's Mountain Home (1909-1945), Rhododendron Inn (1910-1946), Government Camp Hotel (1912-1933), and the Arrah Wanna Hotel (1912-1915). Unfortunately, these resorts were frequently destroyed by fire. Most of the communities in the study area began as mountain resorts and expanded as facilities and stores were needed, and as more summer homes were built by Oregon City and Portland residents. Other places were developed and then faded. In the 1880s, Johann Adolf Aschoff acquired the land which would become Marmot. Aschoff erected the Mountain House Hotel, a general store with a small post office, several cabins, and a "museum" around 1902. Marmot's location on the original Barlow Road was ideal for serving tourists. The peak use of Marmot was apparently around 1910, however, construction of Highway 26 in the 1920s, rerouted traffic away from the town and caused the town's decline. In 1883, John and Winnie McIntyre provided a stopping place for travelers between Sandy and Government Camp on the Salmon river near present-day Brightwood. The Salmon River was named after the abundant fish that traveled it every year. The first post office established in 1891 in the Brightwood area was named Salmon, due to its proximity to the Salmon River. Winnie McIntyre served as its first postmaster. In 1910 the post office was moved a quarter of a mile east of the river and renamed Brightwood by Alcorn, an early resident, who enjoyed the sun shining on the cottonwood trees in the spring. Rhododendron was originally called Rowe, named after Henry S. Rowe, a Portland mayor, who owned 160 acres on which the Rhododendron Inn was built and had an interest in scenic development. The resort was constructed in 1910 by Lee Holden who soon took over the operation from Rowe. Emil Franzetti purchased the Inn in 1912 and built a pool, a dance hall and an annex. In addition, tent houses were scattered throughout the woods. The Inn and 20 acres were later sold to William Cash and the remaining land was subdivided into lots. A fire in 1932 destroyed the annex and another fire in 1946 destroyed the original Inn. The post office was eventually renamed Zigzag. The name came from the zigzagging river flowing from Zigzag Glacier on the slope of Mt. Hood through Zigzag Canyon. The Zigzag post office was located at the Zigzag Ranger Station, 16 miles east of Sandy and 14 miles west of Government Camp on Highway 26. All of the phones in the area were connected to the ranger station switchboard which made the station the nerve center of the community. In 1907, William Jacob Faubion homesteaded on the site where the Faubion store would eventually stand, two miles from Welches. The Faubion family also built La Casa Monte Inn. Faubion was located in the middle of a string of small-town post offices and country stores: Sandy, Cherryville, Brightwood, Marmot, Wemme, Zigzag, Welches and Rhododendron, each of which was competing for tourist dollars. Faubion, which centered around the resort and the store, was an established community during the Progressive Era even though the Faubion post office was not established until 1925. As is common, the post office was run as part of the local general store. William Faubion ran both the store and served as its sole post master. The area was so sparsely populated that the post office was never able to expand beyond fourth class mail service. Adding to the Faubion community was James Creighton who homesteaded east of Faubion in 1906. In 1912, he constructed buildings for a resort which straddled the Barlow road and provided services for travelers. Though Government Camp had been a site since the Settlement era, it did not develop into a community until the Progressive era. Oliver C. Yocum, one of the first settlers in the area along with Will Steele and Francis Little, filed a claim on which Yocum platted the town of Government Camp. A post office was established and named Pompeii because the postal service would not approve a two-part name. In 1908, Elijah (Ligi) Coalman acquired the Yocum homestead and built the three story Government Camp Hotel, which was finished in 1912. Coalman, a local carpenter, acted as a guide to parties climbing Mt. Hood and built a cabin and the first fire lookout on the summit in 1915 with the help of George Ledford. The hotel and 40 acres was sold twice in the next 15 years. It was destroyed by a fire in 1933. There is much confusion about Welches and its hotel. Newspaper articles indicate a hotel in Welches was erected in 1885 and was expanded in 1902 and in 1912. A sign on the property indicates the hotel was established circa 1890. The Barlow Trail Context (Beckham and Hanes: 1991) states that the Welches Hotel was constructed in 1905. According to the county tax assessor records, the Welches Hotel was constructed circa 1910. Newspaper articles state that Clinton W. Kern named the town after William Edward Welch, his partner. According to Oregon Geographic Names, Welches was named after Samuel Welch, who, along with his son, William, homesteaded in the area in 1882. In 1905 the Welches post office was established by Clinton W. "Linney" Kern. Welches had a fair sized population during the summer due to the hotels and summer homes in the area. Adding to the Welches community was the Tawney's Mountain Home, a family resort on 100 acres of land which opened for business in 1909. John Maulding purchased the old Walkley homestead and converted the house into a hotel. Francis H. Tawney ( -1947), a former conductor in Portland, and his wife leased the property from Maulding in 1909 and operated the resort. Tawney bought the property in 1910. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1913 and rebuilt. In 1945, the hotel was closed and part of it was used as a residence. Buildings from the Progressive Era (1883-1913) in the Hoodland area were generally simple wood-frame Vernacular buildings. The dwellings are narrow rectangular volumes capped with gable roofs and lit by double-hung sash windows. There are also a few Craftsman/Bungalow style buildings with low pitched hip or gable roofs, exposed rafters, and double-hung windows which are wider and shorter than their Victorian-era counterparts. Occasionally, a simple log building remains which has no decorative features, but is strictly utilitarian. Speculators, in an attempt to take advantage of the recreation and resort boom, expressed an interest in providing transit to the Hoodland area. In 1891, the builders of the Eastside Railroad incorporated the Mount Hood Railway. A franchise was received but no construction took place. In 1904 the Mount Hood Railway & Power Company was incorporated. The corporation proposed to use power from Bull Run to compete with the power generation from the Portland General Electric Company, and to operate an electric railroad up the mountain. Three years later the same group of investors incorporated as the Portland & Eastern Railway Company. Difficulties arose over the proposed route from Portland. The railroad was finally constructed to Bull Run; however, it was never electrified and in 1912 the idea of a railroad to Mount Hood died. The automobile was the answer to Hoodland area access problem. By 1914, companies which provided automobile stage service to Mt. Hood were in full swing. For example, the Reliance Mt. Hood Stage, which began in 1913 with one car, expanded to three cars by 1914. Their dependable service, despite the undependable road conditions, increased their passenger loads and, at times, the Reliance Mt. Hood Stage had to hire extra cars to meet the demand. Automobile recreation continued and expanded with the replacement of the Barlow Road in the 1920s by the Mt. Hood Loop Highway, a 'high gear' automobile highway from Gresham to Government Camp. The highway enhanced further development. Summer homes were built in the Hoodland area during the Motor Age (1914-1940). Many houses were constructed along the Salmon River near Zigzag and Rhododendron. None were built, however, along the stretch between Tollgate and Government Camp until 1918 when the government began to lease summer-home sites within the Forest Reserve. Also during this period, small communities, which did not necessarily focus around a resort or hotel, began to develop in the area. Wemme, located four miles west of Rhododendron, was named for E. Henry Wemme, a Portland resident who played a key part in obtaining public ownership of the Barlow Road. The Barlow Road originally operated as a toll road, but in 1912 Wemme purchased it for $5,400. Upon Wemme's death, after making great improvements to the road, he bequeathed it to the public. In 1916 the Wemme post office was established. Leonard A. Wrenn served as its first postmaster. Many of the buildings constructed during the Motor Age were built in the Oregon Rustic style of architecture, often by a local cabin maker, Henry Steiner. These dwellings featured horizontal logs or vertical log veneer capped with gable roofs and lit with multi-light casement windows. Steiner was known for his fine craftsmanship and use of local materials. Craftsman/Bungalow dwellings were also constructed during this period. They were simple rectangular volumes capped with gable roofs, often with exposed rafters, and illuminated with multi-light fixed sash or casement windows. During the Depression construction of summer homes in the Hoodland area remained constant. Since World War II the main focus of the area has remained recreational. Ski resorts on Mt. Hood have stimulated the conversion of summer homes to winter vacation homes as well as causing further growth in the Hoodland area. More vacation homes are being built, the ski resorts themselves are enlarging, and accommodations for the ski industry are being constructed. In addition, new residential construction is beginning in order to accommodate a commuter population, whereby residents work in the Portland or Gresham area.
Title Records Census Records Property Tax Records Local Histories
Sanborn Maps Biographical Sources SHPO Files Interviews
Obituaries Newspapers State Archives Historic Photographs
City Directories Building Permits State Library
Local Library: University Library:
Historical Society: Other Respository:National Register Nomination Form
Bibliography:
Bibliography: Clackamas County Cultural Resource Inventory, 1984. Gudge, Michael, National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form, 1978