February 1, 2011
At 4:47 pm, Gresham and Portland firefighters were dispatched to 9-1-1 calls of a 25 x 50' barn on fire at 16134 SE Powell Blvd.
Crews from Gresham Fire arrived at the scene within five minutes of being dispatched and found that the barn on the site of the historic Meadowland Dairy was fully engulfed in flames. The lot also contains two houses and a shed and is surrounded by the Meadowcrest Farm Estates Mobile Home Park.
Firefighters battled strong east winds and commanders called for a 2nd alarm bringing additional firefighters from Portland and Gresham to the scene at 5:00 pm.
Firefighters worked diligently to save surrounding houses and mobile homes that were threatened by the flames and heat. At 5:10 pm the barn began collapsing and fire crews were pulled back for safety reasons.
"We are saddened tonight that this piece of Gresham and Portland's history has been lost," said Public Information Officer Paul Corah. "Given the number and proximity of homes to the fire and the gusting east winds, it could have been much worse. Most importantly, firefighters were able to save the surrounding homes and nobody was hurt."
The fire was brought under control at 5:14 pm. Firefighters will remain on scene for the next several hours. Due to the cold and wind, commanders will be rotating crews as necessary to ensure that firefighters stay warm and safe. An investigator is currently on scene and is investigating the cause of the fire.
Photos courtesy of Portland Fire & Rescue's Photographers Dick Harris and Greg Muhr.
Anderegg Family History at Powell Butte (courtesy of the Portland Water Bureau)
In 1908, Henry and Anna Anderegg - emigrants from Switzerland - along with Henry's brother-in-law, Henry Naegeli, began leasing land from the City of Portland on what was then called Camp Butte. The Camp family had operated an orchard and cattle ranch on the butte since 1880.
According to Lillian Adams, youngest of Henry and Anna's four children, a City Commissioner named John Mann wanted to ensure that the butte was "taken care of," and felt that a hard-working ranching family would do just that.
For many years the Anderegg family pastured 600 to 800 dairy cows and a number of Percheron horses on the property. Several barns and a shed surrounded the family home. The Anderegg family created and ran Mountain View Dairy; the name was later changed to Meadowland Dairy. The family was also very involved in the community and often offered tours for area schools. The original homestead on the butte was a gathering place for the local Swiss community to get together to dance, sing and yodel. The Andereggs loved living on the butte, not only for the beautiful open spaces that reminded them of home, but also for the spectacular view of the many snow-covered mountains.
In 1924, the farming operation was moved to the base of the butte to property on SE Powell Blvd. between SE 157th and SE 174th avenues. The City allowed the Andereggs to continue to pasture cattle and horses on the butte to preserve the open meadows. The butte's name was changed to Powell Butte in the late 1960s, but many locals just called it Anderegg Hill.
Lillian Adams was born on Powell Butte in 1924, although her family moved off the butte into an 1892 Victorian farmhouse on Powell Blvd. when she was six months old. Everybody worked hard in those days. Lillian's older brothers, Walter and Tracy, and her sister Lena would each milk 20 cows before heading off to school in the mornings. The milking parlor was built in 1961 and with Lillian's help, her brother Walter made sure that every child that came to the dairy got to try to milk a cow. Each child also received ice cream and chocolate milk to remember their visit. Anna, Lillian and Lena would feed 28 dairy workers around the kitchen table three times a day.
In 1948, Lillian married Wayne Adams, who had worked at the dairy as a young boy. He continued to farm the property until 1989.
Today, the dairy is no longer in existence. In the early 1970s the homestead was divided between the four children. Lillian wanted the family home and some surrounding acreage that she eventually developed. After the death of her husband in 1989, Lillian developed Meadowcrest Farm Estates. The family home is filled with heirlooms and photos of cows and the dairy operation. It also serves as Lillian's office, as well as a meeting place for family and park tenants.
Portland Fire & Rescue
We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
February 1, 2011