Built in 1869 by John Quincy Adams Young, a prominent Oregon pioneer, the house became Cedar Mill’s first post office and served as a general store. It’s one of the oldest buildings in our area, and it’s going to be transformed into a community resource through the efforts of local citizens.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Donating to the JQAYoung House, or "Where does my money go?"

If you want to donate to the JQAYoung House, but you are concerned about making sure your money is used responsibly, here is a little primer on how our finances are structured.

The restoration of the JQAYoung house is a joint project between:
1) The Friends of the JQAYoung House and
2) The Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District (THPRD)

The THPRD owns the house and the property and performs maintenence and administrative functions.The Friends of the JQAYoung House is a group that has been created to raise funds, apply for grants and garner community support.

The Tualatin Hills Park FOUNDATION (THPF) is an Oregon non-profit corporation created for the purpose of benefiting the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District (THPRD). It acquires and maintains assets for the THPRD to use for its programs. This foundation houses and performs the financial functions of the JQAYoung House restoration.

When you give to the JQAyoung House, be sure you designate your donation to the JQAYoung House. Though you write your check, assign your annuity, or use your credit card to the Foundation, the Foundation keeps the money in a restricted account, to be used for the JQAYoung House only. The foundation uses Fund Accounting under General Accepted Accounting Principles for Non-profit Organizations, and resources can be set aside in separate funds. The Friends of the JQAYoung House can get regular, detail accounting of its fund, to assure donations are being used for the purposes they are intended.

There are many ways to give! And remember: This is a non-profit, which means your gift is tax deductable. Gifts can be in the form of:

1) Currency-- cold, hard cash! Slip it in the US Post with a note (designating it to the JQAYoung House) and a request for a reciept. Or bring your jar of pennies to the THPRD adminstation office (see address below) and tell them you want to donate it to the JQAYoung House.

2) Checks and money orders-- make it payable to Tualatin Hills Park Foundation (THPF). Be sure to write "For the JQAYoung House Fund" on it and slip it the US Post and mail it to:

Tualatin Hills Park Foundation
Attn: JQAYoung House
15707 SW Walker Road
Beaverton, OR 97006

3) Plastic-- Charge a donation to your MasterCard, VISA or Discover Card. Go to our website donation page at www.jqayounghouse.org/donate.html OR the Foundation website at www.thprd.org/foundation/donate.cfm. You may make a one-time donation or get on a regular giving plan. Tell us how much and how often you would like to donate, and we will set up an automatic withdrawal.

4) Planned Giving-- If you are working with a professional financial planner, accountant, attorney, or insurance agent, talk with them about what you want to do. They can tell you about the tax benefits of your gift, and help you set it up. Some of the ways you can give are: bequests in a will or living trust, a charitable remainder trust, life insurance policies, appreciated assets gifts of appreciated property (such as real estate or shares of corporate stock), or tax-free gifts from IRAs.

Thank you so much for giving!

Monday, June 15, 2009

First Step: Develop the Grounds into a Park.

Our first step in restoring the house is to develop the grounds to a park.

Some features of the park will be:
- Picnic tables and paths
- A large lawn area
- A connection to the future "Boardwalk Trail" to Cedar Mill Falls
- An observation area, overlooking Cedar Mill Creek
- Garden and house interpretive plaques for historical education
- A fenced demonstration kitchen garden with a hand water pump, and plants that would have been grown there when the house was built.
- Landscaping with native and historical plants and trees.

And, not the least important, parking upgrades and ADA accessible paths!

How much money will this take? A lot! Current estimates are in the ball park of $44,500. Funding for the project will come from donations and grants. Donations can come in the form of time, goods, services and money. Often grants will match private donations, so you can double your contribution. See our blog about how donations are handled in our "" post.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

About the Friends of the JQAY House

The original Friends of John Quincy Adams Young House was created in November of 1997 for the purpose of preventing the moving or demotion of the house. The group, led by Sue Conger, gathered historical information about the house and property, and started communications with the Cedar Mill Bible Church and the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District (THPRD). After eight long years of negotiations, the THPRD acquired the house and property. In May 2005, the THPRD appointed a 13-member ad hoc committee to study restoration plans.

2006 was a very big year for the Friends of the John Quincy Adams Young House. The ad hoc committee worked tirelessly together until the master plan for the restoration of the house was completed and then the group disbanded.

Susan Conger, the chair of the Friends of the John Quincy Adams Young House and the hoc committee, succumbed to cancer in May 2006. In June 2006, THPRD general manager Ron Willoughby retired. With the initial goal of the Friends being accomplished, and with the loss of key personnel, momentum in the development of the property was temporarily slowed.

Since that time, largely through the efforts of Virginia Bruce and other former ad hoc committee members, interest in the house has been sustained, and there have been several fund raising activities, most notably the first and second annual Cedar Mill Cider Festivals.

Former ad hoc committee members gathered with some of the descendants of Susan Conger to discuss the future of the fundraising effort. Now a new Friends of the John Quincy Adams Young House is being formed under the guidance of THPRD for the purposes of fund raising and community involvement.

Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District (THPRD) is forming a committee to provide support for the restoration of the John Quincy Adams Young House throgh public and private fund-raising efforts. Applications are now being accepted, please visit our website at www.jqayounghouse.org and download the application form and submit your application by March 31.

The Friends of John Quincy Adams Young House By-Laws/Guidelines

The Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District has given members of the Friends of the John Quincy Adams Young House the following charge:

The purpose and Mission of the Friends of the John Quincy Adams Young House is to support the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District in the restoration of the John Quincy Adams Young house through fundraising efforts.

In pursuit of the above charge, members of the Friends of the John Quincy Adams Young House (JQAY) will be guided by the following by-laws/guidelines.

-The Friends of JQAY house shall consist of 7-10 members. Permanent members include the Jenkins Estate Center Supervisor & the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District Superintendent of Programs and Special Activities.

-Officers will include Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Secretary. These positions shall be elected in (insert month) and will serve one- year terms.

-Terms of membership shall be two-year overlapping terms with membership transfer to occur in (insert month) Members may serve additional terms upon request.

-Any member not wishing to complete his/her full term shall notify the Committee in writing allowing adequate time to find a suitable replacement.

-Meetings shall be scheduled when necessary to discuss JQAY business, not more than twice per month and at least once a quarter.

-Members of the Friends Group shall be available to develop, implement and assist at special fundraising functions, to solicit donations and upon request, speak to the public to help maintain contact with the community at large.

-All fundraising performed by the Friends Group shall be in compliance with all State and local laws. All funds shall be used for restoration of the JQAY house and grounds. All funds shall be secured in and managed by the Tualatin Hills Park Foundation.

-All Friends Group action shall be in accordance to and consistent with Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District policy and procedures.

-THPRD Superintendents and Center Supervisors shall be ex-officio members and will not have voting privileges.

January 27, 2009

Preservation time line...

November 1997 “Friends of the John Quincy Adams Young House” is formed. They contact the Cedar Mill Bible Church with a proposal to develop the house and grounds as a park. The Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District (THPRD) expresses interest in acquiring the house and property.

1998-2003 The Cedar Mill Bible Church and the THPRD enter into negotiations.

November 2003 THPRD starts to negotiate a price for the house and property.

December 2003 Polygon Northwest, Inc. purchases the Teufel Nursery, an approximately 90-acre parcel of land on Barnes Road. The JQA Young House is adjacent to Cedar Mill Falls and Cedar Mill Creek, which are designated as wildlife habitat and are part of the Teufel property. The Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District expresses an interest in developing a trail and parks in the area, which include the house, the falls and part of the creek.

February 2005 Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District acquires the house and property.

May 2005 Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District appoints a 13-member ad hoc committee to study restoration plans.

April 2006 The entire Cedar Mill Creek corridor from Cornell to Barnes is to be improved by Polygon Northwest and then passed to Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District. Amenities will include a trail that will begin at Foege Park, then continue along Cedar Mill Creek as a boardwalk which will run along the eastern boundary of the JQA Young House Park, and will be visible from an overlook platform near the house.

March 2006 The THPRD board unanimously accepts the management plan presented by the ad hoc committee. The board also determines to name the planned boardwalk is to be named the "Susan Conger Commemorative Boardwalk". The ad hoc committee is disbanded.

May 2006 Susan Conger, the chair of the Friends of the John Quincy Adams Young House and the hoc committee succumbs to cancer in May. In June 2006, THPRD general manager Ron Willoughby retires. With the initial goal of the Friends being accomplished, and with the loss of key personnel, momentum in the development of the property is temporarily slowed.

October 2007 The THPRD board accepts the master plan developed by McKay and Sposito Inc.
The first annual Cedar Mill Cider festival is held for fund raising.

February 2008 Washington County Cultural Grants provides funds to create a scale model of the JQAY House for publicity and fund raising purposes.

Oct 2008 Second annual Cedar Mill Cider Festival is held. Relatives of the Youngs and former residents of the house join in the festivities

December 2008 The JQAYoung house becomes listed in the National Register of Historic Places

January 2009 The Friends of the JQA Young House is formally reformed to support the THPRD in the restoration of the John Quincy Adams Young house through fund raising efforts.


Located close to the Sunset Transit Center and to local highways, the JQA Young House offers the potential for historical tourism, as well as a much-needed community meeting facility. When restored, it will be included in the history curriculum for local schools and will be a resource for all students of the Oregon Trail and pioneer history. The falls will be part of the park that will surround the house and grounds.

• Restore the exterior of the house to 1869, the period of its original construction
• Rehabilitate the interior of the house to bring it up to code, including electrical, plumbing, heating, and access
• Make the first floor and grounds of the house available for public and private community use and facility rentals, including passive historic interpretation of the interior, and development of opportunities for historic educational activities on the grounds
• Form a volunteer group affiliated with the Tualatin Hills Park Foundation to raise funds for the restoration and ongoing care of the property

History of the house...

Plans for a sawmill were developed in 1855 by John Halsey Jones, seven miles west of Portland in what became Cedar Mill, a heavily timbered squatter's tract. Jones and his father purchased 183 acres from the squatter and later filed a donation land claim for the property near NW 119th Avenue and Cornell Road. Since Jones had previousAdd Imagely received all the free land to which he was entitled, his parents, Justus and Lois, filed the claim. John and his eight-year-old brother, Elihu, moved to the area with their parents.

A small sawmill was built by Justus and John. Their mill, as indicated on an old road survey map, stood on the south side of Cornell near a 32-foot drop of Cedar Mill Creek. According to family accounts, power for the mill was supplied by a large overshot water wheel below the falls. Above the mill site, the meandering creek was dammed in a natural basin to form a mill pond.

John Quincy Adams Young was the youngest of six children when he arrived in Oregon with his family from Ohio in 1847. They made their way to Oregon City, and then finally to the Tualatin plains, where they settled on a Donation Land Claim near Orenco.

By 1869 JQA Young had married and moved to the Cedar Mill area, where he partnered with William Everson, another Ohio native, and purchased the sawmill from the Jones family.

Young and his family first lived in a log cabin on the mill site. He then built a salt-box style house nearby. In 1874, he sold his interest in the mill, and moved his family to a larger new home across Cornell. The original salt-box style house was converted to being used as the local post office and general store. This home is what we now call the John Quincy Adams Young House.

On January 29, 1894, JQA Young was appointed postmaster for the growing community. Cedar Mill History says, “Young’s small store, on the ground floor of his two-story former home, served as the first post office. Here the postmaster constructed a pigeonhole cabinet where patrons received mail delivered weekly from Portland. For his postal duties, Young received a commission based on the number of 2¢ postage stamps and 1¢ postcards sold."

The post office was later moved to other establishments, but the house survived. The property was eventually purchased by Stanley Russell, who built a new house next door and rented the house to a Mr. Peterson. It was added to the Washington County Cultural Resource Inventory in 1983. In 1993 the property was bought by the Cedar Mill Bible Church. The church adopted a master plan for expansion in 1997 which included plans for moving the house off the property.

Members of the community were alarmed to learn that the church had advertised the house to be free to any party who would move it to a different location. They felt that part of the historical value of the house was its location adjacent to the mill site. In November 1997 Sue Conger helped form a group that came to be called “Friends of the JQA Young House.” The group contacted the church to request them to preserve the house. Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District (THPRD) expressed interest in acquiring the house plus the adjacent Cedar Mill Falls in order to develop a unique community park.

In February 2005 the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District acquired the house and the a half-acre of land on which the house sits in a property exchange agreement with Cedar Mill Bible Church. In March 2006, THPRD's Board of Directors adopted a management plan for the house. Future plans call for fundraising programs to help renovate the house.