Life Before Fogelbo


Our family life, before we moved to Portland, was simple compared to today’s standards.  My parents moved to Wallow County in northeastern Oregon during World War II.  We first lived in a large Victorian house in Enterprise, Oregon.  The house had no central heating, which meant we had to rely on large wood and coal stoves.  My father, who had a flair for original names, called the place, “Chateau de Igloo” because it was so cold during the winter.


We were quite self-sufficient as my father was an avid hunter.  We ate nearly all kinds of wild game; deer, elk, pheasant and ducks.  A  large garden provided much of our fruits and vegetables.  There was a big barn near the house where we kept a cow that provided us with dairy products.  Much of what we used was strictly rationed during the war.


My father was USDA Forest Ranger for the Joseph District.  During the summer we would stay in beautiful hand-crafted log homes (ranger stations) for short lengths of time.  My father would often spend time on horseback visiting remote ranches and parts of his Forest District.  Part of his District was the spectacular Hell’s Canyon.  He would stay with local ranch families while riding from ranch to ranch.


My mother taught piano, mostly classical music, in Enterprise, Joseph and  Lostine.  She was employed by the Lostine School District to teach their students piano in the old stone schoolhouse.  The whole town attended her musical programs.  Both my mother and father drove through unbelievable snowstorms and slick roads to reach their destinations.  Winters lasted six months with bitter cold temperatures and large amounts of snow.


My parents bought two acres of land at the foot of Wallow Lake in 1946.  There they were to build their dream home.  The home was built in two stages.  Our home was the first of a number of homes that were constructed at the foot of the lake.  Water was in short supply at first as the water system for the subdivision was not completed.  This meant that we had to haul our water in 10-gallon milk cans to our home that first summer.  The first months we had to use an improvised outhouse, which was a real work of art.  That first summer we nearly lost everything due to a raging grass fire.  Fortunately the wind changed direction, causing the fire to bypass our home.  Men from the nearby town of Joseph soon arrived on the scene to help my poor mother and a few frantic neighbors.


The town of Joseph consisted of about 850 people, not counting dogs, cats and chickens.  My walk to and from the old stone two-story schoolhouse was over a mile.  In 1948 my parents finished constructing a large beautiful 140-foot-long home with a spectacular view of Wallow Lake.  This area of northeastern Oregon is called the Switzerland of America.  Even though the first year at the lake was rather difficult, life was very enjoyable for me as a child.


My summers were filled with friends making our own entertainment.  As kids we had a village on top of the hill overlooking the lake.  We played Indians with tepees, costumes and covered wagons.  During Chief Joseph days, the local roundup, the Nez Perce Indians would  camp at the foot of the lake.  Old Chief Joseph’s grave was not far from our home.


The Early Years at Fogelbo


In the summer of 1950, my father accepted a position as Oregon’s Chief Road Engineer for the Bureau of Land Management.  This government agency owns large tracts of Federal forest land in Oregon.  My father, during his 18 years with this agency, was responsible for the basic road system involving hundreds of millions of dollars.  He would, on occasion, go to Washington, DC for Congressional hearings and would frequently meet with County Commissioners and local officials.  Mother continued teaching piano lessons and became very involved with a number of cultural and social organizations.  We first rented a house on SW Hamilton Street, until we bought our current property on Oleson Road, April 1, 1952.


I remember the day well, as it was an exciting event for the family.  We did much of the moving ourselves, except for the large furniture.  It was springtime and the plum trees were in full bloom as we had a late spring that year.  The house seemed particularly very large to me.  My mother was fortunate enough to find our log home when she was “home searching” for us to relocate.  We were also interested in a large brick home on Oleson Road.  This log home had a certain rustic attraction to us, being of Swedish background.  We had, in the past, lived in log Ranger Stations during the summers in Wallow County.  We purchased the log home from a Frank Beers, an Oregon State Policeman.  We were the third owners of the home.  The first owner was Herman Olson, the brother to Oscar, and then Oscar and Alma Olson.  Oscar Olson was born October 18, 1879 in Sjoby, Småland, Sweden and immigrated with his parents, John and Elma Olson, to Progress, Oregon, where they had a farm.  Oscar was a policeman for the City of Portland.  They had the home built during the 1930's.  The house was an example of the type of architecture that was used between the 1900s and 1940s in many of the National Park Lodges (Newman) 2002.  The house itself is more of a Norwegian construction with whole logs.


The house and two acres of land were bought for $16,500, a rather large amount of money for that time.  The house had little landscaping.  Most of that property was wilderness and considered to be in the country.  My father cut down 12 large fir trees and blew and burned out the stumps.  I still remember the cans of oil on a tripod dripping oil on the glowing fire.  My father had a great fear that these trees would blow down on the house.  Most likely they would have during the Columbus Day storm of 1962.  My parents then proceeded to plant extensive lawns and many varieties of shrubs and flowers.  Father also planted an orchard with a great variety of fruit trees and berries.  The trees included plum, cherry, three varieties of apple, nut trees, peach, apricot and prune.  We had blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, currants, gooseberries and blackberries.


Within a few years, my mother had more than 150 varieties of dahlias, and a great selection of iris, annuals and perennials.  Much of their spare time was spent laboring on our grounds.  We occasionally hired some of the work done on more extensive projects.  I named our place, “The Fogelquist Slave Labor Camp,” as I was often behind the mower or hoe.  With the beautification of our property, the taxes doubled from $100 to $200 a year because we had made so many improvements.  Needless to say, my father was very upset with Washington County politics.


Our neighbors were a very friendly and interesting group of individuals.  Many of them were second generation Europeans, particularly Scandinavian.  Some had lived in the area since the 1920's, when the big Red Electric inter-urban streetcars and trains passed through our neighborhood.  All our neighbors were avid gardeners, having retained their original land holdings of one to three acres.  We all refused to sell to developers, and much of the neighborhood remains the same.  Originally there was a farm on the Richard Olson property.  There was an old brick well and an orchard at that location.  The Cardboro family owned the property where most of the immediate neighborhood is now located.  The subdivision was referred to as Cardboro Acres.  It was subdivided sometime during the 1920's.  The area was logged sometime around 1915.  Our neighbors were the Carl R. Hansen family, Joe Roshak family, the Dean Bristow family, and the Richard Olson family.  Richard Olson’s uncle, Herman Olson, had our home built.  It is not known if he lived in the house or sold it to his brother, Oscar Olson.  It is unusual that a number of their children and grandchildren are still living on or near their parents’ property.  I attended Garden Home Grade School.  My class was in the older section of the building constructed in 1910.  Garden Home was an important junction for the Oregon Electric Trains and the inter-urban streetcars that went through much of Tualatin Valley.  Garden Home consisted of an old wooden two-story store, western style post office and a garage, which had formerly been a livery stable.  There was the old Methodist Church on Garden Home Road.  This building is now part of the West Hill Unitarian Fellowship, just a few blocks from Fogelbo.  There are a few older homes in the area.  The elite of Garden Home lived in what was called the Hunt Club, which adjoined the Frank Estate.  The Hunt Club included many beautiful homes, a riding school and stables.  The complex all burned in a spectacular fire in the 1960's.


At the junction of Hall Blvd. (formerly HWY217 and Oleson Road) was the community of Bradley’s Corner.  There Ed Busch had his market.  That was our closest grocery store.  The old Bradley house was across the street.  The house was later moved to 92nd Street.  Progress consisted of store and cold storage facility.   Our family rented a locker there that was always kept full of frozen meats, fruits and vegetables.  There was also a tavern and a few houses.  We were, at that time, always amused at the old sign hanging on the sheet metal bus shelter saying, “Watch Progress progress”.  We thought, “Who would ever want to live here?’


As children in the neighborhood, we organized our own entertainment in Olson’s woods.  There we constructed a model town out of old shipping crates, donated by Dick Olson.  The town consisted of a number of buildings and homes.  We elected town officials of different ranks.  I was governor and lived in the biggest house in the make-believe town of Joseph.  We had our own newspaper, currency, police and fire department.  The Oregon Journal, one of Portland’s main newspapers, did a full-page story on the society page about this town that was created by a group of most imaginative kids.


The greatest impact on our peaceful neighborhood was the construction of “Washington Square Mall.”  We needed that like we needed a hole in the head.  It destroyed the whole nature of our peaceful neighborhood.  In the early years of the mall, big red double-decker English buses would travel the surrounding area.  It was a strange sight to see these buses going up and down Oleson Road.  That lasted only a few years, however.  Farms, fields, and trees soon vanished quickly to be replaced by strip malls, stores, hotels, motels, 12-story office buildings and all the congestion that comes with such development.  Get-rich developers filled Garden Homes with ugly apartments, bringing in many undesirable people into our community.  The citizens’ effort to incorporate Garden Home into a separate town was quickly prevented by these developers, by passing the will of the local citizens.  They had Garden Home incorporated into Portland.  Then they were free to build apartments and cash in at the expense of the local citizens.


On a more positive side, the Progress Downs Golf Course was constructed, which added to the beauty of the area.  A new four-lane HWY217 was constructed and added additional traffic to Oleson Road.  Now, the once quiet Oleson Road has become a major thoroughfare for more than 16,000 trucks, cars and buses, all in the name of progress.                                                                                  


My life at Fogelbo contains many wonderful memories.  Where does a person begin to recall all the many events and people that have visited here in the last 50 years?


During my life at Fogelbo, so many events and guests have played an important part in shaping my appreciation of foreign people and their culture.  There were also many significant factors that shaped my life

here.  Hopefully the pictures and historical information in this booklet will give the reader an impression of life at 8740 SW Oleson Road.


In conclusion, I want to mention my dear parents who provided me with great inspiration and insight.  They had so many interests in a great variety of fields.  They had a zest for life and a great understanding of the world around them.  My father was a true Renaissance man with so many talents in different fields.  He could discuss religion, philosophy, attend an opera or football game, enjoy hunting, shoot 19th century guns, design and build a house and water system.  He could visit with any person, no matter what their station in life might be.  Both my parents had a great interest in local, national and international affairs.  They taught me to judge people by “...not what they had but what they were as human beings.”  My parents had friends and acquaintances from all walks of life.  They were always welcome at Fogelbo.  As a child I was exposed to many different positive aspects of life.


My real passion for my Swedish heritage came from my Swedish grandparents, Fredrick and Anna Fogelquist.  Fortunately my Swedish grandparents and their children were very proud of our heritage, culture and language.  The didn’t “trash” their culture and language when they arrived in the United States as many Europeans did at that time.  My grandfather and father possessed many of the same qualities.  Grandfather had a great interest in history and antique weapons, many of which can be seen in Fogelbo today.  He was a very kind  man and was exceedingly generous and compassionate.  My grandparents truly lived their Christian faith.  Grandfather, like my parents, was a “saver.”  Consequently I possess many fascinating and interesting items of our family history.  Grandfather Fogelquist produced many beautiful hand-carved furniture and decorative items that were  perfect matches for our rustic home.  I started acquiring family heirlooms at the age of six from my grandparent’s attic.  Now a number of these items can be found at Fogelbo.  They will remain here for future generations of families and guests to enjoy.


The school year I spent at the University of Vienna and the extended time traveling through Europe and the Middle East had a great effect on my life.  From that time, until today, I had a great interest in European people, culture and history.  Since my first journey, I have returned to Europe more than 30 times.  While traveling and visiting many friends and relatives, I have continued collecting and acquiring items for Fogelbo.  Since the mid-‘60's, I have frequented many auctions, estate sales, garage sales, and antique shops searching for items for my collections at Fogelbo.  Lives of the local Scandinavian immigration have become a great interest to me.  My dream now is that Fogelbo will be a true reflection of Scandinavian and European culture.  Hopefully the future generations of guests will be able to visit the Fogelquist home and have a deeper appreciation of their Scandinavian roots and the heritage their ancestors brought with them to America.


Most of all, Fogelbo will be dedicated to the memory of my dear parents, Charlie and Jessie Fogelquist, who had the energy, wisdom and foresight to make our home and its gardens what it is today.  Our heritage is so important for us all, no matter who we are, for it tells us who we are and adds a brighter picture to our understanding of the past.  In conclusion, in speaking for myself, I would like to quote words from a famous Johan Sebastian Bach Chorale, “Grant me to find the task – for which my talents fit me with steady strength to strive, that I may well acquit me.  And when my work is done that something may remain, for men to use, that I shall not have lived in vain.”


I would like to thank all those people who assisted me in the publication of this booklet.  Special recognition to Axel Werner of Munich, Germany who is responsible for this publication; Arvis Franks for typing the text, and Anerson Jonsson for the Christmas photography.


Oleson Road and the Swedish Connection


Many Swedes settled in western Oregon and Washington during the late 1800's and the early 1900's.  Oleson Road was named after one such Swede, Olie Oleson.  Olie immigrated to this area in 1874 from Stockholm, Sweden.  He had a large 160-acre homestead in the area around Garden Home and Raleigh Hills.  His home was constructed in 1891 on what is now known as SW Ames, just 53 meters from Oleson Road.  The large Victorian Queen Anne style residence remains in excellent condition.  He had a mill on Fanno Creek.  There are many of his descendants living in this area. 


Charles F. Fogelquist


Charles (Charlie) Fridolph Fogelquist was born April 24, 1897 in Sioux City, Iowa, the son of Fred C. and Anna Lundgren Fogelquist.  The family moved to Selah, Washington in 1908 and he graduated in 1914 from Selah High School.


He was a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle, receiving both  Bachelor and Master Degrees from that institution.


Between 1922 and 1935 he was involved in a number of different jobs.  Before his marriage to Jessie Taylor on June 1, 1925, Charlie traveled around the world with an educational photo expedition.  Between 1927 and 1930 he and Jessie operated the Woodleaf Resort in northern California.  After the beginning of the depression, he worked for a large insurance company in Indianapolis, Indiana.


He was District Forest Ranger for the USDA Forest Service in both Lakeview and Wallowa National Forests in eastern Oregon.  From 1950 until his retirement in 1967, he was chief road Engineer for Oregon with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  He was responsible for establishing the basic timber and recreational roads for the BLM during this time.


Charlie was very active in promoting conservation and outdoor recreation and hunting activities.  He received the Department of Interior’s Meritorious Service Award for more than 30 years of exceptional Government services.  He was a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Washington in the Logging Engineer Department.


He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Portland, Oregon.


His wife, Jessie Taylor Fogelquist, preceded him in death, January 1978.  They had been married for over 52 years.


He was a member of the following organizations; Lamda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Oregon United National Association, Portland Chapter of the American Scandinavian Foundation, Tri-County Gun Club, American Association of Foresters and Toastmasters, where he served as president.


Charles led a very full and active life until his death.  He had an avid interest in many different fields.  He was particularly interested in hunting and nature and was a collector of old and historic weapons.  Charlie also had a strong interest in politics and history.  He had a great appreciation of the fine arts.  Woodworking was another one of his creative talents.  His home on Oleson Road is a living testament to his keen interest in nature and gardening.


Charlie played a patriarchal role in both the Fogelquist and Taylor families.  He maintained contacts with nearly all his many nieces and nephew, brothers and sisters-in-law.  His warm friendly outgoing nature will be remembered by many friends and relatives well into the future.


He died peacefully in his sleep at the family summer home in the beautiful Applegate Valley.  The home was dear to Charlie as he designed it and helped in its construction.  He also greatly enjoyed the woods that surrounded his summer home.


Jessie Fern Taylor Fogelquist


My mother, Jessie Fern Taylor, was born September 1, 1899, in Pasadena, California.  Her father was born in County Cavin in the northern part of Ireland, the son of an English gentleman.  He, with his wife and four children, immigrated to the United States in about 1878.  They first settled in Vermont and later moved to California, where Jessie was born.  My grandmother (Jessie’s mother) was of Welsh background, originally coming from New London, Canada.  She was adopted by her half-brother at the age of six, after her father died in Spokane, Washington.  He was a wealthy lumberman owning 28 lumber yards in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.  She lived there with her half-brother and his family.  She enjoyed the life of wealth with all its special privileges.  My mother later moved to Salem, Oregon where she finished high school.  Her family moved to Long Beach, California, where they owned a mansion, oil wells and a private tennis court.  Jessie attended Oregon State University.  While there she met my father.  He had graduated from the University of Washington and was with a fraternity brother whose sister was a close friend of my mother.  Both girls were in the same Sorority, Gamma Phi Beta.  She married Charles F. Fogelquist on June 1, 1925, in Long Beach, California at her parents’ estate.


Fifty years later, their son, Ross, gave a large garden party at Fogelbo with 200 guests in attendance.  A 20-piece chamber orchestra played for the event, along with Swedish folk fiddlers.  Jessie Fogelquist died at the age of 78 on January 10, 1978.  Her legacy lives on at Fogelbo today as can be seen in the beautiful garden.  She was involved in many civic, cultural and social organizations, such as The League of Women’s Voters, Oregon Music Teachers Association Chapter, First Presbyterian Church, PEO , garden and antique clubs.  She was always a very gracious host to all the guests that came to Fogelbo.