Oliver VanDomelen oral history recording on the history of the Mountaindale area


Oliver VanDomelen oral history recording on the history of the Mountaindale area


An audio recording of an oral history of Oliver Vandomelen about his experiences with farming and logging in Oregon, recorded on May 15, 1978. Vandomelen was born in Banks, Oregon, in 1906. He was a member of the Dutch-Catholic clan who settled in the town of Verboort and has spread to the northern part of Washington County. Growing up in the unincorporated area of Oregon called Mountaindale, Vandomelen helped on his father’s farm doing every bit of chore imaginable. The Mountaindale store had been in the area before he was born, so it was really old. When his father lost the farm during the Great Depression, Vandomelen found work on other farms and was able to survive until he got into logging with his brother-in-law. He talks about the best ways to log with horses, the ideal conditions under which to log in the woods, and his first experiences to getting the hang of logging. Vandomelen lived in or near Cornelius for seven years. He then bought land in Mountaindale and started his own farm. He mostly grew strawberries, but also had grains, some oats, barley, and wheat among others. Vandomelen talks about the benefits of using horses rather than machines when plowing land. He also mentions the different kinds of crops that farmers used to grow in the area, including growing corn to send to the Bird’s Eye cannery in Hillsboro. When describing logging, he mentions the different woods and sawmills that were around, including Sherman’s Mill. Much of the areas in Washington County where people were farming, logging, and living were made up of unincorporated communities such as Mountaindale, Bacona, Shady Brook, Green Mountain, and Dixie Mountain, among others. Snooseville was another where it was so named because of the snoose (snus) that was used by the area’s inhabitants. Vandomelen briefly mentions that Native Americans must have been in the area at one time, because his father and others would find many arrowheads while farming. Vandomelen talks about the local dance halls with its dancing and fights and his own experience with them. He talks about how his children grew up in the area also and how he was seeing new people move into the area. At the end of the interview, Vandomelen says that he will continue farming strawberries with horses as long as he can. Voices in the recording are clearly audible throughout, but there are some background noises of dogs barking and a baby crying. Vandomelen’s wife also chimes in periodically. The recording ends in the middle of a question in the interview. There is a full transcription of the interview along with a two-page introduction and an index.


VanDomelen, Oliver


Washington County (Or.) -- History
VanDomelen, Oliver


Washington County (Or.)
Cornelius (Or.)


1 sound cassette (1 hr., 3 min.)






In Copyright


Washington County Museum


Meyer, Lloyd