Maplewood’s Maple Trees
Oregon Electric Railroad policy was to name stations after Native American tribes, so when they built their station near present SW 51st Ave and SW Maplewood Road, they named it Kuza, for the Kusans; Athapascans settled on the Siletz reservation. In 1911 about a dozen families lived in the area. Some of the residents formed a Boosters Club and made plans to bring water, streets and sidewalks to the community. There was still no electricity, gas, phone service or school. In the winter of 1911 a nursery salesman sold many Norway maple trees for planting along the dirt roads. The community never liked the name Kusa, and after the planting of the maples petitioned the Oregon Electric to change the name of their station and area to Maplewood.
For more “Then and Now” views of SW Portland, visit the Multnomah Historical Association at Multnomah Days, Saturday August 20, 2016.