Maplewood’s Maple Trees

Maplewood Booster Club Planting Norway Maple Trees in Kuza, late summer, 1912.

Maplewood Booster Club Planting Norway Maple Trees in Kuza, late summer, 1912.

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.

Maplewood Maples, 7300 Block SW 54th Ave., 2016-08-01.

Maplewood Maples, 7300 Block SW 54th Ave., 2016-08-01.


For more “Then and Now” views of SW Portland, visit the Multnomah Historical Association at Multnomah Days, Saturday August 20, 2016.

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3 Responses

  1. Paul Drähn says:

    What’s the mater with you people? The 1912 picture at the top is NOT of people planting trees. It is of a road crew clearing vegetation for a street. The guy behind the team of horses id using a Fresno to scrape up sod and dirt to get to a clean surface for crushed rock. The guys on the right side are using shovels to trim the sod back to the survey line for the street.

  2. timlyman says:

    What’s the matter with us? Plenty! We’re understaffed (we rely 100% on volunteers), underfunded (we receive no tax dollars and rely on memberships, donations, and sales), and way behind on cataloguing our archives.

    The photo in question was given to us years ago by George Wendland, who took the photo. George told us that it was a photo of the Maplewood Booster Club planting Maplewood’s Norway maple trees. When the donor of a photo tells us what the photo is about, we take them at their word.

    Looking closely at the photo it’s obvious that whatever else is going on, this is a crew clearing a street. The Fresno scraper is almost invisible under the dirt it is scraping; it appears to be a small, homemade scraper, and we missed it.

    It’s always great when we are able to add or correct information about a photo. Thank you Paul.

    Detail of the Fresno scraper from the above photo below:

    Fresno Scraper Clearing Street in Kuza/Maplewood, late summer,1912.

    • Paul Drähn says:

      Most of the info is great and informative. when we lived in Multnomah and attended the Maplewood Friends Church, we always wondered about all the maple trees. Were they native broad leaf, or what. Now we know.

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