Patton Place

photo taken by Fergie Fergus in 1978

2nd home built on the Patton Place. Photo taken by Fergie Fergus in 1978.

near present day 15195 Ribbon Ridge Rd. Newberg, Oregon

The Patton place originally consisted of an older two-story home with a big porch on the back, a garage, and a huge barn that was over 100 feet high.  The home itself was built at the intersection of two gravel roads.  One road came in at an angle and closely followed one of the two creeks that fed into the valley.  During years of excess rain or snow, the creeks would flood and change course, covering the roads.  Water would run past the house, flood the garage and back porch, and drain down into the old lake bottom used as farm land.  Boyd and Cleo Fergus always kept an eye on that lake bottom and how full it got.  Water never flooded the main part of the house because it was a good 6-8 inches higher than the garage and porch.  The kids loved it because they missed school when the bus couldn’t get through.  They never had to evacuate, but if they had needed to, safety was as close as the barn up the hill.

The Fergus children were very excited to move to the Patton place because it seemed like a mansion after their previous home, the drafty old Couche house in Wilsonville.  The children were too excited to sleep the night before the move and were up early in the morning on moving day.  Boyd and Cleo let them stay home from school and explore their new home and the Patton property.  After touring every inch of the place, they came home for hot chocolate.

For the Fergus teenagers life at the Patton place was full of hard work and responsibility; sometimes lonely work if they were driving a tractor.  The Patton place had 5 filbert (hazelnut) orchards, one of which was 99 acres, the largest in the world at that time, 3 cherry orchards, and 3 prune orchards.  The cherries and prunes were hand-picked.  The family also raised grain, mostly as feed for their own livestock.  They kept turkeys for a time, sheep, and then beef cows.  Boyd had worked with sheep in Utah, but found it a challenge in Oregon because of the wetter climate and dense vegetation in which predators could hide.  He kept 200-300 head of sheep at one time.  Later he switched to beef cattle which were easier.  The family raised most of their own food, cows for milk and meat, chickens, pigs, a large vegetable garden, and kept a berry patch.  Boyd was also a skilled horseman, just as his father was before him.  Some of the special horses he had at the Patton place were Pet and Prince, Rowdy, and Red.

 

Aerial view of George Packing Company, formerly the Patton Place.  Photo courtesy of the Yamhill County Assessor's Office.

Aerial view of George Packing Company, formerly the Patton Place. Photo courtesy of the Yamhill County Assessor’s Office.

 

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