Couche Place #3

Couch Place 1993 - This home replaced the original farmhouse that burned down after a lightning strike.

Couche Place 1993 – This home replaced the original farmhouse that burned down after a lightning strike.

1945-1952

14170 Wilsonville Rd., Wilsonville, Oregon (now known as Riverview Farm)

There are many pleasant childhood memories associated with the Couche place, including harvest time in the orchards.  Every year the children helped pick pears, apples, filberts, and walnuts.  The walnuts in particular were memorable because of the special burlap sacks with pictures on them, in which the walnuts were place.  The pictures were  usually animals or birds and the children would carefully choose which sacks they wanted to fill first.

Lightning was common in the Wilsonville area and just in the few years the Fergus family lived there, a house across the road was hit and its wiring system burnt out.  The pump house belonging to the Couche place was also hit with the same results.  The night the pump house was hit by lightning, Darwin remembers being upstairs with Dorothy in the middle of the storm.  They made up their minds to run downstairs and barely made it before the lights went out and the pump house was hit.  The intercom phones between their home and Mr. Couche’s were also damaged.  Ironically, six months after the Fergus family moved to Newberg, their former home on the Couche place burned to the ground after a lightning strike.

One day while detaching the mower from the tricycle tractor, the mower slipped away from Boyd and Darwin.  It fell on top of Boyd, injuring his back.  He was crippled with pain for many months as the doctors tried to diagnose the problem.  During this time, Cleo and the children struggled to keep the dairy chores done so that Boyd could keep his job and not worry too much.  The months of inactivity, pain, and relying on his wife and children too its toll on Boyd and he used alcohol to numb not only the physical pain, but the mental strain.  Finally, a doctor in Portland diagnosed his injury as crushed vertebrae and operated, leaving Boyd in a body cast for the rest of the summer.  The drinking, which eased his suffering, added to Cleo’s worries.  It was only with great courage and faith that he was able to overcome it.

Eventually the dairy and Mr. Couche, proved to be too burdensome to handle so the family started looking for new job possibilities.  One day in a Relief Society meeting Cleo heard about a farm in Newberg, where a man was looking for help.  Boyd contacted the man, accepted the job and the family decided to move.

Couch Dairy Barn 1993

Couche Dairy Barn 1993

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