by Michele Morseth

By the early 1900s Cloverdale had become an important stop along the A.J. Warrin Road between Tetherow Crossing and Sisters Country. In about 1890 Oscar Maxwell saw the potential for a stop where the two routes to Santiam Pass met, one coming through Camp Polk and the other through Sisters. He filed on 160 acres and built his house and a store on either side of the road at what is now the intersection of Jordan Road and Cloverdale. Early settlers in Cloverdale included the Jordan family (1896); the D. W. Farthings (1899); Enoch and Mary Cyrus (1899), and Homer Street, the first teacher.

The Cyrus family, who had moved from the Grey Butte area, bought out Maxwell in the early 1900s for $1000. They built an addition onto the house and built a big barn on the south side of the road, which housed horses and hay for travelers. Near the barn was a store owned by Otis “Ote” Cobb. Attached to the store was a small, lean-to blacksmith that Enoch Cyrus ran. These services supplied both travelers and homesteaders in the Cloverdale area.

Other buildings on the corner included an ice house, a smoke house, and the first cistern in the area. Weary travelers could camp, rest and feed their tired horses, get wagons repaired and horses shod at the smithy, and buy supplies. People camped under the juniper trees and horses were tied out if there wasn’t room in the barn. This corner changed hands many times over the years. At one time Tom and then Frank Arnold owned the corner and then Melvin Cyrus and later Willard Cyrus bought it. In the 1920s or 30s travel along Jordan Road became less frequent and the stopping place gradually lost its importance. The barn eventually collapsed and the store building was moved from the south side of the road to its present location. Other buildings were moved or torn down.

In 1900 Cloverdale residents built the first school house on George Cyrus’s place, to the north of his parents and nearest to the population center. Warren Farthing and J.L. Melvin split the roof shakes for it and it served as church and community center. Cloverdale showed promise as a viable farming community. Water came from Wychus Creek (Squaw creek) and, after clearing junipers with horse drawn stump pullers and endlessly removing lava rocks farmers could plow. They grew crops of alfalfa, clover, grasses, and vegetables. The school had 41 students in 1915. In 1919 a new school was built which operated into the 1980s. Now it is the Little Cloverdale Pre-School.

Hatton, R.R.
1996 Oregon’s Sisters Country: A Portrait of Its Lands, Waters, and People. Maverick Publications: Bend, OR



Copyright © 2006 Sisters Country Historical Society