Critic’s Corner: Sunnyside Book Houses

A book house is like a tiny, free bookstore that you can take books from and give books to. You find book houses in front of some peoples’ houses. There are a lot of book houses in our neighborhood. We decided to make a map of all the book houses in Sunnyside by riding our bikes around. It was fun; we got to know our neighborhood better and found a lot of cool book houses. 

These were our favorites: 

• Best curation – 36th/Yamhill – A tall book house owned by a used-to- be-teacher

• Best decorated – A TIE between 32nd/ Main (collage and painted pictures on the outside and lots of picture books inside) and 44th/Main (landscape paintings on the sides + a rooster on top!)

• Personal favorite – 33rd/Washington– This is the book house on our street; it has lots of kids and picture books and is always full 

• Honorable mention – 34th/Salmon – This book house is planted in a pot! 

• Biggest – Main between 34th/35th – A huge book house with LOTS of books

 Two other great things we found:

• Wishing Tree (36th/Main)

• Street murals (42nd/Washington
and 33rd/Yamhill) 

Sunnyside students, please submit ideas or a review to [email protected]

Live near any of the blocks marked in black on the book house location map? We need your help! Contact [email protected] to volunteer for our delivery service.

Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares (SNACC) Committee Updates

You can support the Sunnyside Shower Project by donating your empty cans!

Since 2021, Sunnyside resident Molly Twohy has been collecting cans and donating the funds to various organizations. During the month of November, Molly is helping raise funds for the Sunnyside Shower Project by collecting cans on our behalf. The funds raised will greatly increase our ability to provide toiletry items, food, first aid supplies, clean clothing, laundry cards, tents, and tarps. It will also help us meet other needs of our neighbors living outside. If you’d like to contribute, please label your bags with “Sunnyside Shower Project” and drop them over Molly’s fence at 3333 SE Salmon St. (easily identified by the Rosie the Riveter flyer) any time this month. Don’t have enough cans to donate in November but still want to contribute to the Sunnyside Shower Project? You can always donate funds directly to the SNACC Committee to support the Shower Project on the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association’s website via PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle, or email [email protected] to arrange a cash or check donation. If you anticipate that you will have cans to contribute after November, stay tuned for future canning efforts organized by the SNACC Committee.

Questions to Ask/Answer About Emergency Preparedness

Is there a season for emergency preparedness?
The simple answer: nope. 

Is there a reason for emergency preparedness?
The simple answer: yes.

Because we live in a most beautiful part of the world, with mountains, active and inactive volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire, we balance the beauty and wonder of this place with the knowledge that we have to be prepared. Prepared, not scared. The more prepared we are as individuals, within our families, neighborhoods, and schools, the better off we are for daily life, and for whatever weather-related issue that comes our way. Doing nothing, with the hope that an earthquake can’t/won’t happen, is not a plan. 

Is there ‘one way’ to be prepared?
The simple answer: no, it depends.

So, review your family circumstances and get everyone involved with being prepared. Reach out to neighbors; maybe work on your eprep together. It’s great to know what plans your neighbors have in the event of a major climate disaster. Share and connect. Then, repeat as often as needed.

I attended a Zoom meeting recently where the presenter issued “Calls to Action.” Among these were:

• Map Community Assets
• Make Contact
• Share Your Expertise

Her parting words were: Earthquake preparedness is a community action.

These community actions are not just for those in the eprep community. So, start where you are and reach out via email ([email protected]) if you want support or have questions.

Forgotten Former Name of Sunnyside: Rosedale

Doctor Perry Prettyman was one of the first settlers around Mt. Tabor. He practiced as a doctor and is credited with introducing the dandelion to Oregon. He built a home near the modern intersection of 55th and Hawthorne, and the path he would take to the Willamette River would later become Hawthorne Blvd.

Prettyman obtained a one-square-mile land claim around 1850, bordered by today’s SE Chávez to the west, SE Stark to the north, SE 60th to the east and SE Division to the south. The NW quarter of his claim lies in today’s Sunnyside neighborhood east of SE Chávez. 

Sometime before his death in 1872, Prettyman started dividing his land claim, transferring various parts to his four sons. The section to the north, between today’s Stark Street and Belmont Street, was divided into a series of five-acres lots, some of which were subsequently sold. 

It is around this time that William Beck acquired the two five-acre lots in the NW corner of the land claim. William Beck arrived in Portland in 1852 and quickly established himself as a prominent gunsmith and gun merchant. The first lot he acquired from Prettyman today includes the Volunteer of America office building at the SE corner of Stark and Chavez as well as all the apartment buildings along the east side of Chavez going south to Belmont. The second lot would later become Peacock Lane and all its adjoining houses.

Beck’s main residence at the time was in the city (west of the Willamette). The 10-acre lot in Sunnyside was to become his “summer home” which he named Rosedale. In his book, “Portland, Oregon, Its History and Builders,” Joseph Gaston offers the following description:

Beautiful Rosedale, his summer home two miles from the city, was the pride of his heart. With his own hands he cleared the ground and planted his trees. The days spent here were probably the happiest of his life, although he worked from sunrise to sunset he called it “recreation.” The magnificent fruit and vegetables raised in Oregon today are no finer than those which came from the Rosedale orchards and gardens; not a pound was ever sold—it was only for his friends and those who were unable to buy. Many Sundays found him at Rosedale and at evening when he drove back to the city he told his friends he had “been in church all day.” 

Beck is credited as the main force behind the first bridge across the Willamette. Although the first Morrison bridge created a direct connection between his store at Front and Morrison streets and his summer home, Beck only enjoyed it briefly from its opening in 1887 to his death in 1889. With the new bridge in operation, the streetcar arrived in Sunnyside that same year and Rosedale was sold to be further divided. The Peacock Lane section was purchased by Joseph Simons, then a State Senator, and later US Senator and subsequently Mayor of Portland. It remained undeveloped until 1923 when it was subdivided into today’s Peacock Lane under the name of “Ex-Mayor Simon’s Addition.”

The name Rosedale survived a while longer. It can be found on the original subdivision survey of the land to the south. Owned by John A. Beck, William Beck’s nephew, the land encompassing today’s Yamhill from Chávez to that little zigzag on Yamhill east of 42nd, and up to Belmont, was subdivided under the name of “Edendale” in 1889. On the official survey, the stretch of Belmont Street from Chávez to east of 42nd is named “Rosedale Avenue’.’ Although it’s unclear whether that street name was ever used in practice, the Mount Tabor trolley stop later built at the corner of Chávez and Belmont was known as Rosedale station. A funeral announcement published in the Oregonian on April 12, 1895 refers to a residence on today’s 38th block of Yamhill St. as located “a short distance from the Rosedale Station, Mount Tabor railway.” In his book “Portland’s Streetcars,” Richard Thompson has a picture dated at the beginning of the 20th century showing a Mount Tabor trolley car with a dashboard sign reading “No stops west of Rosedale.” Thompson adds “the dashboard sign (…) indicates it was running as a limited from the city limits near Thirty-ninth Street.” It’s unclear how long Rosedale survived as a station name into the 20th century before becoming one of the forgotten place names of Sunnyside.

Nov 1, 2022 SNA Emergency Board Meeting

The SNA Board will hold a short emergency board meeting on Tuesday Nov 1, 2022 starting at 2:30pm to approve/reject the following time sensitive proposal. The meeting will be held over Zoom (link below). This meeting is open to the public.

– Discuss being a sponsor for Peacock Lane’s Holiday Lights event
– Event runs Dec. 15th thru Dec 31st.
– Request is to partner on promotions and logos and provide insurance sponsorship for pedestrian days
– Peacock Lane organizers need to file for permit by early November

The board will vote on approving/rejecting this request during the emergency meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting URL:

Meeting ID:
838 0499 4526

Phone one-tap:
US: +12133388477,,83804994526# or +19292056099,,83804994526#