The City of Hillsboro took action late last Fall to name many of the alleyways in the city. The purpose of that was covered in our article on November 30th – and you can read that here. At the end of that process about 1/2 of the alleyways were named and another 1/2 needed a bit more work to get to a final selection. At the core of the motivation to name is the need to have specific addresses for alleys so that emergency responders can find people in need no matter which end of the house they are living in.
Some neighborhoods were facing having to switch addresses for the second time in two years. Others would have an alley address but no door which may confuse things even worse. But for the old historic town of Orenco the names themselves were a concern. The town was the home of the Oregon Nursey Company that rose to power in 1908 and employed over 1,000 workers. By 1920 the company dominated the US market for fruit tree production and was shipping worldwide. With upwards of 2,000 varieties of plants the company was the best in the business and some of the best growers in the world had established themselves in the idyllic little town. If there was one thing that was the pinnacle of their efforts it was growing the world’s best fruit trees.
When the opportunity came up to suggest that the alleys be named after those trees, the City decided that was a good idea. So with the ORENCO catalog from 1912 in hand, we were able to provide about 50 original varietal names to the City planning staff. The Orenco locals (which I am one of) supported the idea wholeheartedly. The City selected the names from the list that worked best and are adopting those names at the Planning Commission meeting this next week.
The streets in Old Orenco that run East and West are Alder. Birch, Chestnut, Dogwood, Elm, and Fir. The alleys will be named Winesap (apple), Bartlett (pear), Wilder (pear), Bing (cherry), and Miracle (plum). A nice mix of great varieties that grow all over the world after an auspicious start right here over 100 years ago.
Orenco will have alley names soon and join the others who have them. We will report more when others complete the process.