The Willamette Valley and Coast Railroad

Patton to Cherry Grove, OR

This short line extended west from a connection with the Southern Pacific at Patton to the community of Cherry Grove. Patton is a point on the Southern Pacific just north of Gaston on the abandoned line between St. Joseph and Forest Grove. It should not be confused with the Willamette Valley & Coast Railroad Company that operated out of Yaquina and was closed in 1895. The railroad featured here is not mentioned in the Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History. The line was abandoned in 1935, according to The Southern Pacific in Oregon. The map in that book makes the line appear to have operated between what is now Patton Valley Road and the Tualatin River. The line was only 5.5 miles in length. As the line primarily served timber and farming interests in the upper reaches of the Tualatin Valley, it is possible that a private logging railroad also connected to the line at one point in time. However, with so little documentation about the railroad available, it is difficult to say anything for certain. Nothing exists of the line except about a 1/2 mile long rise in a field near the former junction.

Note from Brian Edwards: The SPV Atlas is wrong. They show it as a line from Seghers to The Stimson Mill and then to Cherry Grove. The line shown in the SPV actually only goes to the Stimson Mill in real life. The line I wrote of met the abandoned mainline a few miles south of Seghers at Gaston, which is not shown on the SPV. Look on any road map for Gaston, as it is a major farming community.

—  User Comments  —

I lived in Cherry Grove, OR until 1955, when our family moved to N. Calif. The Willamette Valley and Coast RR served this sawmill town until the RR was abandoned, probably due to the depression. My Mother talked about riding a motorized car on the line to Gaston to do shopping. When I lived in Cherry Grove, there was still a concrete engine house shell, but the depot and hotel had burned in the late 30's.

The note from Brian Edwards is correct. The RR line from Seghers to the Stimson Mill was a branch of the SP line and only went to the Stimson mill. The timber was logged via private RR until the RR grade from the mill was converted to truck road in about 1953, or 54. I think there was a connection from the mill RR to the SP line, as one of the Stimson Shay engines sat at the siding at Seghers for a time and is shown in various books.

David Anderson
Roseville, CA

I've been researching this Willamette Valley & Coast Railroad Co. founded by August Lovegren in 1910/1911 & abandoned by Haskell-Carpenter Co. in 1935. The tracks were removed beginning in January 1936. If anyone has any photos of Cherry Grove, the Cherry Grove, OR depot or the Patton depot on the Southern Pacific line, .75 north of Gaston east of HWY 47 on Patton Rd. (not to be confused with Patton Valley Rd. which is west of Hwy 47), I would appreciate obtaining copies of them. I'm also looking for photos of the locomotive & the entire rolling stock of the Willamette Valley & Coast Railroad Co. & any Lovegren descendents. I'm also interested in any Cherry Grove, OR history.

I also had Lee family relatives @ Lee Falls since 1852 or so, hence the name.

Kathryn Notson
Portland, OR

My grandmother, Etta Lovisa Patton was born in Cherry Grove, in 1875, youngest daughter of Robert Jesse Patton and Elizabeth Jane Bennett. She married Hans Peterson and they lived Buxton, which is where my Mother, Ruby Cecelia Peterson was born in 1906. We have been to the Cemetery where the Lovegrens and some of the Patton are buried many times. The 76th annual Patton Picnic will be held on June 24th at the home of Shirley and Byron McDaniel in Yamhill.

This article is very interesting to us Patton descendants.

Jean Curtis Rotter
Jefferson, Or now, born in Salem

To Kathryn Notson

I have many photos of Cherry Grove, including the depot.

Ed Holmes
Covington, WA