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2417 15th Avenue


Verhoeven House c.1907

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In 1903 Forest Grove had a population of just 1,100 when 39 year old Sarah Porter and 41 year old Felix Verhoeven married.  Sarah had been living in Cornelius with two of her brothers. Felix, who had arrived in the U.S. from his birthplace in Brussels, Belgium in 1890, was in the real estate business.  Sarah and Felix purchased lots 10, 11, 12, and 13 of block 10 in the South Park Addition, and in 1907 built this home on that land.  Soon thereafter, Felix got out of the real estate business and opened a nursery and floral company.  On a couple of the lots adjacent to the home, they built large greenhouses in which to grow plants.  As their business increased, they regularly advertised in the local newspapers. 

In July of 1914 Sarah and Felix moved to Portland and sold the property to Mary Miller who in turn then sold it to Harley L. Ford.  We do not have proof that either of them lived in the home, but in September of 1919 Ford sold the home to Edna and Gavin Duncan. In the 1920 and 1930 census they are shown living here with their seven children.  Gavin was a mechanic and went on to become an engineer at the Forest Grove Power Plant.

In March, 1931 the Duncans' daughter Elma married Richard Thornburgh who was the son of local banker John A. Thornburgh.  Elma and Richard purchased the home from her parents and moved in.  Richard was tragically killed in a traffic accident in 1935 and three years later Elma sold the house back to her parents Edna and Gavin, but continued living there with them.  

In 1947 Gavin Duncan passed away and then in 1964 the house was sold to Shirley E. and William H. Hoskins.  Sometime later they sold it to Dean F. Cline but in August of 1972 it reverted back to the Hoskins.

Then in October of 1998 it was purchased from the Hoskins by Terry and Steven O’Day.

Linda Henderson bought the Verhoeven House from the O’Days in 2016.  Since that time she and her husband Pat Souba have completed extensive restorations that complement this beautiful home. 

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