Heritage trees to be inducted on Friday October 5, 2012
Oregon Travel Experience (OTE) and the Oregon Heritage Tree Program announce a special dedication of the Shipley-Cook Heritage Grove in Lake Oswego. The ceremony will take place on Friday, October 5, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. in Stevens Meadows on Shipley Drive. Wine tasting by Eugene Wine Cellars (a Shipley-Cook Farm grape customer) will follow the dedication.
OTE’s Interim CEO Tim Pickett said, “It will be an honor to present this award to Rick Cook, who has sustained the land for all Oregonians to enjoy.”
The Shipley-Cook Farmstead, established in 1862, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and retains its Oregon Century Farm status as a working farm. What is unusual about the Oregon Heritage Tree award is its presentation to a group of historic trees rather than a single tree. The farm’s current owner, Rick Cook, is a natural historian and Westview High School instructor. Cook has made it his personal mission to preserve the farmstead for all Oregonians.
Over the last 150 years, two separate owners operated the Shipley-Cook Farmstead. Both families possessed deep agricultural and horticultural roots. The farm’s first owner, Adam Shipley, was State Grange Master and a member of the Oregon State Agricultural College Board of Regents. His passion for trees and grape varietals was widely known.
During the late 1800s, Adam Shipley employed a young farm and ironworker, James Preston Cook, who helped maintain the farm’s crops and many trees. Seven years after Shipley’s death, Cook had saved enough of his wages to buy 131-acres of the farm, including the original farmhouse and several outbuildings. Cook’s family carried forward the tradition of tree and grape planting, and the custom has been in practice ever since. Four acres of the Cook family’s current grape crop is in production for Eugene Wine Cellars’ b2 label.
The Shipley Cook Heritage Grove possesses a particularly large variety of trees, including shagbark hickory, mulberry, filbert, big leaf maple, copper beech, magnolia, and many other species. The grove is a prime example of how Oregon’s early pioneers planted tree-seed or bare rootstock carried from their home state.
“This particular award is significant since it encompasses a 150-year span in agricultural practices, championed by two dedicated families,” said Pickett, who will speak at the event.
“When early Oregon Trail pioneers made the long and difficult journey from the Midwest, one of the first things they did was to populate their Donation Land Claims with trees from their home state,” said Pickett. “For Adam Shipley and James Preston Cook, a little piece of Ohio’s past became a living part of Oregon’s future.”
Oregon Heritage Tree Committee member, Molly McKnight, will be the dedication’s keynote presenter. McKnight was instrumental in the Shipley-Cook Heritage Grove nomination and authored an in-depth report on the historical significance of the grove’s owners and their rightful place in Oregon history. McKnight collaborated with Rick Cook during the nomination process.
Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation has planned an overlook to the Shipley-Cook Heritage Grove to the west of the farmstead at Stevens Meadows. The dedication will take place at the Stevens Meadows location. For more information, contact Annie von Domitz, OTE’s Oregon Heritage Tree Program administrator. 503-373-0864.