The Albright-Holman Building is located at 106-112 West Main Street in Molalla, Oregon. It was built about 1922, for Charles H. Albright and Ralph Lee Holman, who had formed a partnership and started a garage business in 1920. The architecture is 20th Century Commercial. The building is constructed of brick and is in excellent condition. The building was built in two sections. The southern section, facing South Molalla Avenue, was constructed about 1922. The northern section, facing West Main Street, was a remodeling in 1937. Over the years, the 97 year-old building has served many purposes. Today, the following businesses are operating in this building: NW Fitness & Strength, Hall's Barber Shop, Face Realities and Cloud Dancing Wellness.
In March of 1920, Charles H. Albright and Ralph Lee Holman purchased Coles Garage, which was located on the northwest corner of West Main Street and North Molalla Avenue. The two men were married to sisters. They first named their business "Molalla Garage". On December 15, 1921, they announced, in the Molalla Pioneer, that they had become the Ford sales and service dealers for Molalla and changed their name to "The Albright and Holman Ford Agency". Around 1922, they had outgrown the smaller building and built a new brick building directly across the street on the southwest corner. The main entrance to this building faced South Molalla Avenue.
The Ford Agency
Under Charles and Ralph's care, the Ford Agency prospered. Their most exciting day surely must have been August 28, 1922, when the Ford & Fordson Power Exposition arrived in Molalla. Ford Motor Company put on the Exposition at a cost of $400 per day. It included a full program, with a parade including 26 new vehicles and a variety of prizes for people participating in the parade. Fifteen hundred people came to town that day.
In 1937, an extensive remodel was done which doubled the size of their building. The new main entrance now faced West Main Street. In 1950, Charles H. Albright wanted to retire. W. O. "Bill" Williams, and Ralph’s son, Paul Holman, bought Mr. Albright’s share of the dealership. It was a three-way partnership, with Ralph owning one-half and Bill and Paul owning one-fourth each. The name was changed to Holman-Williams Motor Company and they continued with the Ford Agency. In August, 1966, they built a new building at 213 West Main Street. This building now houses Wither's Lumber Company. In 1987, Mr. Williams died and in May, 1988, Paul Holman sold the dealership to Wayne Scott, who named his business Buckeroo Ford. For 68 years, from 1920 to 1988, there had been someone by the name of Holman in the Ford dealership.
5,900 Mile Trip
In October of 1934, the two couples - Ralph and Birdie Holman and Charles and Edith Albright - took a 5,900 mile, head line grabbing, auto tour. They visited the Goodyear Tire Company plant at Akron, Ohio and then moved on to the Century of Progress World's Fair at Chicago, Illinois. They then visited the Ford Motor Company plant in Detroit, Michigan. At Detroit and St. Louis, they attended World Series baseball games. On the trip back, they stopped at Kansas to visit relatives and then made their way back to Oregon.
Charles H. Albright
Charles H. Albright was born in Santa Clara County, California, during an 1881 trip, when his parents moved to Oregon by covered wagon. His parents were Franklin Wesley Albright and Sarah Thurlby Albright. Franklin Wesley Albright was born in New York, in 1836. Charles' parents later moved to the Los Gatos, California, area where they were farmers. Charles spent his boyhood at Union Mills, Oregon. He married Edith Ann Blair in 1905. Prior to the partnership with Ralph Holman, Charles lived in Portland, Oregon, and worked as an auto mechanic for Hanck and Kurtz. After moving to Molalla, he served two terms as Mayor. Charles H. Albright died in 1961, at Molalla, Oregon. His wife, Edith Ann, died in 1945, at Clackamas County, Oregon.
Ralph Lee Holman
Ralph Lee Holman was born in 1884, at Molalla, Oregon. HIs parents were Charles Holman, Jr. and Beulah Lee Adams. He attended Meadowbrook School near the farm. He married Birdie Luella Blair in 1908, at Hubbard, Oregon. Birdie Luella and Edith Ann's parents were Nixon and Mary Coldren Blair. Before starting the garage business, Ralph operated the family farm for twelve years. He served two terms as Mayor of Molalla and was on the school budget committee for many years. He died in 1957, at Portland, Oregon. His wife, Birdie Luella, died in 1969, at Molalla, Oregon.
Photo #1: The Albright - Holman Building is located at 106 - 112 West Main Street in Molalla, Oregon. It is in excellent condition. This 2018 photo is from the author's collection.
Photo #2: This ca. 1930's photo shows the original part of the building that faces South Molalla Avenue. Today Hall's Barber Shop, Face Realities and Cloud Dancing Wellness operate from this part of the building. NW Fitness is in the part built in 1937. Photo courtesy of Molalla Area Historical Society: Delores Williams' Collection.
Photo #3: The Albright & Holman Ford Dealership. Left to right: Harry Hibbard, Mgr. Molalla Telephone; Dr. E. R. Todd; Ralph M. Holman; Paul B. Holman; Charles Albright, co-owner; Otto Russel, auto mechanic; Ralph L. Holman, co-owner and Charles N. Holman. About 1927. Photo courtesy of Blair Holman.
Photo #4: Albright & Holman Garage in the 1950's. Photo courtesy of the late Reina Holman.
Photo #5: Albright & Holman bought out Cole's Garage in 1920, to start their garage business. Cole's was a Studebaker and Indian motorcycle dealership, located on the northwest corner of Main Street and Molalla Avenue. Jim Nelton, left, and Cass Herman are standing behind the car. 1912 photo courtesy of Molalla Area Historical Society.
Photo #6: Ralph Holman attended the Meadowbrook School in 1892. He is in the back row, second from right. No others are identified. Photo courtesy of the late Paul Holman.
Photo #7: In August of 1922, the Ford Motor Company put on the Ford & Fordson Power Exposition. Fifteen hundred people came to town that day. Photo courtesy of the late Paul Holman.
"Albright & Holman Ford Building", Molalla-Self-Guided Tour, by Judith Sanders Chapman & Lois E. Helvey Ray, 2009
"Charles Albright”, U. S. Census: 1910 Portland, Oregon; 1930, 1940 Molalla, Oregon
"Charles Albright", www.findagrave.com, 2018
"Charles H. Albright", Obituary, Molalla Pioneer, February 23, 1961
"Charles Holman", Portland, Oregon: Its History & Builders, V. II, Pg 1480-1482
"Holman - Williams New Garage", Molalla Pioneer, April 28, 1966
"Paul Holman" Recorded Interview with the author, May, 1994, Oregon Trail Pioneer, June, 1994
Ralph Holman, Obituary, Oregonian, February 10, 1957
"Ralph L. Holman", 1953 U. S. City Directory, Ancestry.com
"Ralph L. Holman, U. S. Census: 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, Molalla, Oregon, Ancestry.com
"Return from 5,900 Mile Auto Drive", Oregon Daily Journal, October 2, 1934
"The Holmans & Huntingtons", By Rufus Holman, Unpublished Manuscript, 1900, Oregon Trail Pioneer, June, 1994
© 2018 Gail J. McCormick