The George Henry and Flora Adeline Gregory, Jr. House is located at 900 North Molalla Avenue in Molalla, Oregon. The 20th Century English Cottage Tudor Revival style of architecture is unusual for Molalla. The Tudor style dates back to the 15th century and features steeply pitched, gabled roofs and elaborate chimneys, doors and dormer windows. The brick for the home may have been made by the local Molalla Brick and Tile Company. There is a separate matching garage and a short brick garden wall runs along the front sidewalk. The house is just outside the city limits. It is in excellent condition and is privately owned.
George Henry Gregory, Jr., was born in 1862, at Somerset, England. His father and mother were George Henry Gregory, Sr. and Emma Marks Gregory. The family immigrated to New York State in 1869, where the father became a large property owner and teasel grower. In 1898, George, Jr. came to Molalla. In 1899, he married Flora Adeline Mohr. She was born at Ohio, in 1879, to Phillip and Elizabeth Kieffaber Mohr. The Mohrs immigrated from Bavaria, Germany in 1864. Both sets of parents spent their senior years in Clackamas County.
The Teasel Farm
As a farmer growing teasel plants, George, Jr. had followed the occupation of his father. The burr of the teasel plant was used for “teasing up” the nap on blankets and other fluffy woolen fabrics. Alfred Sawtell started the teasel industry in Molalla around 1860. His family had immigrated from England, where the teasel plant was widely used. They brought with them, packed in their good china, teasel seeds from France. This labor intensive industry was so unusual that there were no other teasel growers west of the Mississippi River. Teasel is a peculiar, prickly, cone shaped plant with springy hooks pointing back toward the stem and was good for carding wool. In later years, steel brushes were used but, they were not as effective as the teasel burr as it could bend. Teasel plants grow five to seven feet tall. The teasel is harvested by picking its flower immediately after it blooms. The teasel burr was then dried, sorted by size and cured before it was shipped back east to market. Alfred Sawtell harvested his last crop in 1899 and the business was taken over by George Gregory, Jr. George, Jr. had about 100 acres in production with 75 pickers needed to harvest and 20 more workers needed for packing and shipping. He sold teasels worldwide and received awards for his efforts, including a Silver medal at the Panama Pacific Expedition in 1913.
In 1912, George, Jr. also platted the first subdivision in downtown Molalla. It was called “Gregory’s First Addition”. It encompassed 12 square blocks with 137 lots that sold for $100 each. It was located right in the heart of town. It bordered three blocks west and four blocks south, on the southeast corner of East Main Street and South Molalla Avenue. Many of the surviving historical homes in Molalla are located in this subdivision.
George and Flora had seven children: Margaret, born 1900; Leona, born 1902; Theodora, born 1904; Geneva, born 1906; Doris, born 1908; Lester, born 1913 and Joshua, born 1915. George Gregory, Jr. died at Molalla in 1946. Flora died at Molalla in 1975.
Photo #1: The George Henry and Flora Adeline Gregory, Jr. House is located at 900 North Molalla Avenue. The architecture is 20th Century English Cottage, Tudor Revival Style. The house is in excellent condition and is privately owned. Photo from the Gail J. McCormick Collection.
Photo #2: George Gregory, Jr. in his teasel field. Photo from the Morning Enterprise, Anniversary Edition, 1915.
Photo #3: Hauling teasel at Marquam, Oregon. Photo courtesy of the Molalla Area Historical Society.
Photo #4: The Clackamas County Landmark Plaque on the front porch of the Gregory House is an impressive and attractive addition to the home.
Photo from the Gail J. McCormick Collection, 2018 personal photo.
Photo #5: A teasel plant. Photo from the Gail J. McCormick Collection.
“A Trip to the City of Molalla”, by W. H. Dixon, Morning Enterprise, Page 10 & 12, 1914 Anniversary Edition
“A. J. and Eliza Sawtell”, by Gail J. McCormick, Our Proud Past V. I, 1992
“Alfred Joseph Sawtell”, (Teasel Farm), Molalla Images of America, Page 29, by Judith Sanders Chapman and Lois Helvey Ray, 2009
Charles Martel, Unrecorded interview, July 4, 2018
“George H. Gregory & wife, Flora Mohr”, Page 31, Molalla Images of America, Judith Sanders Chapman and Lois Helvey Ray, 2009
George & Flora Gregory, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 U. S. Census, Ancestry.com, 2018
“George & Flora Gregory House”, Molalla Self-Guided Walking Tour, by Judith Sanders Chapman and Lois Helvey Ray, 2009
“Sawtell Family History” by Otis Ray Daugherty, unpublished manuscript, Date unknown
@ Gail J. McCormick, 2018