Carson Homestead 1910-1945

According to historian Jan Meranda, the Glender family owned the Carson land from 1910 to 1941 when it became part of Camp Adair. The story of the Glender family farm was collected as a part of the Soap Creek Valley history initiative as told by Eugene Glender, the son of the family, in 1994. According to the book’s intro, “Gene's story covers the period of 1910 by which time his parents had helped to establish the Glender Brothers farm until 1941 when many local families (including the Glenders) were moved to make room for the WW II training facilities at Camp Adair” (Glender, 4). 

Jan Meranda states, “in the early 1900s two young Illinois men of German parentage, William and Charles Glender, began talking about moving West to Oregon. Sometime before 1910, they had arrived in the Soap Creek Valley, purchased 400 acres and an old farmhouse at the corner of Tampico and Soap Creek roads, and started farming as a partnership. Will married a young neighbor woman, Laura Metge, and in 1916 Charlie married her younger sister, Selma…This monograph represents Gene's recollections of farm life in the Tampico area during the years prior to World War II. The establishment of Camp Adair during the early stages of the war caused the U.S. Army to force local farmers to sell up and move out. The united Glender families moved to Albany in 1942 and were never allowed to return to their Tampico home. After Camp Adair was dismantled, Oregon State University acquired the Glender property. The house was moved in 1992, not long after Bob and I first began our search for the "lost" town of Tampico.” 

Although the Camp Adair era of the land was brief, it shaped the surrounding farmlands into an army cantonment--temporary quarters for troops--called Camp Adair. The camp was located in the mid-Willamette Valley 6 miles north of Corvallis, Oregon. For two years, from 1942 - 1944, over 100,000 soldiers trained for WWII combat at Camp Adair. The camp impacted the lives and land of the people of Benton County, as well as the regional economy as all of the farms previously on Tampico land had been sold to make room for the camp. At the time of its existence, it was the second largest city in Oregon, only Portland was larger. There were 1,700 buildings constructed in Camp Adair in the few years it was up and running. In 1946, the site was decommissioned. According to OSU, "Between 1957 and 1969, the former camp headquarters building housed an Air Force radar station. In 1976, the community was incorporated, and "the Air Force facilities, along with a few surviving wartime structures, became the nucleus of Adair Village." As of the 2010 census, the population was 840."

Citation: Glender, Eugene, Bob Zybach, Jan Meranda, and OSU Research Forests. 1994. Eugene Glender: Growing Up On a Tampico Family Farm, Benton County, Oregon: 1910-1941. : [Corvallis, Or.]: OSU Research Forests, College of Forestry.

Tampico, Soap Creek Valley Map

Tampico Map.png

A map of Tampico, Benton County, Oregon which directly corresponds to an oral history interview and tour collected by Bob Zybach and Jan Meranda and given by Eugene Glender. It is dated January 6, 1990. The circled letters correspond to tape-recorded stops along the tour route and to specific chapter headings in the table of contents. Letitia and David Carson's land was owned by the Glenders from 1910 until Camp Adair came in 1941, the parameters of their homestead are marked as the Glenders on this map. The citation for the book is Citation: Glender, Eugene, Bob Zybach, Jan Meranda, and OSU Research Forests. 1994. Eugene Glender: Growing Up On a Tampico Family Farm, Benton County, Oregon: 1910-1941. : [Corvallis, Or.]: OSU Research Forests, College of Forestry.


Photograph of drawing by William M. Ball depicting the abandoned town of Tampico, Oregon. The drawing shows the stagecoach road, store, hotel, and racetrack on the right and the Tampico School on top of the hill at the left. The January 13, 1926 edition of the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported that Mr. Ball "will solicit information regarding the early buildings and townsite of Tampico." Although this image dates nearly 60 years after Letitia moved from the Soap Creek Valley, it paints a portrait of the life of Soap Creek Valley settlers in a time period similar to, adjacent to Letitia's. The surrounding land and lifestyle mirror what David and Letitia experienced during their time in the valley, giving us an idea of what life would have been like for them when photographs were too new to have captured Benton County, Oregon.

Next Page: Carson Homestead 1946 - Today


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