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Buttery Building Excavation Project

Published on 03/04/2020 under Zimmerman Archives
Buttery Building Excavation Project

“The Zimmerman’s dairy business known as the Columbia Butter and Cheese Factory used a 350 sq ft buttery building or brick dairy to process milk to make cheese and butter, storage, and possibly sell their dairy products.

In the photo above the Buttery building is between the house and bunkhouse circa 1912.

When Isobel Zimmerman put the house and buttery on the national historic registry in 1985, it was in severe disrepair and covered in Boston Ivy. As much as we wanted to preserve the building, a local structural engineering firm hired by ECHO inspected and determined the building was unsafe and on the verge of collapse. It wasn’t until April 2016 that nature finally collapsed the majority of the building, leaving only the chimney.

After a terrible winter storm of freezing rain and snow in December 2016, a large Oak tree in the backyard fell on the buttery building remains. It took time to remove the Oak tree and in early 2019, ECHO started working with the State Historic Preservation Office, the City of Gresham’s Historic Resource Committee, and Archaeological Investigations Northwest Inc. (AINW) to get permission and guidance to excavate the buttery building site.”

– Jana Brey