Childhood sweethearts Bob and Maude Newburgh moved into a brand new home in the Grant Park neighborhood of northeast Portland 81 years ago. Over time, their daughter, who grew up there, returned with her husband and children. Then Bob and Maude’s granddaughter created a house there with her young family.
On February 11, the family listed the Cape Cod-style home at 3525 NE Hancock St. for the first time in its history. The asking price was $630,000. An offer was accepted five days later.
When the deal closes, the family will hand over to the new owners the plans for building the two-story time capsule with original oak hardwood floors, wood-framed windows and period light fixtures.
The 2,332-square-foot dwelling, built during World War II, was “large and oversized for its time,” said listing agents Coleen Jondahl and Harrison Whitmarsh of Eleete Real Estate.
Jondahl is part of the family. His grandparents were Bob and Maude Newburgh and their only child, Bonnie Hensley, were Jondahl’s mother. Jondahl later lived in the house as an adult.
It was only after the property was put up for sale that Jondahl learned that her grandparents had secretly married when she was 16. They stayed in each of their family homes in Salem until they graduated from high school.
Bob Newburgh, a salesman for Wesson Oil & Snowdrift Sales Co., moved with Maude and their young daughter, Bonnie, to Portland. In 1941, they paid $4,700 for the Cape Cod-style house with a pitched roof and two dormers.
Bonnie attended Fernwood Grammar School, which was renamed the Beverly Cleary School after the Grant Park neighborhood’s most famous resident, author Beverly Cleary.
When Bonnie was 13, she was named Portland’s Sweetheart of Song on “Uncle” Nate Cohn’s “Stars of Tomorrow” radio show.
“Music is part of the history of this house,” explains Jondahl.
Bonnie Hensley went on to sing with the Oregon Symphony conducted by James DePreist, the Portland Chamber Orchestra with conductor Yaacov Bergman, and the Oregon Pops with conductor and composer Norman Leyden. She was also the Principal Soloist of Westminster Presbyterian Church for over 40 years.
Bonnie graduated from Grant High School and met her future husband, Richard “Dick” Hensley, at Lewis & Clark College in Portland. After their marriage in 1953, the Cape Cod house was their first home. Bonnie died in 2017 and Dick in 2020.
His daughter Coleen Jondahl was the third generation to share the tradition of displaying a Christmas tree in front of the living room bay window. The Jondahls lived in the house from 1990 to 1994.
The front Dutch door opens into the entrance hall, which has arched entrances to the dining room on one side and the living room on the other.
The kitchen has original white hexagonal countertop tiles highlighted with black border tiles. The cupboards were designed to meet an arched wall niche with shelving surrounding a window.
Stairs lead to the second floor. The house has two bedrooms, a bathroom and a shower room. The finished part of the basement has a fireplace.
French doors connect the solarium to the fenced back yard. A detached garage shares the 4,356 square foot lot.
Who would like this house? Someone who wants to walk to Grant Park, be near Hollywood neighborhood shopping, and enjoy neighbors looking out for each other, says Jondahl.
— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072
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