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The Bollingers

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My life began at a park built by Oregon Railway Light & Power along the East bank of the Willamette River (a little South of Portland, Oregon). This park was named for the unusual Oak trees that grew there. It wasn't until I retired that I discovered I had lived my whole life under the alias of Robert Bollinger.

Through the years, the park has had four owners. Park Manager, John Cordray, purchased the operating company stock when laws were enacted preventing utilities from owning amusement parks. In 1925, after John Cordray passed away, Edward Bollinger, my father, purchased the stock from Mrs. Cordray.


Painting by M Randall captures Robert's disappointment
with his decision to create Oaks Park Assn.

In the mid-1940's, I helped my father purchase the land the park was built on. The land purchase was a gentleman's handshake agreement between my father and I. His Will was amended acknowledging that agreement. Unfortunately, he remarried without updating his Will thus when he passed away, control of the park was awarded to his widow. It was embarrassing for me so I told people that I had inherited it. I purchased the park from my father's second wife.

A few years after my wife's passing, I created the nonprofit Oaks Park Association to care for and ensure The Oaks would be a place where families can relax, play and spend time together.

Within the park is a midway with games, a gift shop, amusement rides (including a carousel and go-carts), roller skating rink (with pipe organ for the skaters), dance pavilion and grass areas for picnics. A Cotton candy can be purchased at the food stands as well as hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks, coffee and tea.

With the help of devoted employees, skating club members and volunteers, the park has survived three major flood (1948, 1964, 1996).


Painting by M Randall captures Robert's disappointment
with his decision to create Oaks Park Assn.


My dad and I did not limit our interests to The Oaks. Some of our efforts that were destroyed or damaged by fires include The Old Mill on the Western Washington Fairgrounds (destroyed), The Giant Dipper (on the PNE grounds in British Columbia, Canada), the roller coaster (on the Western Washington Fairgrounds).

I have always provided a place for families to play together as I felt the family that plays together stays together.
Robert's Mother and Father


Robert's Maternal Family


Robert with his uncle


Robert and his Father


Robert and his Mother


Robert's Father
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Updated 01.16.2013