top of page

The Turner - Marson Building – Part 1

The E. E. Turner Garage & The Ossie Marson Garage

203 North Molalla Avenue
1926 – 1970
by Gail J. McCormick

The Turner - Marson Building is located at 203 North Molalla Avenue in Molalla, Oregon.  On January 28, 1926, the Molalla Pioneer announced that E. E. Turner had purchased the northeast corner of Molalla Avenue and Ross Street.  His intent was to construct a building of tile made locally at the Molalla Brick and Tile Company.  Except for a porch, the building would be 50’ by 70’ and it would sit back from the street about 25 feet.  The front was covered with pebbled stucco and had a large covered porch.  Under the porch was a ten gallon visible pump, water and air service.  The building had a truncated gable, two overhead garage doors and a brick soldier pattern belt course at the window heads.  The design for the front was “artistic” and had several frosted lights as ornaments by day and illuminators by night.  Today, the building is in excellent condition.  The business now operating from this building is Autotech NW.  They offer import and domestic auto repair.

E. E. Turner Garage

Edward Eaton Turner was born in 1893, at Minnesota.  His father was Charles Sylvanus Turner and his mother was Julia Richardson Hyde Turner.  By 1917, Edward had moved to Portland, Oregon.  There he worked as an automobile mechanic.  In 1917, he married Olive Gertrude Backs.  They had one son, Donald.  In January of 1925, Edward was living and working at Tacoma, Washington, when he read of a bankruptcy filed by P. N. Stevens Garage in Molalla, Oregon.  He purchased the business without seeing it or Molalla.  When he came to the Molalla Valley, he was quite impressed and decided to open his new business here.  He named his business E. E. Turner Garage.  A year later he built the new garage, and it appears, he had some profitable years before the depression hit.  Turner went out of business in 1933.  The family moved to Scio, Oregon, where he went to work as a truck driver.

Ossie Marson’s Chevrolet Garage

On March 1, 1934, the Molalla Pioneer announced that “Oswald Marson had completed a real estate deal to buy the Turner Garage property and was moving in immediately”.  It said “he had placed the front office of his new location in apple pie order” and was ready for business.  This property was Lot Six of the Clifford Addition.  He purchased Lots Four and Five, located immediately north of Lot 6, in the early 1940s, making plenty of room for his Chevrolet dealership.  Ossie had been operating a garage since April 10, 1928, at another location in Molalla, where he handled Standard Oil Products.  In 1935, he became the Chevrolet agency in Molalla.  In 1947, he remodeled the front part of the building and installed a fixed canopy over the gas pumps.  He ran a successful business in Molalla for 42 years.

Oswald was called “Ossie” by his friends and family.  He was born in 1909, at Cordenons, Italy.  In 1912, Ossie and his mother, Augusta, immigrated to America.  Ossie’s father had immigrated in 1910.  The family were farmers and settled at Mount Angel, Oregon.  They moved to Molalla in 1919.  Ossie married Clara Irene Morris in 1932.  She was born at Macksburg, Oregon, in 1910.  Her parents were Charles Giesy Morris and Rose Anna Wehner.  They had two daughters; Beverly Jean and Sharon Aileen.

Ossie was very active in civic affairs and was well-known and well-liked in Molalla.  He had belonged to the Molalla Fire Department for 37 years.  Starting in 1945, he served 12 years as Fire Chief.  In 1947, he was instrumental in a drive to obtain the first ambulance for Molalla and became President of the Molalla Ambulance Association.  By chance, one day, I met one of Ossie’s nieces.  She told me some family humor had been that, on holidays, when they had dinner at Ossie’s house; just when they sat down to eat, he would get an ambulance call.  The Molalla Fire Department has honored him with a plaque which stands near the flag pole at their main location in downtown Molalla.

Another award Ossie received was the Appreciation Award for fire department service from the Molalla Rotary Club in 1956.  He was granted the Senior Citizen Award from the Molalla Chamber of Commerce in 1958 and was also named Honored Senior Citizen by the Junior Chamber.  He was a member of the Molalla Grade School Board for 27 years.  He had served on the City Council and was Mayor of Molalla from 1960 until his death in 1970.  He was age 60 when he passed away at his home in Molalla.  His wife, Clara, passed away, at Molalla, in 2001.

Photo Gallery


Edward Eaton Turner: “E. E. Turner”, Clackamas County Deed Records, Book 220, Page 331
“Edward Eaton Turner”, U. S. Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940,
“Edward Eaton Turner”, W. W. I Draft Card, 1917 & W. W. II Draft Card 1942,
“Molalla to Have New Modern Garage”, Molalla Pioneer, January 28, 1926
“New Garage Open”, Molalla Pioneer, January 22, 1925
Bibliography - Oswald Marson:
“Buckeroo Dedicated to Mayor Marson”, Enterprise Courier, June 9, 1969
“Buys New Garage”, Molalla Pioneer, March 11, 1934
“Last Rites for Molalla Resident”, Ossie Marson Obituary, Enterprise Courier, February 23, 1970
“Marson’s Chevrolet Garage”, 1953 City Directory
“Notice of Chevrolet Dealership”, Molalla Pioneer, March 14, 1935
“Ossie Marson”, Obituary, Molalla Pioneer, February 26, 1970
“Oswald Marson”, Clackamas County Deed Records: Book 315, Page 95 - 98, Book 270, Page 301, Lots 4 & 5, (Original sale: February 20, 1934.)
“Oswald Marson”, U. S. Census 1920, 1935, 1940,
“Oswald Marson”, U. S. Naturalization Records, 1790-1974
“Unnamed Building #803”, Clackamas County Resource Study, 1984

© Gail J. McCormick, 2018

bottom of page