Mt. Scott Fuel celebrates centennial

Many folks from outer East Portland regularly come here for bark dust; discover how this company got started, 100 years ago …

The Mt. Scott Fuel Company storefront, and the yard behind it, have been an outer East Portland, SE Foster Road landmark for 100 years.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Back in the day, when SE Foster Road was primarily a farm-to-market road connecting the Lents neighborhood to Portland, the Mt. Scott Fuel Company began serving homes and businesses that were appearing in the area.

That was just one century ago.

“Here today, on July 20, our company is celebrating our 100th anniversary,” exclaimed the company’s Vice President, Clay Tyler.

The company’s Vice President, Clay Tyler, stands next to a photo of the company’s founder, and his great-grandfather, Edward Tyler.

“I am the fourth generation in the family operating the business, started by my great-grandfather, Edward Tyler, in what’s become the Foster-Powell neighborhood; and the business has been growing ever since,” Tyler told East Portland News.

From its start until about 1918, the company was just supplying firewood for furnaces and stoves; but then it began offering “coal” briquettes, and later heating oil – and today it provides “pressed logs” for fireplaces, and pellets for pellet stoves.

The firm still sells a lot of fuel, but now it’s the type used in fireplaces and pellet stoves.

“It’s true; a lot of people have come to know us for landscape supplies, too,” Tyler said.

The bark dust business started when a sawmill owner – a good friend of his grandfather – brought a few loads of it, which landscaping companies snapped up. “So, having started this in the late 1950s, we were perhaps one of the first in the Pacific Northwest to sell bark dust as landscaping covering,” remarked Tyler.

In the yard, another customer purchases a load of ground-covering material.

The company now has 22 employees, working both at their famous Foster Road location and a newer site in Boring, Oregon.

“Now being surrounded by the neighborhood, there are challenges; so, we do the very best we can to make everyone happy, to be good neighbors, and to keep our customers satisfied with our business,” Tyler said.

Tending the grill during the celebration is fifth-generation family member Alexander Tyler; and, supervising him, is grandmother Jan Cunningham.

“It’s great having our longtime customers come by,” Tyler mused, “But the best part is knowing that our founder would be proud that the family business has continued and flourished; he’d really have loved to see this day.”

To learn more about the Mt. Scott Fuel Company, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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