A.K.A Livesley, A.K.A. Croston
This is the name for an unincorporated community southwest of the city of Salem along River Road, along the east bank of the Willamette River. It encompasses and area approximately between Halls Ferry to the south and Brown’s Island to the north. The history of this region is a bit fluid. Early Schools of Marion County (WHC X2011.001.0130) published by the Marion Intermediate Education District in 1976, states that a Marion County district school No. 48 was established on February 1, 1877. The 1878 Atlas of Marion and Linn Counties shows the school located on the south side of River Road, on a ridge, in the southwest quarter of section 6, Township 8 S, Range 3. The 1878 atlas also shows the Ferry Crossing, as what we now call Hall’s Ferry, listed as “Leabo Ferry.”
On December 22, 1884, a Post Office with the designation “Croston” was established at Hall’s Ferry (see Oregon Post Offices 1847-1982 by Richard W. Helbock, 1985, second revised edition, WHC 2011.035.0001). Helbock describes the post office as “located at a ferry crossing on the Willamette, about 8 miles south of Salem. Situated on the east bank of the river at a place called “Hall’s Ferry.” This post office was in operation until May 31, 1901. It is likely the name Croston persisted until the closure of the post office, if not beyond.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/308309660″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
In 1911, the Oregon Electric Railway established lines south of Salem and named their station in the area “Livesely” after Thomas Albert Livesley, who with his partner John J. Roberts operated large tracts of hops in the region. In 1925, Roberts bought out his partner Livesley and the name of the station and the community changed to Roberts (see Oregon Geographic Names by Lewis McArthur, 1982, WHC 2006.040.0494).
The school seems to have followed the same naming trajectory. A March 23, 1951 Oregon Statesman article is titled “When Roberts School was Croston” and features a 1906 picture taken at the “Croston School.” It was also known as the Livesley and Roberts School respectively before it was closed in 1974 (see Alfred Jones “Roberts Goodbye is Sad.” Capital Journal June 6, 1974.)
Chambers, Doug. Illustrated Memoirs & History of the Livesley-Roberts Community 1840s-1940s. Self Published, 1997. Copy in the Library of the Willamette Heritage Center WHC 2006.040.0055
Claude Edwards Oral History (1968) with David Duniway and John Davis. WHC X2012.031.0037. Listen below.