Craftsmanship 105 Years and Counting

Fred Shearer, far right, and Simon Shearer in the derby hat, in a parade in Iowa 1897

The year was 1912, shortly before World War I, when a new chapter in the Shearer family began. Even though Simon Shearer and his son Fred were plasterers by trade, the family moved from Iowa to Oregon to start a potato farm. They landed in Corbett, Oregon, but as the family story goes, they had a blind mule, and the farm didn’t succeed. So, Simon and Fred would travel into Portland to work as plasterers on many iconic buildings and many early 20th century homes that still stand today. Though the business had a few locations in the Portland metro area, the one they resided in the longest is very familiar to our neighborhood. In 1947 they built what we now know as the home of Ex Novo Brewing on Flint just south of Russell. Fred Shearer & Sons remained in the Flint Avenue location until the late 1990s moving to the Beaverton area so their offices and warehouse could be in the same building. However, the business owners still feel connected to northeast Portland and want us to hear their story.

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