The history of Mayerdale begins in 1908 somewhere in New York City. At the time Mark (Markie) Mayer was living at the Hoffman House Hotel near Madison Square. It is uncertain where the idea sprung from but having gentlemen farms or trophy farms was not uncommon for the wealthy. Mark Mayer was a wealthy man during his time as were many of his friends and acquaintances. One of these friends and a close friend was James Brady or better known as Diamond Jim Brady. Diamond Jim had purchased such a farm a few years prior to Markie, in 1901 it was located in South Branch, New Jersey a vacation area and he called it Ellesdale Manor Farm. Mr. Brady proceeded to lavish every means and expense to improve it, one for the sake of impressing his railroad customers and two to provide meals that would "make the gods weep with envy". It may have been Markie's trips to this farm or the still fresh instinct of men to be drawn to a rural setting. In 1908 the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company (O.R.& N.) published a brochure entitled "How to get to Mosier Oregon". This publication was circulated all over the western world. Why this publication attracted Markie and why people would want to know how to get to Moiser is the subject of this history.
As the story was told to me, Markie, Diamond Jim and a gentleman named Bernard Weller were up one night having a good laugh over the publication. The railroad was boasting that Mosier was one of three places in the west where locally grown fruit could be transported cross-country or even overseas without spoilage. Before the time of refrigeration this would have been an important asset. At the time Markie speculated that they could sell apples for a dollar a piece on the streets of New York as well as pickled eggs to all the clubs and stores. They had a good laugh on how a farm in Mosier would be just another get rich scheme that was sure to work. Whether this is what actually happen would be hard to know but following this reported discussion Markie purchased 232 acres of land just east of Mosier from a George Sellinger and proceeded to upgrade the property to a standard that was in keeping with Diamond Jim's Ellesdale a place that would impress any visitor and produce a quality product without comparison.
The Mosier Bulletin, a local newspaper of that times reported that Mr. Mayer remodeled the Sellinger home grandly and to the point that one could no longer recognize the former residence. In addition to the home Mr. Mayer built lavish chicken coops, out buildings and a home for his foreman. The barn was stocked with draft horses to work the farm as well as all the amenities to create a state-of-art going concern.