Geo. C. Meyer Groceries, 1918

The Geo. C. Meyer “Groceries-Notions and Light Hardware” may have been the one-stop shopping center of its day out at NE 82nd and Hancock.

(City of Portland Archives)

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17 Responses to “Geo. C. Meyer Groceries, 1918”

  1. John Russell Says:

    Any relation to Fred G Meyer?

  2. Elliott Says:

    Work below, live above. Mixed use of its day. Looks like it could be the only store for blocks.

  3. Laura Says:

    Do you think “Geo.” is short for George? I kind of love this idea of “grocery-notions.”

  4. chuck Says:

    Is the building still standing?

  5. Sheryl Says:

    Hancock dead ends into the Banfield Pet Hospital headquarters on the west side of the street (this was formerly the site of Glenhaven School, then PPS’s Vocational Village.) Les Schwab tire is on the northeast corner; I can’t remember what’s on the southeast corner, but I know it’s not a building of this era.

  6. chris Says:

    Sheryl, Its the DMV on the SE corner.

  7. Roxanne Says:

    I looked thru the 1920 Portland, OR census and didn’t find any Geo. C. Meyer (but I only looked at the Meyer spelling) and didn’t find him. I was wondering about the possible Fred Meyer connection myself. Fred and his wife Eva are in the 1930 census as mechant, groceries.

  8. Dan Davis Says:

    2055 would have put it on the west side of 82nd, assuming even/odd numbering was the same back then as it is now.

    And this from The Oregonian, 5/30/1918: “FOR SALE – Good, going grocery, doing $1000 per mo. Stock $1000. Will lease or sell property, composed store and 5-room flat over store; all modern; by owner; leaving city. Telephone Tabor 2436.” The phone number matches.

  9. Dan Davis Says:

    Interesting. I found another reference in the 5/4/1918 The Oregonian, “5-room cottage, good condition, garden, fruit trees, chicken park, $6. Meyer Grocery, 82nd and Barr Road. Tabor 2436.” Barr Road is/was actually Halsey. A little more digging and I’ve found the building’s footprint (with the strangely angled front) on the northwest corner of Jonesmore and 82nd, where they met at Halsey (1950 Sanborn, map #858). The 2055 address on the map confirms this. So it’s not exactly on Barr and several blocks from Hancock. This view would face north with 82nd just to your right.

  10. Dan Faulkner Says:

    Fred G. Meyer’s name (at birth) was Frederick Grubmeyer, which makes the connection a little less likely.

  11. Roxanne Says:

    The addressing system of old seems to have been similar in as much as even numbers were on one side of the street and odds on the other. Has anyone ever made a list of streets that used to exist in Portland but are gone now? Like NE Emma? Stout? SW Wayne?

  12. Brian Says:

    Dan, thanks for the clarification on the location. I was having a hard time figuring out how it was located at Hancock given the shadows and surrounding terrain; nothing really made sense.

    What strikes me about this photo is how much older it looks than 1918. Granted 1918 was a long time ago but with the horse and the dress of the subjects, the photo strikes me as having an almost 19th century look. I was rather surprised to see the date.

  13. chuck Says:

    At first glance I thought it was from an earlier time, too, Brian. But I know from old family photos that woman were still wearing those long dresses in 1918. It wasn’t until the mid-20’s that the flapper look came along. Also the gent appears to be wearing one of those stiff collars that were popular in the teens.

  14. Dan Davis Says:

    It’s certainly possible that the date on the card is wrong too. The city archives does say “date is circa” which can account for a lot of leeway, and given that the location was off by a few blocks, I wouldn’t be surprised if the date was off too. And it appears to me that the building looks pretty new, yet he was advertising it as “good condition” in 1918, so to my mind, this could easily be closer to 1900-ish.

  15. PDX Nature Nut Says:

    Love how the mystery unfolds bit by bit. Very cool. Maybe Fred bought the store and changed his name to match. OK… probably not – but it sounds good.

  16. Emily-Jane Says:

    Roxanne, the city’s Planning & Sustainability Bureau has a large Excel file listing street name changes at (or browse to > Government > Bureaus & Offices > Planning & Sustainability > Library > Plans & Guidelines > Historic Resources and then scroll down to “List of Portland Street Name Changes”).

    Unfortunately, it only includes street name changes that are attached to streets that were within the city of Portland at the time of the change.

  17. Emily-Jane Says:

    I forgot to mention, my personal favorite defunct street name is “Telephone St.” — in December 1932 52nd Ave. became SE Telephone St., then in June 1933 it was changed to SE Mitchell St. A mere moment of glory!

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