Lents, 1910

Portland’s Lents neighborhood was originally the town of Lent, platted in 1892. Hard to say exactly where this site is today, but the original town was bounded by SE Foster Rd. and Duke Street between SE 92nd and 97th Avenues.

(City of Portland Archives)

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14 Responses to “Lents, 1910”

  1. Dave Brunker (@dbrunker) Says:

    Ah, Southeast, the neglected step-child of Portland with its unpaved streets, boarded up schools and large minority/immigrant population. I think I can guess why we don’t see much of Lents anymore. If what you say is correct it’s now a Foster/205 interchange. http://g.co/maps/w878d

  2. Brian Says:

    As a resident of Lent(s) and one who used it as a point of study for his senior project, I can place this location with pretty high accuracy. *points* right there. See? The postcard says Main Street looking South. On some older maps I own, 92nd Avenue is referred to as Main St. or Oregon City Rd. The buggy in the middle of the street appears to be turning from a cross street, most likely Woodstock. Therefore the photographer is standing in the middle of Foster Rd. However I would expect to see some sort of angle on the building to the near left.

    Thanks to the wonder of Street View, you can get a comparison photo: http://g.co/maps/a3d83.

    The “Lunch Counter” is now a Chevron station and the fire tower has gone the way of most other cool landmarks – a parking lot.

    @dbrunker – It’s a funny misnomer that SE Portland is the poster child for unpaved streets. If you’ve ever been inside the neighborhoods of SW Portland you’ll find they have far more.

  3. Peter Vogel Says:

    Love the painted sky. Looks like the old west.

  4. Bailey Says:

    hot lunches!

  5. Don Says:

    I have seen on another website (http://www.sportingoregon.com/p482591822/h3D9ED19E#h20ff68be) that SE 92nd Ave did indeed used to be called Main St. I can only find two buildings on 92nd near Foster Rd that were around in 1910. Portland Maps shows the Masonic Lodge at 5811 SE 92nd Ave, built in 1909 and a house at 6111 SE 92nd Ave built in 1908.

    I can’t find either of these buildings in the photo. But both of these buildings are a small distance from Foster and 92nd intersection, so its very possible that the Masonic Lodge is behind the photographer, and 6111 is too far in the distance or blocked by other buildings.

  6. Brian Says:

    I agree with the other Brian that this is likely looking south on 92nd from Foster. And Don, I wonder if the house at 6111 is this one which is given as 6109? The numbers are so close that it could be either or both. Either way it’s still there (at least it is in street view) today.

    Also, in the photo above if you look just above the “D” in the “Drugs” sign there is a dormer in the distance on the west side of 92nd that seems to match the style and location of the old library photo linked to.

  7. Brian Says:

    PS. Here’s today’s street-view of the old library house linked to above.

  8. nativepdx Says:

    There is only one reason why any street in Portland is not paved. The property owners or the developer of that street, decided not to improve it.

    The rules for paving a street in Portland and or Multnomah county before it was annexed into the city, is the property owners along it, must bring it up to city or county standards. Then the city or county will take it over and maintain it. If the property owners decide not to bring it up to standards and pave, it remains unpaved until the property owners decide to pave it.

    It is not the responsibility of the city or county to pave unpaved streets.

  9. Dave Brunker (@dbrunker) Says:

    Amazing detective work everyone. I’m really impressed! When ever I see posts like this I always imagine the way things used to look as I drive down those streets and it makes me feel closer to Portland.

    Brian: I’m getting off topic now but I get really frustrated. I grew up not far from SE 82nd and Mill. Not all of our streets had sidewalks. My best friend had a dirt road a block from his house. My school had a dirt road beside it. The streets going east from 82nd were unpaved. I’ve move a couple of miles away since then but the next block down from me has no side walks. Portland has a bike sharing program and lots of new bike lanes but I can’t help wonder, even if we don’t pave the streets, can’t we have a grader come and scrape them flat once a year?

  10. Jeremy NX Says:

    Don’t expect road upgrades anytime soon. Our streets are crumbing and the current flunkies in City Hall hate anything car related. I used to have to negotiate the pot ravines (not potholes) on W Burnside every day.

  11. Roxanne Says:

    The house i grew up in had no paved sidewalks….50 years later the house STILL has no sidewalks. I never found this either a problem, nor annoying. Gives the neighborhood sort of a “rural” feel.
    I thought the church might still be there as a landmark but haven’t checked.

  12. Chris Says:

    Neat. A bit of personal/family history here. My Great-Great-Grandparents Sold their property in Independence,OR (They’d homesteaded here from GA in the 1880′s) and moved to be closer to the big city. They bought a piece of land that stretched from about 87th to 89th and SE Lambert St. 2 Generations grew up in the farmhouse they built there. As I’m told, it was a fairly small plat, only about 1 3/4 acers. I’m also told that a Great uncle owned a hardware store in Lents at one time. I personally lived off of 86th and Knapp, back in my early 20′s. While its colloquially referred to as “felony flats”, I do have a certain connection to this neighborhood. Great post.

  13. nativePDX Says:

    The house I live in has no sidewalks and it has never been a problem on the street I live on, that has very little traffic.

    Side walks are not the responsibility of the city, they are the responsibility of the property owners. If you want sidewalks in front or your home or a paved street, come up with the money and build it.

  14. Spiffy Says:

    I know I’m late to the party but there are some excellent photos to cross-reference this location here: https://lentsbodyshop.com/blog/general/the-founding-history-of-the-lents-neighborhood-portland-oregon/

    you can make out some of the same buildings throughout the timeline that these other photos were from and see which buildings come and go.

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