NE 82nd & Halsey, 1951

This 1951 photos shows recently completed channelization work at NE 82nd and Halsey, islands to control traffic and improve lighting and safety at the intersection. At this time the overpass would have been over just the railroad tracks as the freeway had not yet been built. Rocky Butte can be seen in the distance to the northeast.

(City of Portland Archives)

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44 Responses to “NE 82nd & Halsey, 1951”

  1. nativePDX Says:

    When I was young, Rocky Butte was a great place to go to see the area. There are not a lot of trees on the Butte in this photo, compared to today . I think they should thin out some of the trees and bring back the view.

  2. Dave Brunker (@dbrunker) Says:

    That intersection is totally unrecognizable isn’t it? The only thing I know of is Rocky Butte and I had no idea it was nearly devoid of trees 60 years ago. My mother lived just a mile from here about that time, I wonder if she remembers it like this. Roughly the same area in Street View: http://g.co/maps/h65yz

  3. Don Says:

    The light post on the left looks very similar in style to the kind that are on the Vista Bridge. I wonder if they were built at the same time.

  4. kcfire Says:

    I remember this well! My parents built a new house in 1955, on the south slope of Rocky Butte, across the street from Jason Lee Elementary. By 1960, the Butte was loaded with trees and under brush. I would hike, and knew every inch of Rocky Butte. There was always a snow cone van parked up at the look out. Great memories! Way before they put in all the houses up top!

  5. rod taylor Says:

    I was raised at 1624 NE 76th, 6 short blocks away. The tavern was the Red Pig. The signal light was a red blinker until about 1948. Behind the camera there stood a two story clapboard building that housed a Teenie’s Department store until about the time of this photo when it was super ceded by a second hand store. Almost directly beneath the viaduct was a railroad block signal and a switch that led to a public team track up the southern embankment. At the time of the photo 82nd and Halsey marked the
    NE boundary of my Oregon Journal paper route. On Rocky Butte’s western flank we can make out the scar from years of motorcycle hill climbs although the war had put a stop to those and they were never to resume. The intersection would undergo considerable changes in just 2 more years indeed the whole neighborhood from the Banfield project. Love it. Thank you

  6. Tad Says:

    Fascinating to hear such detailed memories Rod, thanks for sharing.

    Curious though, what’s a “public team track”?

    I wonder if the motorcycle hillclimb scars can be found today?

    I agree that it would be nice if the city would tame some growth that blocks the view. Generally I’m in favor of letting trees grow, but in the rare case of a public viewpoint such as Rocky Butte or Council Crest, an exception should be made.

    Along those lines I hear they did just do a major trimback effort up at Council Crest but I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.

  7. Dave Says:

    If I am not mistaken you can see an outline of Mt. St Helens in the distance…..of course the top of the mountain would still be visible at this time.

  8. rod taylor Says:

    A team track. The term dates from the horse and wagon era and survives today. The track is a siding where freight cars can be unloaded or transferred to other conveyance. At this particular location seeing new Nash Autos unloaded from box cars and seeing Scoopmobiles loaded onto flat cars. All sorts of goods would make appearances there and little boys were endlessly entertained. It was switched 6 days a week. Right next to it a construction company had parked 3 war surplus army half tracks and in addition the area had a large timbered vacant lot extending from 77th to 79th. Paradise for young fellas.

  9. Rox Says:

    I can remember, I think, when Hill Military Academy was up on Rocky Butte, before it became the religious college? I do remember “parking” up there when I was a teen. The police would come and shine lights in the cars periodically. I also remember that if you went east on Fremont from 82nd, there was a road that split off to the south just west of the hill that had a big dip in it, we used to (sorry local residents) really zip thru’ there to get the thrill of the roller coaster type ride that dip provided.

  10. Rox Says:

    I can also remember when the jail was still existing down below. There was a riding stable called, I think, Red’s that we used to ride at, trail went by the jail.Photos of the jail are few and far between.

  11. nativePDX Says:

    Rox that was called “thrill hill” and cars often became airborne before they blocked it with safety islands, or bubble curbs. I believe around the 80’s.

    Some cars didn’t land all that well and I always wondered, if parents ever figured out what happen to their cars after a trip .

    These are all just rumors, that I heard while in school.

  12. kcfire Says:

    Yes! Red’s Riding Academy! Yes, you rode past the jail on the narrow rode, then on into the woods. The old stone jail was made of HUGE stones! It looked almost medieval! And the street with the “dip” was Fremont Drive. After the long dip you came out at 92nd and Rocky Butte Rd. If you were riding a bike, you always took 92nd, to Fremont. The candy store is still there! Then Fremont Drive on the way home because it was all down hill! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Clothes pin some cards onto your spokes……….high class! lol! I took the virtual tour via Dave Brunker maps link. I was amazed at how much was still the same! I knew that neighborhood like the back of my hand! Thousands of miles on my bike back in the day! Two speed kick back Schwinn. (SP?) 92nd and Halsey looks exactly the same, except the car/boat lot on the corner. It was a Rocket Gas Station, and I remember buying 28 cent a gallon gas for my 1969 VW on my way to my job at the Benson Hotel. Many of the houses are still painted the same colors, and the landscaping the same as well. Many places have been trashed, and landscaping pulled up. It was a beautiful neighborhood in it’s day! Many high profile people have come out of that neighborhood! Rick Wise the pitcher for the NY Yanks World Series for starters.

  13. kcfire Says:

    The Military School was well abandoned by the early 60’s. Just a few shells of the buildings that once stood. It was at the bottom of the Butte on the Northwestern end. I remember rumaging through the remains almost daily on my bike rides. The motor cycle climb also started from the ground up in that general area. By the early 60’s, it was only the local neighborhood kids with bikes would zoom zoom up the hill. Then came motor cross in it’s infancy. I always loved riding to the Grotto! As a kid I was not Catholic, didnt really know nothing about God in those days. Always did like cruising the Grotto because it had fountains, and waterfalls, and cool statues. And ton of candles burning everytime I went there. I gravited towards it’s peacefulness. It was quite cool growing up in that neighborhood!

  14. kcfire Says:

    Rod Taylor went to Glenhaven or Vest?

  15. kcfire Says:

    The religious college was Multnomah College and it was located on Mt Tabor.

  16. nativepdx Says:

    The motor cycle climb was a very popular area for kids in the 60’s and 70’s and it had access from the RR tracks, so if you were under 16, you could ride your motorcycle to the area, without getting in trouble. We also had 148th & Halsey which is now Summerplace.

    Riding all day in the dirt and dust in the summer, a kids dream!

  17. rod taylor Says:

    Indeed rod taylor started school at Vestal K-3, rode the bus to Marysville 4-5, and finally to Glenhaven. 6-8. 15 happiest years of his life I might add.

    Anyone else remember the Hooverville that was sheltered by the 82nd st viaduct in those days of yore. Those were real hobos. Genuine. They would come by our place sometimes and mom or grandma would make them chop wood for a sandwich and some cookies.

  18. john scott Says:

    Rick Wise played for Boston not the Yankees !!! Went to thePhillies as a Bonus Baby in 1963 I had many forts up on the Butte Would love to see more photos of the area especailly Hancock Park on Tillamook Street

  19. Wallace Smith Says:

    You must be Norm’s brother, who lived in the white house, across the street from Hancock Park. :)

  20. Mike H Says:

    I grew up on 88th and Thompson and attended Jason Lee from 1960 till 1969. My Brother and I explored every inch of Rocky Butte as well as the Swamp at the bottom of Fremont Hill and the gravel pit.
    I walked past Rocky Butte Jail often and remember playing in the pond between there and the Halsey Street bridge. There would always be a big piece of wood to float around on. Now I 205 covers this.
    Growing up I remember that it was sparse enough to see couples parked under those large trees in the middle of the Butte. They would park in front of the two large stones that are still there.

  21. Kaye K Says:

    You were my neighbor Mike H. I lived across the street from the play field on 95th and Thompsom. I graduated from Madison in 69. I moved there in 56 and started kindergarten at Jason lee. I knew every inch of the Butte! You probably used some of the trails I broke as a kid! :)

  22. Mike H Says:

    Hi Kaye K you you are right, I probably blazed the same trails. My favorite trail was as you enter the Butte from 92nd and started just behind those new condos and went all the way to the top.
    I was the scruffy looking kid with long hair, over my ears.

  23. Julie M Says:

    I worked at Red’s for a few years. I’d love to come back (live in Idaho now) and see what’s left of that place, if anything! Does anyone know?

  24. Mike H Says:

    I remember a couple of big cats, perhaps a lion and tiger that lived directly across the street from Hancock park to the West.
    As a Paper Boy these large cats came up to the window a few feet away from me standing on their hind legs as I delivered the paper. I also heard of these cats walking in the park with their owner.
    Anyone remember this.

  25. Julie M Says:

    Was Red’s (or Rocky Butte Riding Academy) under the overpass at about 102nd or closer to 82nd? Was too young to drive then, so I paid no attention, but I sure spent a lot of time there!

  26. Kaye Says:

    about 95th, it was just below the Halsey St bridge going towards Gateway Shopping Center. I got bucked off one of those horses passing by the old jail! lol!

  27. KAYE Says:

    The Thorsen’s and Beck families lived across the st on Hancock, Then the Norman Scott family was on 89th (?) side street border of the park, Then the Ladum’S, next the Neilsen,s on the other park border. Don’t remember scary animals. ;)

  28. K Says:

    Maybe the scary animals appeared after I outgrew terrorizing Hancock Park on my bike. After all, I am a few years your senior. :)

  29. K Says:

    Hey Mike H, if you delivered newspapers on Thompson St., you remember what hard work that was going up all those stairs on the slope? Mike Wright was our paper kid, same age as me. My bedroom was just below the stairs to our front door. Every Sat. morning about 4:30 AM. i got woke up to him pounding up our stairs to the front door. BANG! That paper would hit the screen door like clock work. My Dad always gave him a “fat” tip when he came collecting.

  30. Mike H Says:

    The best pics I can find of the jail is in the link below. In 1967 I had the Oregon Journal paper route on Sacramento st. This street ended on the cliff above the jail as can be seen to the left of one of the pics. I always had fun looking down from this vantage point.

    Copy and paste link to a browser.

    http://gatewaygreenpdx.org/sites/default/files/GoogleEarth_HistoricalPics_Comparison.pdf

  31. Julie M Says:

    Mike, from your vantage point on the cliff, if you looked to the south could you see the barns, pasture and pond of the riding stable?

  32. K Says:

    Yep, that was right above where i lived. The Mercer’s lived in the end house on the right side. They owned a lot of that property on that side of the street, on down to Thompson at one time. They had an old wooden shop behind the house. It had a painting of a naked woman on the wall inside.They had a mini orchard too. The old woman used to can and make cider in the shed. Us kids used to wait for her to go in the house and we would steal her apples. The boys enjoyed the naked woman on the wall!

  33. john S Says:

    I remember the Lions real well and saw them walked in the Park This totally freaked out lots of mom’s and soon they were gone. I
    lived across from the park and remember when part of Tillamook was a dirt road. The motor cycle trail was a favorite of Corky O and mine Red’s Riding Academy had a mean 3 legged dog that chased me many times The area under the viadock to Gateway was another great place to play I have always been curious where the park came from.I know it was set up in 1941 and I have seen photos from 1935 that show the trees,just not sure who owned it Anyone have an answer??

  34. Kaye Says:

    You must be one of the Scott boys? Norman Scott’s …………..???

  35. Mike H Says:

    Yes Kaye, I remember that house very well, missed out on the pic though. The street does not look as homey as it did.
    I delivered my papers to most of the people there on Sacramento St.. You might of heard a BIG barking dog everyday at about 4:00 PM. That dog would run down from the tan colored house halve way up on the left and chase me down. One day he succeeded and bit my leg, still have two large scars as a remembrance.

  36. John Says:

    Kaye not really it’s my internet name how ever I do remember you quite we’ll I AMA few years older be fun to talk with you directly I think we were lucky to grow up in that time and place still a Kemp?

  37. Kemp Says:

    Sure John………luckywonder13@yahoo.com all other inquires will be put in the Spam folder
    :-/

  38. Mike H Says:

    i am a bit confused on who is who on this site. could someone clarify please, thanks.

  39. Julie M Says:

    “{bout 95th, it was just below the Halsey St bridge going towards Gateway Shopping Center. I got bucked off one of those horses passing by the old jail! lol!”

    Kaye, one day a group of riders I was taking out had an episode where a girl got bucked off! Wonder if that was you? It would have been around 1960, give or take a year or two.

  40. Kaye K Says:

    Yup, probably me. I would have been about 9 yrs old. I would mow the lawn on Saturday’s and my Dad would give me a buck to go ride the horses. Kept me out of my Mom’s hair. lol! ;-)

  41. Julie M Says:

    Well how odd we’d cross cyber paths! It happened in front of the jail and as I remember, I put you on my horse to get you back to the barn. Nine years old sounds right. It seems one arm was swollen?

  42. Kaye K Says:

    yup, a car went by lickity split and threw a few rocks. my horse got spooked and down i went after he reared his head. Ya, he ran back to the barn as fast as he could, leaving me behind. you probably did take care of me! I don’t remember walking. Those horses could smell the barn a mile away! As soon on the way back from the woods, and we crossed in front of the jail, they were in trot mode! As soon as they saw the lane into Red’s property, it was full bore gallup city. My favorite part of the ride! Except they did it in the woods too when we were approaching the clearing in the woods where they grazed and rested. :)

  43. Kaye K Says:

    Hey Mike, The house 2nd to the end of Sacramento on the right……..the big brown house. The Morris family lived there. They owned Rose City Cemetary, as I recall.

  44. mike H Says:

    Does anyone who lived close to Jason Lee and the south side of the butte still go up there.
    I explore that area still, as I have for most of my 59 years. My wife gets tired of me always telling her what it use to be like crossing the Halsey St. bridge.

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