Morrison Bridge, c1890s

VP fan Bill Stearns sent this great photo taken from the deck of the original Morrison Bridge, circa 1890s, looking west to the downtown waterfront. He recently obtained the original glass plate negative which he scanned for this beautiful image. In the detail photo at bottom, a paddle wheel steamer can be seen at the Alder Street Dock. Thanks Bill!

morrison bridge 1890s

morrison bridge 1880s detail(Bill Stearns)

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16 Responses to “Morrison Bridge, c1890s”

  1. Mike Slama Says:

    Incredible photo! Thanks for sharing Bill. What a great find.

  2. Ken Hawkins Says:

    Also visible and worthy of a detail photo: the St. Charles Hotel, with its mansard roof, can be seen directly in line & right of the sidewalk rail.
    Thanks for sharing this!

  3. jhunsinger Says:

    What a treat, thanks.

  4. Mike G Says:

    Great photos capturing the feeling of the waterfront in the 1890’s! I understand that this bridge in the foreground would be either Madison Bridge #1 or #2 which (obviously in photos, being built of wood), burned in 1902 and was replaced with today’s 100 yr old Hawthorne Bridge. Does anyone know about Madison 1 and 2?

  5. stiefve Says:

    Good view also of the two-level loading docks: one for high water, one for low water.

  6. Bill Stearns Says:

    Just to be clear, Tom Robinson at the Historic Photo Archive scanned the negative for me. At my Flickr account I also linked to a photo of the same general area but taken around 40 years later.

    Thanks for posting…

  7. Nancy Says:

    This is a great photo. I can almost smell the wood and river. Hardly recognizable as the Portland I grew up in.

  8. Tad Says:

    @Mike G: Morrison, not Madison (Hawthorne)?

    What church steeple is that barely visible in the distance?

  9. Julie Says:

    Amazing! Would love to share some of these in our magazine sometime.

  10. David Johnson Says:

    2 of the coolest photos I’ve seen of old PDX.

  11. Kirk J. Poole ("Since '62!") Says:

    Yeah, the on-bridge pic is a real treasure. I haven’t seen any from this perspective.

  12. Jim Says:

    In addition to the St. Charles Hotel, you can see the Jennings Bros. Building to its left (from this perspective, you would walk right into the building) and the back side of the Esmond Hotel (Front and Morrison) to its right. You can also see the clock tower of the Odd Fellows Temple (1st and Alder) peeking above the roof line left of the Steamer landing. Finally, in the distance, you can just make out the old Masonic Hall at 3rd and Alder on the right side of the street.

    Wonderfully detailed image. Thanks Ben.

  13. Jim Says:

    Oops. I mean Bill. Thank you Bill.

  14. Ken Hawkins Says:

    @Tad: that is the First Presbyterian Church on 12th and Alder. It almost looks like there might be scaffolding around the steeple. The cornerstone was laid in 1887.

  15. Mike G Says:

    RE: Madison, Hawthorn, Morrison? What I read indicated that there were two bridges extending from Madison street (No.1 and No. 2), replaced with the Hawthorne. That’s kind of what I was confused about too.

  16. Brian Says:

    @ Mike G: This isn’t the Madison/Hawthorne Bridge at all. This is the original Morrison Bridge, replaced in 1905 and again in 1958. Yes, there were previous bridges at Madison including one that burned and was replaced by the current Hawthorne. The bridge in this photo, however, has nothing to do with those.

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