Grant Park Grocery & Market, c1940

VP fan David Lewis submitted this great photo of Grant Park Grocery & Market personnel in front of their shop at NE 33rd and Knott Street. The distinctive building, echoed on the sides of the panel delivery trucks, is now a family medical office. Thanks for the great find, David!

Grant Park Grocery NE 33rd Knott c1940(David Lewis)

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35 Responses to “Grant Park Grocery & Market, c1940”

  1. Pete Vogel Says:

    Wow. Magical photo.

  2. JohnH Says:

    A few years ago, Doug Decker had a similar picture on his website:

    http://alamedahistory.org/2008/06/08/grant-park-grocery-market/

    Fred Peterson was Portland’s mayor from 1953 to1956. I believe he owned the drug store next to the grocery store around this time.

  3. Jared Says:

    WOW. 2 blocks from my house. I wondered what the doctors office before it became what it is today.

    Awesome Pic. These are the great pics I have been missing on this blog.

  4. Tim Muir Says:

    Wow indeed! I have fond memories of my brothers, friends and myself stopping in the grocery to grab a can of Shasta and some snacks on our way to (and/or from) U.S. Grant Park. We would walk or ride bikes from our neighborhood at NE 30th and Klickitat St. I remember the pharmacy, too. I’d spend my meager allowances on cheapo toys there sometimes. We lived in the neighborhood from 1956 to 1969. Great memories, I loved that area and miss it.

  5. Greg Says:

    I practically grew up in this store in the 50-60’s..My dad worked in it at one time and we had a charge account. My mom was always sending me to the store to get something for her as we only had one car and my dad used it for work. Everyone who worked there knew who I was and all I had to do was walk up to the counter with something and say charge it to my parents account. Almost all the people who worked there had worked there for years and all lived in the neighborhood. Every summer the owner Spencer Lightfoot who was from Oklahoma would bring in a truckload of watermelons from Oklahoma to sell. The butcher shop was in the NW section of the store, next to the back entrance. His daughter and I went to school together. The drugstore next door was a trip back in time, even then. The druggist was about 70-75 and the counter guy was at least in his 60’s. When the druggist finally died they found medicines dating back to almost Civil War period. It had a old fashioned soda fountain about 20′ or more with a big glass mirror behind it on the south side. Cokes were $.05 even the flavored ones.The $.10 comic and magazine rack was on the north wall and the pharmacy proper was across the west wall. There was a few lines of shelves in the middle that had the usual drug store items and the was section with toys that had cap guns, caps and all kinds of models, paint and glue for the models. People used to wait in the drug store waiting for their buses as the intersection was a stop for 3 or 4 bus routes. I hope I haven’t bored anyone with my trip down memory lane.

  6. Chuck Says:

    Tim Muir, you were lucky you lived on 30th & Klickitat. My siblings & I had to walk from 16th & Stanton to go swimming at the Grant Park pool. We lived there from about ’63 to the ’80s. I remember stopping at the drug store every time we went to Grant. To be honest, I don’t remember the store, tho. I moved away from my folks’ house in 1969.

  7. Lauré Says:

    Glad to see some history of this corner. I go through this intersection frequently and knew that the building had once housed a grocery store & pharmacy. Reading the stories about the old occupants brings back a few memories of Grady’s Groceries & Meats on N. 7th St. & Maryland Ave., in Phoenix, AZ., where I grew up in the 50’s & 60’s. Use to run up my parents account buying candy & toy’s and spent much time reading Archie & Veronica comics on their cool cement floor.

  8. Chuck Says:

    I wonder when “charge it” at Mom & Pop stores became obsolete. I’m guessing the ’60s.

  9. Greg Says:

    Tim Muir, you are Phil Muir’s brother. I lived on 31st and Siskyou. Remember the Wilson’s, Gates, Groh’s, LeDoux’s, Young’s, Harkins and everybody else who lived in the old neighborhood

  10. Tim Muir Says:

    That I am, Greg, I’m Phil’s “little” brother, and I do remember the Wilsons, Gates, LeDouxs (Rick lives here in Lincoln City). I also remember the Youngs and Pat Harkins. And I remember you, Greg, and your house there on the corner. Good to hear from you.

  11. mark Says:

    well, in some places “charge it” lives on, to some degree. I used to live at 29th and Going and there’s a little corner store down there owned by a very nice Asian man (I think Korean?) and a few times I forgot my wallet and he would always say “Just get me back next time, friend!” (and this was only a few years ago)

  12. Dave Brunker (@dbrunker) Says:

    Has it been remodeled much?

    http://goo.gl/maps/hwWVx

  13. Sam Says:

    I wonder if any of those young men in the picture are still with us? They looked so young then but that of course was so long ago. I just love the custom painted truck. I remember the pharmacy from my high school days in the 70’s. I believe the magazine rack was in front of the large windows on the side of the building. I went there just about every day for this and that. Mostly to look at the mags for free and maybe buy a candy bar. It seems like just yesterday. Then later in life my primary care physician was located there so I saw 2 different incarnations of the building.

  14. Greg Says:

    Sam, the pharmacy was remodeled in the 60’s after the old pharmacist died and the business was sold. That is when the inside door between the grocery and the pharmacy was added and the magazine rack was moved. Before you had to go outside to get from one to the other

  15. Greg Says:

    Another thing I just noticed confirms what I had been told about the butcher shop originally being in the far south end of the building and being separate like the drug store. If you look at the far left side of the building there is a separate address board under the peaked roof. Now all we need is a picture of the old Kienows store near Broadway and I can go on another posting spree:).

  16. Tim Muir Says:

    Greg, I too was hoping to see some vintage shots of Kienows down by Broadway. Also the small neighborhood business corner of NE 24th and Freemont, which was closer to us for the 30th and Klickitat gang :o).

    I didn’t know your Dad worked there at GP. I must confess I have little memory of the grocery side, more of the drug store and one time while reading the comic books, being told by one of the old guys, “This isn’t the public library, you know. Either buy it or put it back!” Also have a memory, must’ve been 5 or so, of trying to buy a little red plastic 707 airliner toy from the bulk toy boxes in the middle aisles, for a nickle, even though they were a dime. In that tender age, I thought a nickle was worth more than a dime because it was bigger, LOL…

  17. Greg Says:

    Tim, the one on 24th, next to what else a drug store was Pixie Market. Across the street on 24th was a Safeway store. That sounds like the old guy in the drug store. When they said corner drug store in the old day’s they meant it.

  18. Tim Muir Says:

    That’s right, Greg, Pixie Foods. Max was one of the owners who used to call me Curly. The drug store on the corner was owned by Mr. Munroe, whose sons I later worked with at Premier Market in Lincoln City. I used to get my haircuts at Dale Kuntz’s barber shop around the north side of the drug store, right next to a shoe repair. The Safeway was great. Wooden floors, the smells of fresh ground Edwards coffee and the meat market with sawdust on the floor.

  19. Greg Says:

    Tim, I don’t suppose you remember the old Italian guy who used to drive up and down the streets selling vegetables out of his old truck with the roll up canvas sides on the back? And above the drug store was a dentist’s office which was accessed by the enclosed stairwell at the west end of the building. The power substation took the rest of the block facing 24th. south to Klickatat.

  20. Tim Muir Says:

    Oh yeah, I remember the vegetable truck with the roll-up canvas sides. I think it was a ’53 Chevy panel with the sides cut out. And the upstairs dentist office above the drug store, too. I also remember the lot just south of the substation, before it was a playground for Madeline Catholic school, was covered in old growth timber with ancient trails running through it. Pretty awesome for NE Portland and not being a park. I found this photo of the drugstore corner at AlamedaHistory.com:

  21. Tim Muir Says:

    Forgot to mention, that photo is from the 1920’s, before the second story was added. Also note the Broadway street car tracks.

  22. Greg Says:

    There was also a similar undeveloped vacant lot catty corner to Grant Park Grocery(getting somewhat back on track). The Broadway bus I used to take downtown when I was a kid followed the old streetcar line shown in your picture. And you are right on about the vegetable truck. I had forgotten about the lot below the substation, guess I can’t remember everything from 50-55 years ago. Memory can play tricks on us at 63. I just hope we haven’t bored all the other readers of this great blog.with our reminiscences. It seems like all of the old neighborhood gang has scattered to the four winds but I have lived all but a couple of years of my life within a mile and 1\2 of it

  23. Tim Muir Says:

    You’re right, we probably have bored everyone else with our reminiscences, but it has been fun remembering those old times and I do think that’s partly the purpose of this wonderful blog. Plus it’s brought two old friends virtually together. I miss the old neighborhood and sometimes pine for it. So it’s a real treat when vintageportland posts a photo like the Grant Park Grocery & Drug Store. I keep hoping for more from the old neighborhood. ;-)

  24. Chuck Says:

    Not boring at all. Tried to remember some of the places you wrote about.

  25. Greg Says:

    Chuck, then you lived near the neighborhood market on 15th that was later depending on your age was a Thriftway. Here we go again for a ride down memory lane.

  26. Chuck Says:

    Yes. We referred to it as “George’s” the name of the owner. Family shopped there for decades.

  27. Chuck Says:

    I’m a year older than you – 64. So you went to Grant HS? I went to Central. Class of ’67,

  28. Greg Says:

    I went to Grant HS. Class of ’69. I knew a few guys from Central, but that was years ago.

  29. dogchild Says:

    Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy lived on Klickitat St., in the Beverly Cleary story books series of the 50’s & 60’s, along with Beezus & Ramona Quimby and the old gang. It was great fun growing-up in real neighborhoods like the ones in the Portland areas.

  30. Chuck Says:

    Greg, one of my very best friends after high school was a guy from your class. His name was Bob Wilson & he lived a block from me on 17th & Knott.

  31. Adam Says:

    One of my favorite things about this site is the real-life information, from people who were there! Keep it coming, the pictures are great but stories about what it was like inside, what it smelled and looked like, etc really give us younger folks an idea of a time passed!

  32. Brian Says:

    Puzzle for you guys that grew up in that neighborhood.
    I once lived on Alameda Terrance (up the hill from here).
    I was back in the old neighborhood a few weeks ago and noticed the curb stamped with “Woodworth Ave”.

    Were these streets renamed? If so, can anyone tell me when?

    I know there was an overall street renaming project, but didn’t realize it impacted this area of town.
    Any information you have would be greatly appreciated!
    Brian

  33. Chuck Says:

    I think it must’ve been earlier than the 60s that the street names were changed, Brian. They had the same names that they have today. As far as I know.

  34. JohnH Says:

    Brian: Once again I’m going to reference Doug Decker’s website (see second comment above). During the 1930’s many of the streets were renamed. While this link doesn’t specifically mention Woodworth Ave it does tell much about the street names in the Alameda neighborhood.

    http://alamedahistory.org/?s=street+names

    I, too, grew up in the area from 1949 to 1963 (Fernwood and Grant High student) with many fond memories of Grant Park Grocery.

  35. Randy Says:

    The trucks are practically new. This picture is from the mid 1930’s.

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