N. Denver & N. Interstate, 1947

Lots of great detail in this 1947 aerial photo looking northeast over N. Interstate and Denver Avenues. The Kenton Hotel is at lower-center, and Portland Meadows racetrack is at upper-right. Vanport, on the upper-left edge, would be destroyed in a flood the next year.

(City of Portland Archives)

21 thoughts on “N. Denver & N. Interstate, 1947

  1. Wow- there is a wigwam burner (for wood waste) next to the Columbia slough, just east of Interstate! I always associate them with rural locations, but that is pretty close in.
    Does anyone know how far north the Interstate Avenue trolley bus line went?

  2. It looks like one of Kenton’s big employers was a saw mill and lumber yard.

    It kinda explains maybe why they later added the Paul Bunion statue near the yard.

    I recall the old Interstate highway well as a kid before they built I-5.

  3. Dan Haneckow

    There were Wigwam burners all around Portland and Kenton was out in the sprawling rural area, out side of Portland.

    Is that a drive in theater east of the race track? Or some kind of a bill board or building

  4. I thought the Speedway was farther North of Portland Meadows. We use to go there all the time, maybe it is the angle of the photo that is throwing me off. Or did they move it, later?

  5. I didn’t know that some of the Vanport housing was salvaged! Where are they? I’d love to see them.

  6. That particular wigwam burner was there until at least the mid sixties. I know. When I was a kid we used to play in and around it.(Without my parents knowledge of course).

  7. Sorry, when I read the post, somehow I thought it said that Vanport was in the upper right. That’s why I was confused about what was in the upper left. My bad.

  8. The drive-in and the auto race track were at the same location it was dual use facility. It made for some wild crashes when race cars went of track and over drive in bumps. the drive-in screen was demolished in the 1980s?and the portland speedway survived intell 2001?

  9. The wigwam burner is directly north of the old Nicolai Door Co. complex. It sat on both sides of Columbia Blvd. on the east side of the Denver st.overpass. They had large elevated overpass between the north and south side of Columbia blvd. The overpass contained a walkway, steam pipes, air pipes the hog fuel pipes, and a 6ft x 100ft continuous transport belt. The north building were the lumber sheds, the boiler house complex with three boilers that had come out of ship, the veneer plant, the carving plant and the cutting and laminating plant. The wood was cut and milled to rough dimensions and was carried by the north side buildings via the continuous belt in the overpass. The south side buildings contained the main offices,the south side hog, the glazing dept, the machine department, the door assembly line, the finishing department and the warehouse & shipping department. Each side had it’s own lunchrooms and restrooms. I worked there from 1973 to when it was closed in 1987. I worked in almost every department at one time or another while I worked there.

  10. where the dancing bare is now, i remember it was the stone pony, and when i was really young, my parents took me to that spot, it was an all you can eat for 99 cents buffet, sometime in the mid sixties

  11. Paul Bunyan wasn’t yet born…roflmao! I wish we had more period shots of 99E (McLoughlin, etc.). I’ve seen the one that shows the old (sniff!) Bybee viaduct on here. I wish there were more ‘upon completion’ photos of McLoughlin AND Barbur Boulevard (1933-1936-ish).

    An aside…we should form a PDX History CLUB, with dues and monthly meetings all over The City, in different parks and historical locations (as weather permits). We could even do historic tours, etc.!

    I wager there must be around 50 or so regulars here…anyone want to chime-in on this proposal / idea? Feel free to use my FB page (Kirk J. Poole) and talk it over!

    Not too late for a Summer Picnic!

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