Shops, c1931 – Help Us Out!

You Vintage Portland fans are so good that last week you were able to find our mystery building even though it was not in Portland at all, but down in Woodburn. Congratulations, job well done.

This week the City Archives has provided photos of two shops. I’m not sure they are connected but they have enough in common that I decided to feature them together. Both have the same style of building features (diagonal paneling, etc.), awnings, signage, even sidewalk patterns. The only clues to the location are the addresses “410” above the gentleman’s head and “430” on the door frame above the lady’s head. The numbering is another indicator that they may be connected. Reflections in the windows may be the most significant clues. Good luck and happy hunting!

Found:  NE 4th Avenue, near Dallas St., Camas, WA (bottom photo)

(City of Portland Archives)

115 thoughts on “Shops, c1931 – Help Us Out!

  1. The one on top is “Grumpy Grampa’s No Frills Ice Cream Parlor” on 60th and Halsey and the bottom is “Edith’s Fountain and Child Worker Shoppe.” I think that was in Milwaukie.

  2. An advertising collectors dream! Love the ice cream cone on the curb. Old Gold- “Not a cough in a carload”…Yea, right.

    Dan, you have me stumped on this one. I wonder if the reflections of buildings in the windows might hold some clues…

  3. It looks like the kid wants to get back to his scooter and play, this is back when candy was wholesome and nourishing. LoL

  4. Your trying to tell me, candy and ice cream is not wholesome nourishing??

    My dad is 91 and if it wasn’t for candy and Ice cream, I don’t think he would have lasted that long!

  5. It appears that these two photos could be the same building (as said above) but taken years apart. Also, I don’t think that the address is 410… perhaps that’s a 440? Would make more sense if they are the same building.

  6. What’s the coin-op thing attached to the outside of the building in the top photo, behind the Holland Ice Cream sign?

  7. I’m not sure they’re the same building. The sidewalk is totally different. The Old man’s sidewalk slopes downhill left to right, while the the other sidewalk is level across the front of the store, necessitating the need for the step.

  8. The Chicken Dinner was similar to Butterfinger or Zagnut. An early victim of consolidation in the candy business.

    Not a cough in a carload. Hack hack, some people can’t, hack, take these cigarettes, hack, hack, but they don’t, hack hack, bother, huh hack huh hack , me. Those old gags just wrote themselves.

  9. Never have seen those billboards, but it was from that billboard that I thought the neighboring biz on the bottom picture might carry the same name (only see “Fo” and “Kle” on it).

  10. I don’t see the connection with 60th and Halsey, but the adobe-looking structure in the reflection of the top pic should be unique enough to go on…

  11. I’m even more convinced that we’re looking at two seperate buildings. Besides the slope of the sidewalk, the windows, the casings, and trims are completely different.
    The windows are set back in the first building with heavy trim work, while on the second building the windows are much closer to the front of the building with small trims. The glass in the common window is one sheet in the old building but bisected in the newer one.

  12. I know…kinda off subject…but the billboard references brought it to mind:

    Regarding the billboard company, I DO remember Foster & Kleiser (White block lettering on a dark blue background…rounded corners…usually placed at the center bottom of their billboard). Another billboard company was Pacific Outdoor. I loved the old billboards…some were very fancy…nicely painted frames, some with overhead lighting and some even had lower sections of white lattice and even manicured shrubbery and landscaping! One could usually tell how well a company was doing by the type and/or style of billboard they used to advertise their product/business. I even remember one around town somewhere (close-in) that changed ads, so to speak. It was designed, in some way, where tall vertical sections rotated at a designated speed to expose another ad…probably related to the traffic speed and/or traffic lights…I want to say there were three different advertisements…all from one billboard! Of course, I can’t remember if the ads were related in some way…just that there were three…even when it came time to totally change the billboard…three sticks in my mind. (Probably some kind of triangular design of the tall vertical sections…right?)
    I’d love to see a photo of that one…or, if nothing else, to know where it was located! Grand Ave, Sandy Blvd, West bound on the Banfield or possibly SE McLoughlin Blvd.? Sound familiar?

    Oh…Sharon Irons Perry…we can thank Lady Bird Johnson for the slow disappearance of the billboard! She got the ball rolling with her “highway beautification act” back in the 1960’s. Not that it wasn’t a good idea, but for something that was supposed to “clean up the landscape”, it sure got messy!

    And MizVerde…great site…Thanks!

  13. It can’t be 60th and Halsey, the address would be wrong.

    The most important question is what town were these pictures taken? If it’s Portland then where would they have to be to match the house number? Going north/south it would have to be on 4th or MLK (Union back in those days) and going east west it would have to be between Oak and Stark or between Flanders and Glisan. If the pictures weren’t taken in Portland it could be just about anywhere. I’ve seen enough pictures on Vintage Portland of downtown to know it wouldn’t have been there so we could rule out NW or SW 4th. It would also be a heavy traffic area if there were billboards so that would rule out most of Flanders. I’d guess the most likely place in Portland for this/these building(s) to be would be MLK, if it’s in Portland at all.

  14. @ Dave and Tad: I don’t think we know which numbering system it is. The picture is labeled “c1931” which means it could be on either side of the renumbering that was phased in over a couple years starting in 1931.

  15. I do agree with Robert that they appear to be two separate buildings. Aside from the diagonal trim, there is very little architectural similarity.

    I assumed the neon sign in the bottom picture also read “Foster & Kleiser”. According to the 1931 City Directory, Foster & Kleiser was located at “the corner of Everett and 7th N”. The problems with this though are:
    1. That building is not on a corner.
    2. NW Broadway and Everett (and for that matter, NW 5th) were a lot more built up in 1930 that this area.
    3. The old address system doesn’t have any addresses in the 400 range anywhere near that intersection.

    Some thoughts about the bottom photo:
    * The two buildings behind the billboard appear to be from the 20s (that brick one may be older, though).
    * The neon sign on the closer building might not read “Foster & Kleiser”, but it’s hard to imagine what else might start with “Fo” and what sure looks like “Kle”. I searched the Oregonian archive for “Kleaners” but didn’t come up with anything until the late 30s.
    * Looking at the reflections in the closer window I see the rise of land, and what looks like a bungalow behind a car. In the farther window, it looks like there is a three story building with arched windows on its top floor.

    Regarding the top photo, there’s two things I’m noticing in the reflections: the Spanish-influenced stucco building, and then, in the far background in the reflection is what looks like a much larger structure – could it be a movie theater, or maybe a large church?

  16. Phased in? I was under the impression that it happened “one day”. Phasing in doesn’t make much sense… how would one know which number to use unless the change happened all at once?

    I was assuming that the numbers were the old system… because the numbers don’t look “new”. But that might be just because they’re in B&W. 🙂

    There *is* a bldg near 60th and Halsey that looks similar, but I don’t think that’s the one…

    And what is the tall structure at the extreme right of the 2nd pic?

  17. Is that not a reflection of a forested hillside, with a wood-frame house beneath it under “Fountain Milk Shakes”?

    And a white-fronted 3-story cast-iron in the “Cigars and Tobacco” window?

  18. From Wikipedia: The Chicken Dinner Bar had been a product of the Sperry Candy Company, which was acquired by Pearson’s in 1962. The bar, introduced during The Great Depression, was so called in reference to President Herbert Hoover’s promise of “a chicken in every pot”.[9] The bar did not contain chicken or other poultry products, but was, rather, a chocolate-covered nut roll. Pearson’s discontinued the bar’s production after the acquisition.[8] Early TV commercials sang “Chick – Chick – Chick – Chick – Chicken Dinner” similar to, and in the cadence of a rooster crowing.
    Chick-o-Stick was made by a different company, though it sounds like a similar idea. They used a chicken in a cowboy hat to advertise their product. This chicken is clearly not wearing a hat.

  19. Yes, Tad, I am seeing the same thing that you are in the reflection in the bottom window. The larger building looks like it could be a cast iron building.

    Assuming it is a cast iron building, my guess is that this would have been in South Portland. The 400 series of addresses would place it in the vicinity of the 1900 block of addresses today on north-south streets.

  20. And for the trifecta… if this was 430/440 in the old system, it might be 21 blocks south of Burnside, which would put it smack in the South Portland Urban Renewal area, wouldn’t it?

  21. Do either of these numbers fit the old numbering systems on either N. Mississippi or Williams ave. The period architecture would fit in any number of older neighborhoods including St. johns which was a late annexation. Probably shouldn’t overlook the south auditorium district near yesterdays photo either. Same late addition applies to Lents. Perhaps one of our experts on the numbering systems could instruct us here

  22. “Phasing in doesn’t make much sense… how would one know which number to use unless the change happened all at once?”

    @ Tad: Good question. I read that it was phased in but I have no idea how that would work. I believe it said it was so businesses would not have to change all their signage, advertising, stationary, etc. all at once.

  23. I just found an ad from 1929 with a map that shows the Foster and Kleiser offices at East 7th and Everett. Were the streets “fixed” by then or is this the old numbering system?

  24. Why all the discussion of 60th and Halsey? It seems obvious that suggestion came from a facetious post. I mean “Grumpy Grandpa” and “Child Worker Shoppe”? I think ,absent a little more seriousness, that we can disregard those locations as being equally fictitious as the names.

  25. Hah Khris, great minds…

    Dave, I meant Glisan, not Halsey. The building next to Biddy’s bears a passing resemblance, but it’s not on a corner for one thing.

    Yes the dark horizontal bars, but I don’t see how it looks like a telephone pole.

    Mississippi would be too far out for 400 block. Maybe Williams or Union?

  26. From the Clear Channel history page with highlights of Foster and Kleiser history, a couple notes with possible relevance to the discussion above:

    “1905 – New Portland office and operating facility opened at 5th & Everett Streets.

    1910 – Enlarged Portland branch building opened at 7th & Everett. …

    1913 – Foster and Kleiser open new Columbia moving picture theater in Portland, Oregon.”

  27. Brian, I don’t get what their office location has to do with it… presumably they’d have billboards all over town, right?

  28. @ Tad. In the bottom picture there is a sign hanging off the front of the building on the other side of the billboards. It looks as if it may say the same thing as what we see on top of the billboard and that is the sign makers name Foster and Kleiser.

  29. Right, I was following Khris Soden’s assumption about the partially visible sign on the building next to the store in the lower picture.

    On the same page I linked above you can see a photo of the 1905 facility at 5th and Everett (it’s not identified on the page as such, but it is in the title of the photo). Clearly not the same building at all so that rules out that location. As the 1910 building was “enlarged” I think we can rule that out as well. The building in the photo appears to be a small storefront office — perhaps a branch sales office somewhere as opposed to their main sign production facilities on Everett?

  30. Vintage Portland…

    …So…what’s your record for the number of replies to any given article? Boy, these two photos have been quite the challenge and I’ve learned quite a lot! Thanks everyone!!!

  31. I think Dennis has something there, look at the building to the right and the antenna looks about right for marine radio of the period……

  32. I think Tad is on the right track here. And speaking of tracks consider these appear to be well established business/es in the era of the trolley car. Thus it would seem to make sense to examine trolley routes for clues. Candy stores, fountains and the like require a lot of foot traffic in that era. Either high density housing, not in evidence here, or public transit. Of course autos are present in the photo, it’s 1931, but these shops have been here awhile from the evidence. Just saying.

  33. In the top photo, what is that attached to the upright frame of the store’s front window? The frame that’s right above the Chicken Dinner sign attached to the diagonal wooden siding and is just to the left of the We Sell Holland Ice Cream sign. Whatever it is, it appears to be something enclosed in a glass cover, sitting on a cube with a narrow rectangular piece attached to the front of the cube. The whole thing is mounted on two narrow brackets which appear to be made of metal. In general, it makes me think of those table-top juke boxes with the song selection pages inside the glass cover and the narrow rectangular shape being the buttons to push to select a song. However, I have no idea if such items existed in 1931, nor can I imagine folks walking up to the exterior of a business, putting money in a slot and playing a song which they would then listen to while standing on the sidewalk. I surely hope at least one of y’all can enlighten me here. Thanks!

  34. I think the top one looks to be 440 not 410?
    Green’s Market and Grocery 440 E Harrison possible.
    7th and E Harrison. The address is in the 1930 City Directory
    yet not in the cross over guide. Very similar building still
    standing across the street.

  35. Is there enough information to rule out the possibility that these buildings are on the same street and across from one another?

  36. No, I guess the buildings couldn’t be on opposite sides of the street since they both have even numbers.

    The window of the bottom building seems to reflect the west hills. If it does reflect the west hills, then the building would have to be facing west. And if a building with an even number faced west, then that building would have to be on the east side of the Willamette River. Assuming it is in Portland.

    In addition, if the bottom building is in Portland and does reflect the west hills, then it appears to be fairly close to the Willamette River.

  37. I think the two photos are of the same location- the upper photo shows two doors- I believe the lower photo is further down the block, of a third door, not visible in the upper photo. The collapsed awnings, to the right of the door in the upper picture, and above the door and windows in lower picture tie the two together, as do the presence of billboards, reflected in the upper picture and present in the lower picture-which bespeak a location on a busy street.

  38. Not likely the same building, Observing the building may have sunk or the sidewalk raised would explain the step at the doorway but absent at the other. Also as mentioned eariler the windows are set into the casings differently.
    Being the pictures are from roughly the same time period and similar condition of the buildings sort of rules out an extensive remodel of the structures or sidewalk.

  39. What in world is that very tall structure rising at the far right of the lower picture, above the dapper gentleman and the sign showing FO.

    Another thought, does anyone have a period city directory for Oregon City. The numbers work there and the reflected hills fit as well.

  40. I was thinking Oregon City too. The top picture looks like the bldg at 1200 7th St, in the 60’s it was Al’s Color Corner, then about 5 years ago, Olson’s Medical……..

  41. The building Kevin c references looks like it could be the right one.

    Does anyone know what the address for the building at N. Williams & Page would have been under the old numbering system?

  42. The old system was 20 per block, so counting from Burnside (I assume), N Tillamook would be about 400… so this is pretty much dead on for 410, but 430 doesn’t make sense because it fronts onto N Page, where the numbers would be in the zeros.

    Could be Oregon City, but the 400 block would be inside the mill now, and presumably then.

  43. Very similar looking building, but the addresses would be wrong according to the Sanford Portland map of 1924-1928, vol. 6. The addresses of the near block long building are 274, 272, 270, and 266 Page Street. The entire building was taken up by a commercial bakery at that time, and still seems to be in business until at least 1950 according to later Sanford editions.

  44. Tad. How did the old numberings work vis East/West. And can you tell us the methods used in St Johns.

    In my paperback copy of Fares Please, John T. Labbe, Caxton Printers, ISBN 0-87004-278-5, there is on page 134, a Wm. Hayes photo that hints at a candidate on Alberta st. I must have a 150th edition and the plates were exhausted, so difficult to examine in detail. I still like the Albina/Woodlawn districts or St Johns if these are indeed of Portland.

    This puzzle has given me a great excuse to re-visit some old reference material, so thanks for that. But. I think I’ll just subside and await developments if you know what I mean.

    BTW if anyone wants to sell a 1st addition hardcover of that book, please let me know.

  45. From looking at the Sanborn maps (available via the Multnomah County library website if you don’t know), it appears E-W divided at the river, Massachusetts St or Interstate Ave,, depending on where you are.

    Prior to 1933, St Johns numbering was divided N-S from Burlington and E-W from Jersey St.

  46. I’m pretty sure this area here was within the limits of the city of Albina, until annexed by Portland circa 1891. Albina of course had its own grid and address system which probably caused a lot of problems and compromises in “upgrading” to Portland’s address/grid system. A lot of these problems probably weren’t fixed until the system they use today came into effect.

  47. This may be a long shot, but the first picture really makes me think of the building on Hawthorne and 43rd that currently houses the Vertigo Pub and Fat Straw, though that is a single-story building currently, and I don’t know the numbering system that is being referred to from this era.,-122.618311&spn=53.491958,112.5&hnear=1404+SE+31st+Ave,+Portland,+Oregon+97214&t=w&z=3&iwloc=lyrftr:h,9769551564902902042,45.511945,-122.618322&layer=c&panoid=yHbxf98J_l20TE0KDkOdVA&cbll=45.512035,-122.618311&cbp=13,190.02145275513737,,1,-2.606957967845247

  48. The upper photo may be of Main and Powell in Gresham.

    Thanks for the info on those maps Tad. Didn’t know.

  49. So, we don’t actually still know where these bldgs are? Was there some consensus of opinion?
    The poster of Grumpy Grandpa, I like your sense of humor. The guy truly doesn’t like his job, does he?

  50. I’m still leaning toward South Portland, just because of the apparent big-and-tall buildings visible in the window reflections.

  51. The 440 and 430 address numbers are not the ceramic tile variety used in the new numbering system, so I assume these are old addresses.

  52. I’m 90% sure that this isn’t in Portland. Since these addresses are even numbers, they’d have to be on the east or south side of the street. With the addresses arranged as they are (440 on the left, 430 on the right), there are only certain places they could be in Portland. For instance, that pattern doesn’t exist in the SW quadrant at all.

    The woman, the boy, and the scooter all cast faint shadows, whose direction indicates that the sun was fairly high and over the photographer’s right shoulder. The sun doesn’t shine from that angle onto the south side of a street, so most likely the buildings were on the east side of a north-south street.

    I just spent way more time than I should have poring over the Sanborn maps of the era. I went through every block that might fit the pattern, both north-south and east-west, in both the old and new numbering systems. I didn’t find anything that looked likely. Most of the blocks were residential, and the address 440 was often not on the corner, which eliminated most of the other choices.

    Of course the story changes completely if these photos actually aren’t side-by-side, or if the upper photo is 410 instead of 440.

    I did discover an interesting side note, though. The poster in the left-hand window of the upper photo mentions William K. Henderson, who broadcast a popular nationwide radio show (“Hello World”) from the station he owned in Shreveport, Louisiana. Among other things, he was a crusader against “chain stores,” a phrase that also appears on the poster.

  53. Fascinating photos! Delightful deductions!

    The number of the top builing looks like “110” when I tweak the contrast and sharpness.

    Although the two photos have a number of similarities, I see nothing that proves they are in the same neighborhood.

    The bottom photo seems to face a treed hillside.

    Does the woman have a permanent wave?

  54. I’ve been wondering about the possibility of it being #110 on the top photo as well! I am sticking with the photos being of the same location,but perhaps with the business straddling two adjacent buildings (which would explain the structural differences cited by Mike). If so, as the top photo is of a corner, is there a place where #100 and #400 series street numbers could intersect? Also- (how many hours now have I stared at these pictures?) Check out the top photo, second window to the right- in the reflection there is a telephone pole- between it and a poster in the window is what (just might) be a streetcar, specifically of the Birney Safety type (see link on Portland’s from the Portland Vintage Trolley site) –

  55. I think the two shops are in different neighborhoods. The reflections in the windows suggest that the shop in the top photo is in an area of one-to-three story buildings with no hills nearby, and that the one in the bottom photo has at least one pretty big hill in the vicinity and large multi-story buildings pretty close by.

    The spacing of the numbers in the address of the upper picture suggest that the middle number is a 4. If it was 1 it would be closer the the first number.

  56. In the lower photo reflected in the left window is a heavy truck and what seem to be, some industrial buildings with clerestory roofs which may indicate mill buildings or some such as well as reflected hills

  57. An additional lead?

    I stumbled on a potato chip advertisement in The Oregonian of May 26, 1933 (page 5). It’s a full-page ad that lists a huge number of places in Portland that sold this brand of chips (groceries, confectioneries, restaurants, etc.). If our mystery buildings were in the Portland area, there’s a possibility they’re on this list.

    These are the ones with matching addresses:

    Gortisan (Cortisan?) Brothers Confectionery, 440 Washington St.
    Holland Market, 440 E Harrison
    White Star Grocery, 430 Montgomery
    Tolbert Grocery, 440 Miller
    Siner, Ed, 440 Yamhill

    The one that caught my eye was the Holland Market, because it matches the “Holland Ice Cream” sign out front. But, of course, the ice cream came from the Holland Creamery in Vancouver, so the similarity might be a coincidence. According to the Sanborn map, 440 E Harrison (old numbering system) was on the SE corner of SE 7th and Harrison. Norm mentioned this building in a previous comment a few days ago. The building still stands, and bears a superficial resemblance to the one in the upper photo, but the architectural details are different enough that I don’t think it’s the same place. And this address works in SE Portland only if the two photos are *not* side by side.

    I expect that this is another dead end, but I figured I’d pass it on anyway.

  58. Nice find Dan, and some possible good leads. Sometimes reading old newspaper ads, and archival articles can lead us in strange directions, and to conclusions unexpected. If you don’t mind, I’ll try to “Sanfordize” these. 😉 Thanks for passing these along.

  59. I think that Kevin c has shown the most convincing evidence yet, with the possibility of north Williams and Page. The general shape of the building on the sw corner of the intersection matches with the building shown in the top photo, and the commercial structure in the reflection on the left side of the picture looks very similar to the building on the east side of Williams Ave with the stepped cornice. Can anyone dig up any evidence on this location?

  60. I repeat, emphatically this time, that the number on the top photo is 110.

    The first digit looks somewhat like a 4 because there is a smudge on the building.

    The second digit has been assumed to be a 4 because the numbers are not evenly spaced.

    Is there another photographer out there who can confirm what I am seeing?

  61. Just to confuse things, a close look at the address in the first photo look like what we see is light areas where address figures were removed. The metal numbers were there long enough for the surrounding paint to be darkened by dust and dirt. The numbers were removed, leaving the clean paint underneath. Compare them to the numbers in the second photo, which clearly show the shadows and reflections of raised metal numbers. Those are absent in the first photo.

    Of course, this raises the question of what the current address is, which I can’t answer. Or maybe the numbers are painted or stenciled on.

  62. Kathleen,
    When I bring the number into photo editing software, up the contrast and sharpen the photo, it seems clear that it is 440.

  63. So I went to the library this weekend and reviewed all of the listings of confectioners, groceries, and soda retailers in the 1931 and 1930 City Directories, and came up with the exact same list as Dan Faulkner:

    Gortisan Brothers Confectionery, 440 Washington St. (corner of SW 12th)
    Holland Market, 440 E Harrison (corner of SE 7th)
    Tolbert Grocery, 440 Millers Ave (corner of SE 7th)
    Siner, Ed, 440 Yamhill (corner of SW 12th)

    Unfortunately, when reviewing the various Sanborn Maps, none of the structures at the intersections cleanly match up with the images in the window’s reflection. Given that there were often paste-ups and omissions from the later Sanborn maps, I’d pick SE 7th & Harrison as the strongest candidate. If Dan Haneckow’s thought about that being a streetcar pictured, that may be even stronger evidence, as the Richmond Line ran past SE 7th & Harrison. lists the present structure as being from 1884 – I think it could be the same building, just heavily Frankenstein-ed in the 80 years since this picture was taken. I’ll try and walk by the building this week to take a look at it in person.

    I don’t think that the 110 or 410 addresses for this building seem very likely because the number 10 addresses are not typically associated with corners in the old numbering system.

    As for the bottom picture, I *manually* went through every named street and up the numbers to 33rd in the reverse address section of the 1930 (not 1931) City Directory, and the *only* 430 address I could find as a likely match was the same one Dan Faulkner posted:

    White Star Grocery, 430 Montgomery

    The HUGE problem with this, though, is that 430 Montgomery on the Sanborn maps is clearly an entirely different structure. My research into this address indicates one of the following: that the shop was listed only by the name of the proprietor, which I may have skipped over in reviewing “430” addresses; that this address is above 33rd street (which would put it along Tillamook in the NE quadrant, can’t remember at the moment where it places it in SE); or that this is a place that is not in the city limits. I thought Dan Davis may have had the golden ticket when he suggested that the nearby sign could be “Food – Kienow”, but none of the Kienow’s Markets were in a 400 address.

    I was hoping to find a definitive answer for at least one of these places, but just ended up with more questions!

  64. There’s one other problem with the 7th and Harrison location. The block just north of there was occupied by a grade school, but the reflections in the left-hand window look like residential development.

    The building at Williams and Page does not match any of the addresses. In the old system, that corner was 274 Page or 483 Williams. In the new system it’s 2 Page, or 2249 Williams. On the 1924 Sanborn map, it was a ceramic tile factory.

  65. For what it’s worth: I didn’t see any 110 or 410 addresses listed in the potato chip ad that I mentioned before. This seems to have been a pretty exhaustive list, since Khris found the exact same places in the city directory.

  66. Thanks for all the info from Dan and Khris about possible addresses.

    Regarding 7th and Harrison, I’m very sure it’s not that building. Besides the reflection problem noted by Dan Faulkner, the grade on both sides of the door are opposite the photo above. In the photo above the grade moving away from the door is slightly down to the right and (very) slightly up to the left. The building on Harrison is slightly up to the right and clearly down to the left. There is almost no way both streets and sidewalks were regraded in opposite slopes and that sidewalk looks old so it has been there a long time as many in SE Portland have. Besides, that building on Harrison looks just plain ancient – no chance it’s a post-30’s remodel of the building above. For all those reasons I don’t think there is any chance that is it.

    As for he store on 7th and Miller — we have a photo of that in this previous VP post, albeit under a different name ( and it’s also clearly not the store in question).

  67. Dan & Brian, I agree with your points regarding the objects in the window reflections and the grade of the sidewalk make SE 7th & Harrison an unlikely candidate. It seems like we’re ruling out everything! Maybe, like the Woodburn Armory photo, we are dealing with photos that weren’t in Portland at all. It’d at least explain why they’d remain unidentified for so long!

  68. According to the city archives the 1931 date is circa. Perhaps we should broaden our scope?

    The “chicken dinner candy” advertising blitz started in 1926. There sure a lot of those posters.

    Some thoughts on the lower picture. That reflection of the hill could be any number of hills in east Portland. Mt Tabor, Rocky Butte, Kelly Butte. Maybe we should be thinking about Montavilla, Lents or ???

  69. In the bottom photo, in the window above the window that
    says Candy, there appears to be distorted or elongated Chinese
    characters that might be on the building across the street.
    Is it possible this was located in the China town area.

  70. Well, now that I look closer at that window I realize
    the characters are not on a building across the street.
    But they do look like Chinese characters.
    forget the China town nonsense. I take it back!

  71. Tired of this one yet? Here’s an exercise. Copy the image of the old man and flip it side-to-side so that you see the reflections in the windows unreversed. Look at the windows under the awnings. There is a dark structure across the street partly hidden by the car, that has something written on its roof. It looks to me like it could be a streetcar stop. The distortion in the glass makes it hard to read, but it could be NE something.

    Or maybe it is a nearby streetcar instead of a distant building. It has an arched window or door.

  72. FWIW – I think these are both soda fountains/lunch counters and not groceries. Perhaps a look in 1929-1932 PDX city directories under “Fountains” might yield some possibles. (If there is such a listing.)

    Just another thought…the sidewalk, especially in the top photo, looks really wide to me.

    It’s interesting the common factor between the two photos is the Chicken Dinner candy. Perhaps some type of PR photo shoot?

  73. Is it possible that the picture with the man is not necessarily considered a grocery store or soda fountain by definition? Perhaps he is a pharmacist. Soda fountains were originally pharmacies, yes? He seems old enough that maybe this location was originally a pharmacy, but now is transitioning into what would become a soda fountain. Khris or Dan: maybe worth a look in your resources? Just an idea… spitballing over here.

  74. Perhaps to lend support to the streetcar idea in the top photo, there is what appears to be a support wire attached to the building, near the 2nd floor windows. I’m also going to support the idea that the “440” is not actually the current number, but the uncovered “ghost” of the old building number left in the paint. The facade is definitely showing a lot of grime and wear.

  75. in the lower photo if you look in the window at the reflection you can see across the street, if you look hard enough it looks as though there is a median in the road or perhaps you are looking beyond to the next street that appears to run perpendicular to the shop and then turns away. If you can see the pitched roof of the house then look behind it and notice the houses which look as though they are going up whatever hill that is.

  76. Does anyone like Gladstone for one of these sites or Milwaukie for that matter.

    I would point out that in the upper photo that ghost number could refer to either street as the door is diagonal to both. Also the building is much older than the sidewalks.

    About the only things these photos have in common is the Chicken Dinner adverts and the ice cream theme and the awnings.

    The wire running to the upper building is a residential type power service and most certainly not a trolley wire pull off.

    The reflected buildings in the upper photo seem to suggest at least a two street business district if you note the two story false fronted building that appears to front the next street over.

    Finally just let me say a word about the old gentleman who appears to me to be greatly amused. Just look at his eyes. He’s doing his best to suppress a laugh. He’s old but that does not equate to grumpy. It describes me to a tee but let’s give him a break.

  77. I like Kevin C’s guess about the building at Williams and Page because the there is a building on the opposite side of Williams that looks a lot like the “adobe looking structure” tad mentioned above, and it is in the proper place to reflect off the window in the picture in question. It too would have gone through some significant renovations as it appears to be (to have been) a mechanic’s garage now. Here’s the link Kevin C provided:

  78. I believe I skimmed throught the posts a bit to fast and failed to notice Ian Fraley had already mentioned the building across the street from the Williams and Page building. My fault. 🙂

  79. I like the William and Page building, but it doesn’t seem right to me. That whole corner entrance/wall is much wider than in our mystery building. Seems like a major structural remodel, and one that would actually take away from interior square footage.

    For what it’s worth, that William and Page building housed plumbing supply companies from at least 1937 to to 80s, according to BES permits on Portlandmaps.

    Also, that building across Williams with the stepped cornice has been a garage since it was built in 1916. Hard to tell much from the reflection, but seems like it kind of lessens the likelihood of significant renovation.

  80. hrodberacht is right. the sidewalk is all wrong, the two story building on the right in the photo has a different window configuration and roof lines. The building in the window reflection to the left would probably be next to the garage or even further south given the angle of the photographer and the window. However, this building did have a few renovation over the years judging by the covered up windows, aluminum doors and windows, original wood siding on the west end and the interesting tile work around the front door.

  81. Wanted you to know I haven’t given up. I found this picture –

    This model of an ice cream cone is in front of a candy store in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. I just thought you might find this interesting.

  82. There’s another photo on ebay, showing the building with the diamond shapes, and, towards the end of the block, another building whose top can be seen in the reflection in the bottom 1931 photo. Sadly, the ebay photo has been taken directly in front of where they soda fountain was, and the buildings next to it are obscured by neon signs. But I think the building next to the billboard can be seen slightly in the photo.

  83. Here’s another photo from eBay taken in 1966, which gives us a unobstructed view of the 2 story building seen as a reflection above the little boys head in the 1931 picture. On the left hand side of the 1966 image, you can see the canopy over the entrance of the building just to the right of the Old Gold billboard in the 1931 picture, just below the Frigidaire sign. The space where the billboard stood appears to be the Imperial Cleaners in the 1966 pic, which I believe is the Chamber of Commerce building of today. The man walking towards the “Drive-in Teller” sign is near the corner of the 1931 Soda Fountain, which doesn’t appear to exist in 1966. I’m guessing that it was torn down to build a bank?

  84. Having spent a bunch of time starting at these two photos, I was shocked to see the 6/26 “Zippy the Pinhead” comic. The first frame clearly uses the Camas photo as a source:

    It’s always strange when my various quirky interests collide!

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