Reservoir #6, Part 1, 1910

Today is the first in a weekly series of looks at Reservoir #6 on the western flank of Mt. Tabor. This view looking southeast shows the beginning stages of excavation and grading in 1910. The photo appears to have caught an explosion in the right distance. Construction of Reservior #5 is underway farther up the hill.

(City of Portland Archives)

10 thoughts on “Reservoir #6, Part 1, 1910

  1. Great example of the photographers art in those golden years before PhotoShop. I’ll second Jim’s question.

    Is that extensive trestle work at the extreme far right related to this project or to the suburban railway. Seems to be between present Division and Powell.

  2. @Brian Thanks. Yeah that sure is a flume and the next question is from where and why. Original irrigation water supply I’m guessing though flumes were sometimes used to transport rough cut lumber to a finishing mill more favorably located vis transportation but there does not appear to be a walkway which would be required for a lumber flume. Those market gardens in the distance could use the water.

  3. I agree that it looks like a flume, especially in the other picture referenced above, but what it would use as a water source up on Mt. Tabor?

  4. @ carter, does look like a flume. maybe it was one that people who owned homes down south of division used as a private water source, instead of being on the city’s system. It clearly isn’t water coming from Reservoir #1. Anyone know or have a map of where the city limits were in 1909?

  5. From an engineering view, A flume is a most effective method to carry away excavated tailings to deposit them into whatever low lying areas available. I expect the pipelines to feed the reservoir were in place prior to the reservoir being excavated?
    Notice the flume in the photo appears only a temporary light-weight construction.
    The area SW of Division & 60 av where the flume is going toward still contains some low gullies and such.

  6. I see Karen beat me to it, but I was going to suggest that perhaps it was built as part of the excavation of Reservoir 5. In the photo i linked above (and that Karen re-linked to) there is a notation of “Res. 5” even though it’s not a photo of reservoir 5 (as questioned by commenters on that post). However, there is the same notation used in this photo from 5 months later documenting the construction of Reservoir 5, which makes me think the photo showing Reservoir 2 and the flume is really part of the ongoing documentation of work on Reservoir 5. The subject of that photo certainly appears to be more the flume than the reservoir. That would make sense if the flume was built to carry away the excavations from Reservoir 5 to the low-lying areas south of Division.

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