SE Division & McLoughlin Blvd, 1947

We start the week with a terrific aerial view looking down on SE McLoughlin Blvd. where it crossed over SE Division St. in 1947. The old Inman, Poulsen Lumber Co. sawmill covers much of the lower right side of the image, stretching down to the Ross Island Bridge. The Consolidated Dairy Products plant and the Portland Coke & Gas Co. storage tanks can be seen farther inland. Recent realignment of the McLoughlin/MLK overpass allows the new Oregon Rail Heritage Center to sit just north of the extant Inman Poulsen office at photo center.

(City of Portland Archives)

14 thoughts on “SE Division & McLoughlin Blvd, 1947

  1. 20 years after this photo, this area was being groomed for the Mt. Hood freeway and Marquam Bridge connections. Some still wish that freeway as built.

  2. As someone whose house would be 5 blocks from the freeway–as opposed to a suburbanite who would drive through and fill the air with CO every day–I’m damn glad it wasn’t.

  3. Wow. Another great one Dan. Tons of stuff going on here. The Super Highway flyover, the early cloverleaf application, the Poulsen House and the two trains. Actually there are two. In the upper right hand corner there is a outbound Bellrose or Oregon City car ( 1 car is enough for a train ) on the PEPCO line. The mainline SP train may be the Klamath from the look of the heavy weight consist bound for the Oakland Mole. Just a guess. It looks like the dryer (kiln) has just been “pulled” at the mill. There is at least a weeks worth of entertainment here. Thank you

  4. I was 10 years old when this picture was taken. The house I grew up in between Division and Ivon on 14th was purchased by the state and demolished to make way for the the Mt Hood Freeway. My aunt lived in a house on 11th just in back of the gas tanks shown in the picture. As a small boy I was sometimes concerned about the tanks blowing up! Ed Grover

  5. Rod: The Bellrose train you talk about wouldn’t happen to be out near 136th and Foster Rd by chance? That’s where I grew up and there were train tracks along there close to Bellrose Market. I think it’s Spring Water now.

  6. @rumblefish. Yes inded at one time there was electric passenger service on that line all the way to Estacada via Gresham and Boring. By the time of this photo passenger service had been cut back to Gresham following yet another reorganization in the company’s convoluted history Freight service continued for many more years all the way to Estacada with the tracks finally torn up and the right of way becoming the Springwater Trail.

    Of coarse the car in question here could have been en-route to Oregon City as the lines separated at Golf Junction between Sellwood and Milwaukie.. Both routes originated down town at First and Washington and gained the east bank via the Hawthorne Bridge.

  7. The photo shows the Holman Fuel Co. yard between the McLoughlin Blvd. flyover and the SP mainline. I remember riding past there around 1947 on the Sellwood trolley bus and seeing the overhead hoist moving loads of firewood. (The steel framework of the hoist can be seen in the photo.) Sometimes our bus had to sit there awhile, waiting for a train to clear the grade crossing. @rod, about the train in the photo, I have an SP 1947 employee timetable that shows the Cascade passing Haig St. at 8:32 a.m. This photo shows afternoon shadows, so I would guess the train is more likely the Cascade (5:07 p.m.) or the Beaver (5:27 p.m.).

  8. @George. Thank you for that. I was just speculating. I agree with your shadow interpretation as the vegetation seems to indicate high summer sun angles. I wonder if the Holman of the Fuel Co was related to the warehouse and trucking Holman’s. They seem to have had extensive holdings in the lower east side.

    Also wondering if that cloverleaf at the Ross Island Bridge wasn’t the very first application of that design in Oregon. I can’t think of a earlier example in Oregon.

    That Poulson Mill was spawned a lot of related business the Holman Fuel Yard just being one example as they trafficked in slabs and sawdust. A lot of Portland homes were heated with slab wood or sawdust . And speaking of fuel it looks like the gas company is starting to get a good start on the winter needs up the street. They have one tank nearly full and another nearing half full. Which from my view in 1947 is a good thing as we heated our water with gas and if it’s the summer of 1947 the good ol’ Gas and Coke company will be showing up at our house soon with a semi truck load of coke briquets in gunny sacks to dump into our bin beside the furnace so we will have heat for the winter. The briquets were a by product of making that gas under the St Johns Bridge that was being pumped into those tanks

  9. @rod, I got my trains mixed up. The Klamath was the 8:32 a.m. train, the Cascade and the Beaver were in the afternoon at the times I quoted.

  10. The gas holder tanks were not used as a seasonal balancer. They were filled at night and then used as people got up and turned on the stove and turned on the heat. LNG tanks like the one at the old Gas and Coke site are used for seasonal draws. There are drawn down during cold snaps.

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