“North” Portland, c1882

Circa 1882 Portland was only on the west side of the river as Albina and East Portland had not yet been annexed. To call this North Portland, as the label states, makes sense but it’s most definitely Southwest Portland now. The view is similar to this earlier VP entry where we look north on the block between SW 11th and 12th; The Old Church is nearing completion in the center. There are some handsome mansions fronting the South Park Blocks on the right; the side-by-side white Italianate homes belonged to brothers Ralph and Isaac Jacobs.

(City of Portland Archives)

10 thoughts on ““North” Portland, c1882

  1. Quite a fascinating photograph. Just to the right of the center you on the South Park Blocks can see the “Park School” which seems to have been later referred to at the “Ladd School”.

    The thing which is most interesting to me is the state of the Central School just west of Pioneer Courthouse. Somewhere around this time, Henry Villard began work on the Portland Hotel, but in this picture the Central School is still clearly visible.

    What I don’t see, however, is the large tower on the front (Eastern) side of the school that was built when the schol was expanded in the 1870s. Also, it looks to me like there is a large space in between the courthouse and the school.

    Is it possible that in this picture shows the school’s tower has been demolished and the school moved a block to the west to make way for the new hotel?

  2. Here’s a nice view of the Central School and what was the Pioneer Post Office a few years before this picture was taken in 1875:


    This OHS link states that the school’s lot was sold in 1883 and the school moved to Park Street which I believe could refer to both the current 8th and 9th Streets (on either side of the South Park Blocks).:


  3. felixstrange, I think that’s a good catch, regarding Central School. According to this website, the block was sold in 1883 to Northern Pacific Terminal Company for the hotel and the city moved the school to Park Street (Ave?). It hasn’t been moved that far in the photo above so maybe the photo caught it during the move?

  4. @Dan Davis

    Wow! What a great document with a wealth of information! I find that schools and churches seem to be the quickest way to date photographs and this document contains fairly comprehensive data about all of the Portland schools before 1900.

    I’ve always wondered why the appearance of the Harrison Street School changed drastically after 1887. This document reveals that it was rebuilt after a fire.

    It also seems to confirm that the Central School was indeed moved, although it seems that it was moved by Marquam to the future site of his “Grand Opera” (now the American Bank Building north of Pioneer Courthouse Square) one block North rather than West as I originally supposed. Looking at the photograph again, I notice now that the school does seem to be northwest of Pioneer Courthouse.

    It also would seem to indicate that this photograph must have been taken after March of 1883 at the earliest, since that is when the school move started, according to the document.

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