Steel Bridge Saloon, 1905

The Steel Bridge Saloon was at 269 Crosby on the northwest corner of Holladay and Crosby at the east end of the old, original Steel Bridge. This would put it very close to the Interstate/Rose Quarter Max station today. According to a 1921 item in The Oregonian, Mr. Henrich saved $3500 when “yeggmen” failed to breach the inner compartment of his safe in a robbery attempt.

(City of Portland Archives)

25 thoughts on “Steel Bridge Saloon, 1905

  1. It would appear that Mr. Henrich had no great faith in contemporary banking to leave such a large amount in his safe!

  2. A significant historic remnant of early Portland transit is poking up out of the pavement very close to where the saloon was. A remnant of Holladay Street remains, unsigned, immediately to the west of the Interstate Rose Quarter Max station. Rails and cobblestones are poking out of the asphalt- a tiny surviving stretch of Portland’s first electric streetcar line where it approached the original Steel Bridge. The last time a streetcar rolled on those rails was in 1912!

  3. @Dan, can you be more specific about where this gem is located? I’m looking on Google Maps and don’t see any likely candidates – it looks like all shiny new asphalt, concrete and rails.

  4. Tad- It is immediately west of the Interstate Max Station, It looks as if it is part of the old Red Lion parking lot, but it actually is a bit of Holladay Street, cut off from the rest of it by the Rose Quarter.

    The road down to O Dock is very very near it. Once you are there you can see the rails and cobble stones in a number of places, as well as asphalt depressions that have caved in from the rotting ties beneath. When you find the rails poking up, follow their alignment west – you will be on the former eastern approach of the upper deck of the original Steel Bridge.

  5. Looks like the Steel Bridge Saloon was still there 33 years later…

    As for the “yeggs”, word has it that their grandchildren now own the banks. No more need to crack safes.

  6. Interesting bit of history Dan! From an earlier VP post here’s a map of Portland from 1894. You can see the original Steel Bridge alignment and the streetcar line along Holladay leading to it. Interesting too that Google Earth still labels the stub of parking lot as N. Holladay and N. Crosby.

  7. John is right- in low water can be seen two of the piers of the original Steel Bridge near the west shore of the Willamette. I’ve wondered if there were more of them in deeper water that are invisible.

  8. The link gave me a page with no image, CJ, but I did find it while looking over that awesome site. Here is another link to the same 1952 picture. Hope that it works! It appears that the “outdated apartments” in CJ’s image is just to the west of the Steel Bridge Saloon (if you reference the 1938 aerial linked by Chris Slama). The old building with the double doors seem to either be a part of the saloon, or a building in between the apartments and saloon.

  9. Sorry if my link stretched the page (as it did in my browser).

    Wanted to add… the trolley tracks in CJ’s pic may how be the remnants which Dan Haneckow mentioned.

  10. Haha that’s weird Tad… now I get a picture of trolley cars. I found the original page again and looked through the source code to find the image link. Here goes:

  11. And since finding the page seems to be hit or miss, here’s the caption that’s below the picture on the original page –

    “deLay520409-05. “Outdated. Apartments over these abandoned stores near Steel Bridge still have tenants.” Caption published Oregonian April 13, 1952 pg. 30. Address on right building is 211 N Holladay. Note trolly tracks in street These remain from the old Electric Trolley that ran on the original Steel Bridge, until it was replaced with the new Steel Bridge in 1912. This street is the approach to the steel bridge. Entire building and street are curved. The photo was taken April 9, 1952. “

  12. I think I solved the mystery… I think that browser-stretching link that you posted earlier just takes you to the last image you viewed.

  13. The photo that CJ and Ric are talking about was taken by Allen DeLay, a long time photographer for various Portland papers. He was my Scout master when I was 12 and lived in Milwaukie. Great guy! Some of you may also remember his son Paul DeLay from his band of the same name.

  14. @ Tad – Interesting, but my results are completely random and of images that I’ve never viewed.

    Thanks for the info Bob!

  15. @ Tad – Yes it is (a swing span and unattractive haha).

    Here is a link to the entire page w/ description –

    Here’s the actual image description, just in case you don’t feel like searching all over the entire web-page to find it –

    “1888 – The first railroad bridge is built across the Willamette in Portland by the O.R.&N. Railroad The first Steel bridge was a double-decked swing span with a top deck for wagons, streetcars, and pedestrians, and a lower deck for railcars. Prior to this railcars would be ferried across the river from a place near the area the bridge was built.”

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