SE Hawthorne & 50th, 1936

The followup to yesterday’s photo shows the completed work after removal of the westbound rails on SE Hawthorne from 50th. The eastbound rails were probably next to be removed. I’m willing to bet those cobblestones are still under today’s asphalt though.

A2000-025.1147 Completed street resurfacing SE Hawthorne and 50th(City of Portland Archives)

10 thoughts on “SE Hawthorne & 50th, 1936

  1. Ships arriving in Portland from Europe loaded heavy stones as ballast, which were then often crafted into cobblestones to reinforce the pavement between the trolley tracks.

  2. “Joy the Tailor” there on the left at 4913 SE Hawthorne. He had 4 other location throughout the city. Dick E. Joy lived over on N. Borthwick Av. with his wife Amy in 1940.
    ~ source: Polk’s City Directory.

  3. Technically bricks used as cobbles. The trolley company was a thrifty bunch and they were a heavy user of reject bricks, broken or whatever at the kilns and even recycled. The advent of the steamship brought with it the advent of the steam pump making possible the use of water as ballast thereby depriving the street railways of a source of low cost materials.

    Also the assumption that those bricks are still in situ as well as the rails is a pretty good bet.

    My dad once told me that Mocks bottom and the Oaks bottom once hosted substantial “rotten rows” where obsolete wooden vessels were hauled up for the purpose of salvaging their fittings including those stones mentioned by Dave. The remains moldered away over time and provided interesting places for boys to amuse themselves and lots of worry for their parents. Ship breaking is a feature of every port world wide it seems.

  4. Rod,

    In the early days of Portland, the foot of Flanders street hosted the “boneyard.” A collection of abandoned and broken down river boats often inhabited by transients and the indigent. I think that would be termed as “ship squatting.”

  5. Love this. When they repaved Dekum St a couple years ago the exposed tracks and brick & stone were revealed – so so cool. My 1925 home was built over where the tracks used to cut through and you can see on the street plans where it went diagonally through my property.

    Completely diggin’ this website. Show some more N/NE (Albina before it was annexed) goodies too 🙂

  6. Periodically over the years I have seen those cobblestone peeking through when a chunk of asphalt is gone and a shallow pot hole is the result in the area of where the tracks were.

  7. Hawthorne at 37th, for instance, had Belgian Block as the main paving, with red bricks along the edges, forming the gutter next to the curb. This was exposed by ramp work there a decade ago. At 50th, there were Belgian Blocks around the rails. They were exposed when the curb bump-out was built there a couple of years ago. The rails and blocks were removed for landscaping done there, including trees. The trees had to be spaced, though, to not be planted on top of the gas line that runs in the westbound lanes, apparently.

    “Belgian Block” refers, I believe, to the practice of using squared up blocks in a certain way. Portland’s were mostly from a quarry in Washington, not from Belgium.

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