Unknown Location, c1950 – Help Us Out!

The City of Portland Archives needs your help finding the location of this vista. It’s only identifying mark is the circa date of 1950. It not even known if that’s the Willamette or Columbia River in the background. Good luck and happy hunting!

Found: NW 15th & Drake, Camas, WA

1950 c_A2005-005.1277.5(City of Portland Archives)

32 thoughts on “Unknown Location, c1950 – Help Us Out!

  1. My first impression was Oregon City. Heres a picture looking east of where I was thinking it might be taken in the early 70’s.

  2. I think i found it. it appears it is from the 18th street loop in camas. look at the google maps image here http://goo.gl/maps/QG1Jw

    If you look at the photo you will see a white house on the mid left with a small white garage in the front. you can see this same house with the garage on the front on 15th street on the google image.

    the house just to the right in the photo has 2 chimneys, if you look at the house down and to the left on the google map, you will see a house with the same roof line and 2 chimneys.

  3. Yeah, I would say it’s looking pretty conclusive that Paul nailed it. No idea how he did that so fast, but there are definitely still a handful of houses on that block in the center of the photo that appear to still be there.

  4. Why would the City of Portland Archives have a picture of Camas?
    It looks very similar, but my thoughts are leaning towards the lower southwest Sellwood district and the smokestacks from the old mill that was Molded Container Corp. in that timeframe.

  5. This wouldn’t be the first time some pictures from the Portland Archives ended up being found in Camas actually. I believe the usual detectives found one in Woodburn:


    And Al, sorry if I didn’t give you your due credit! You all are ridiculously quick around here, and it is pretty much always a team effort finding these things and lots of fun to read the trail of clues and comments by the time I come around by 9 am and the place is already found!

  6. There have been several photos from Camas that have been identified so far, so this one should be no surprise. Although it is an interesting question as to why the Camas photos are in the archive. But I’m sure there are possible explanations. One might be the city received the archives of a photographer who worked in PDX and Camas.

  7. Hang in there Al. My first impression when I looked at the image this morning and read your first response was that you indeed had “nailed it”. I spent a lot of time as a kid in the hills above Camas and Washougal and am 99% certain that this is that area.
    I believe the Pittocks, and their in-laws the Ledbetters had large interests in the Camas mill and surrounding area, and that the mill provided a lot of newsprint for the Oregonian. Perhaps there is a connection there.

  8. I wonder if anyone else thought it was Camas. There haven’t been many locales in the area with steep smokestacks facing a big river, so this is mostly a process of trial/elimination.

    I kept trying to duplicate this shot, but finding views from that precise locale aren’t happening. But here’s a

    Note Square Windows Building on the east side.

  9. Did you try google’s “short URL” option? – look for the chain icon in the left pane of a map view or aerial, then click the short url box. It takes the url down to about 8 alphabetic characters usually.

  10. looks like the church in the picture is the Camas United Methodist Church. Quoting from their website; “The first Methodist church service in Camas was held in 1883 at the home of Mr & Mrs Brelsford. The first Methodist church building was completed in 1889 at 4th and TBD St. Plans for the current church building at 14th and Franklin were started in 1912. With the building finally being completed in 1950, classrooms and Chapel were added in 1961.” So. This 1950 picture looks about right! http://camasumc.org/church-history/

    Here’s some interesting info on the year 1950:
    – First Modern Credit Card Introduced
    – First Organ Transplant
    – First “Peanuts” Cartoon Strip
    – Korean War Begins
    – Failed assassination attempt by two Puerto Rican nationals on President Harry S. Truman while the President was living at Blair House.

    Peace to all!

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