Multnomah County Courthouse, c1900

The 1864 Multnomah County Courthouse is shown here probably around the turn of the 20th century. The dome towered over the city at 106 feet tall. It was demolished in 1910 as the new and extant courthouse was built on the same site. This photo looks northwest at the corner of SW 4th and Main Street.

multnomah county courthouse 21292(University of Oregon Libraries)

8 thoughts on “Multnomah County Courthouse, c1900

  1. From the book Necktie Parties by Diane Goers-Gardner: “At 7:41 am the men (John Wade and BH Dalton) were released from their cells and headed for the gallows. A 20 foot tall fence and a gallows platform had been built in the courtyard of the Multnomah County Courthouse. Two ropes with nooses dangling at the end were hung eight feet apart.” 1902

    I can guess it was in the back of the courthouse. A different time, before they moved all executions to the state pen.

  2. I’ve seen a picture of the older courthouse with a steam engine chugging by it. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Portlanders of the day to have heavy rail running along a major thoroughfare. I know I get frustrated enough waiting for a train to cross the Steel Bridge as it comes into downtown (and blocks Naito).

  3. @Jim – me too! Why the city hasn’t built at least ONE railroad underpass along Naito is beyond me. Maybe once there are enough condos on the waterfront (ie money) they will do it.

  4. Here’s a photo taken from the Central School by Albert Wulzen of the original Multnomah County Courthouse shot in 1879 before it was expanded in the 1880s:

    Looking southeast from Sixth Avenue at Yamhill, 1878.

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