Albers Bros. Milling, c1914

Cargo ships are tied up at the Albers Bros. Milling Company docks in this circa 1914 image. The vantage point is from the recently opened Broadway Bridge, set to celebrate its 100th birthday later in April. You’ll still see the brick building on the left today but everything else between here and Centennial Mills on the far right is gone.

A2004-002.7619 Albers Bros Milling Plant from Broadway Bridge c1914(City of Portland Archives)

13 thoughts on “Albers Bros. Milling, c1914

  1. Dave, this is where McCormick Pier condos are today.

    The first vessel looks like it could be a passenger steamer rather than a freighter. Does anyone know for sure? If so, why would it be tied up at a miller’s dock?

  2. Oops. Sorry Dave, this would be the Alber’s building parking lot followed by some newer condos, not the McCormick Pier condos.

  3. @Jim. In 1914 coasting vessels were still providing combination freight and passenger service to many West Coast ports including even San Francisco from here as well as service to Hawaii among others. The Southern Oregon coast had only recently secured rail service and many Northern Cal Ports still depended on steamships for fast transportation. Among others the Southern Pacific RR as well as the the large lumber companies operated vessels with passenger accommodations. Hard to believe now but San Francisco by sea was very competitive time wise at even that late date.

  4. Thanks Rod,

    Follow up question for anyone who may have an answer – was there ever any docks that served solely as passenger terminals for steam vessels, and if so, where were they?

    I was wondering if one of the first OSN headquarters on Front between Ash and Pine may have served as a passenger terminal.

  5. Notice the first vessel has a deck crane and appears an open in front of the crane tower. My guess its a dual use vessel.
    Obviously that vessel has capability to load & offload cargo.
    A pasenger only vessel would not need a crane.

    In all fairness, I really don’t know how this vessel would take on fuel if it burnt coal for example. I would think coal would be dumped in by a chute of some kind at a fueling dock.
    Maybe loading fuel by its crane & a hopper bucket for example, Its a possibility but I would think not at all efficient especially so if the vessel is serviced at developed port facilities.

  6. “Oregonian Reaches Port”
    “…the steamer Oregonian at Albers dock yesterday… The Oregonian is here on her first visit, and while she only brought about 900 tons of general cargo, the liner is by no means small. She has been in service since 1901 and is 5597 tons, gross, and 3651 tons net register, being 406.8 feet long, with a beam on 51.1 fee and depth of hold 30.3 feet. She carries a crew of 45.
    Everything about the superstructure is as spick and span as a yacht, while the steel decks are painted and she looks more like a passenger vessel than a freighter.
    …preceeded from New York by way of the Straits of Magellan, and are the last of the line to follow that course, others having been diverted via the Panama Canal.”
    Morning Oregonian, page 16, 9/9/1914
    A number of articles about an increase in shipping due to the opening of the Panama Canal and material demands due to the war. The docks are considered too crowded.

  7. I did not find a link between this photo and the article about the Steamer Oregonian, i just thought it was interesting..There was a fire on Albers dock 1 and 2 on about March 12th of 1914

  8. I do not see any cranes or crane towers in this picture. Also, Rod is correct. Many ships in this time period were equipped to handle freight and passengers at the same time and many serviced the entire west coast on a regular schedule. All three of ships visible in this picture are capable of both.. There is a fourth vessel in picture that’s in between the middle ship and the dock. You can see it’s stack and it’s focsle deck, one of it’s fwd derrick booms and it’s fwd and aft masts.. By the way, there are still some passenger and cargo ships that call on the Columbia and Willamette rivers although many of them now are strictly oversea voyagers.
    sorry about the poor grammar and spelling.

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