SE Morrison & Water, c1915

The Portland Railway, Light and Power Company’s Sunnyside streetcar #661 waits on SE Morrison at Water Avenue circa 1915. Note the elevated train crossing shack and warning bell another block east.

A2011-007.264 Portland Rail Light & Power Company car 661 at E Morrison & Water St c1915(City of Portland Archives)

8 thoughts on “SE Morrison & Water, c1915

  1. What’s the story about the little house on stilts? Does it have to do with the trolleys? It has a neat bell in front of it.

  2. A few vintage items caught my eye: The horses are tied up (and very close to the trolley I might add) to one of the many tether rings around town, 903 E. Morrison, Coca-Cola and the two proud trolley conductors posing for the shot. Great moment in time.

  3. The little house on stilts was one of many along the Southern Pacific (now Union Pacific) rail line which runs north-south one block east of Water Ave. They were manned by railroad employees who used their tall vantage point to see when trains were coming and they rang the bell to warn people when the train was near. In later years the bell was replaced by wig-wag signals, one on each side of the tracks, that were manually operated by the person in the tower. In the early 1950s these signals were replaced with automatic crossing gates, which are still there today, and the little houses were removed.

  4. The tall building in the background on the left appears to still be there today. Also, if you look at that (poorly maintained) street today it looks like you can see the ghost of the streetcar tracks running up the street (amongst the pillars for the raised Morrison street above).

  5. I can’t wait to walk down there and stand where the photo was taken! This is very close to where I live & work.

  6. That’s not a terribly pleasant place these days. I walked past there Wednesday and there was an inmate cleanup crew picking up trash by the sizeable homeless encampment that’s there. Then, there was a fistfight among some campers. The tall building in the back is the John Deere Plow Company building. It was a major John Deere equipment distribution hub at one time, I believe.

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