26 thoughts on “Mystery Location, 1939

  1. Anyone know what that pile of slabwood would have gone for? I’ve often wondered whether people walking by and taking a few pieces of wood for their own furnace was ever a problem.

  2. Funny, in the current street view of Abernathy and Corbett, the one garage door that is closed in this photo is open, and the others are closed. The bush in the front yard to the left of the closest house looks to be the same. Could it be that the bush there today is 74+ years old?

  3. My husband is a fifth generation Irish who’s family resided in ‘Slabtown’…went to St Patricks etc. In fact his great-grandmother was raised on NW 3rd and Couch long before it became Chinatown and was still a neighborhood. The stacks of ‘slab’ were everywhere and I’m guessing in a ‘neighborhoodly’ sort of way people just shared them. They were used for furnaces and kitchen stoves. BTW what trolley line climbed the Corbett hills and served this neighborhood?

  4. @ Jane: The line was apparently part of the original Fulton line (the first electric line on the west side) which reached to Riverview Cemetery, partly on private right-of-way. It was merged with the North and South Portland line in 1923 and was converted to trolley-bus in 1937 (by the time of this photo).

    More info at this link.

  5. Jared, you have to remember that the country was still in the grips of the Great Depression and almost everything was run down including the population. It showed later when during WWIII when a very high percentage of those showing up for military service were rejected for health reasons at a time the nation was struggling to fill its armed services.

  6. “and was converted to trolley-bus in 1937 (by the time of this photo).”

    Are you sure or are we sure of the date? Trolley buses require to overhead wires (the second one is for the ground, since they have rubber tires). I see only a single wire for each set of tracks.

  7. Before I saw other people’s reply I thought the Corbett area as well and I didn’t even read the signs.

  8. If you move around on the Google street view, the garage door is shown both open and closed!

    Great photo and nice to see an area of PDX that has changed very little.

  9. this is the year I was born but we lived on King Street and had no car …. we rode the streetcar everywhere…

  10. The house when the picture was taken was only 54 years old. The house I presently own is 88 years old. I guess mine is super old. The first house I owned is now 110 years old, makes that one super, super old. That house in the picture is a spring chicken in the year the picture was taken in comparison.

  11. @Stephanie…Portland Maps is great! From the triple garage on up: 3915 built 1885, 3917 built 1885, 3921 built 1895 and 3935 built 1893. One forgets that this neighborhood is so old. Great homes! Glad they’re still around.

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