SW Ankeny, 1894

Here we have a scene at SW Ankeny and the Park blocks during the flood of 1894. The image is from a book by Joseph Gaston titled, Portland – Its History and Builders, Vol. 1. Despite the flooding, everyone in this image seems to be taking the situation in stride.

SW Ankeny and SW Park  during flooding, 1894 : A2004-002.7771

SW Ankeny and SW Park during flooding, 1894 : A2004-002.7771


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

16 thoughts on “SW Ankeny, 1894

  1. Thank you for maintaining this site. I so enjoy the vintage Portland images and appreciate the efforts of all involved during the transition this past few months.

  2. Another swell photo to dive into! Thanks! Just looking at each person and what they’re wearing is a real treat. Y’all keep up the good work!

  3. Interesting the way that they had to shore up the trees along the roadway. It appears that perhaps they could float out of the planting area and could fall over. If Google Earth topography is right, this is about a 40’+ flood occurrence all the way up to SW Park!. Currently 10 blocks above the river.

  4. Very interesting to see 1 black guy in an old Portland photo. there were very few black people in Portland back then. So few I wonder would it be possible to figure out through research who that black guy is?

  5. I’ve seen this pic before and I have never been able to figure out exactly what we are looking at. Is it the west side of Park between Oak and Burnside? Or is it the east side of Park between Oak and Ankeny? Or south side of Ankeny between Park And Broadway? Help! For “Fred Stewart” it looks like there are three black men standing together.

  6. @Fred Stewart. The number of black families living in the Portland area by the time of this photo might surprise you. They were drawn here by employment opportunities afforded by the four major railroads. The Northern Pacific, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific and Great Northern trans continental railways all operated large fleets of passenger trains most equipped with Pullman Sleeping Cars and dining cars providing a large number of family wage jobs to the man willing to travel. Portland was a major railroad hub in the 1890s as well as a seaport.

  7. The Oregonian mentions how the flood had become a tourist attraction and men with boats were busy making money, until the water level started dropping, at which point you could not give the boats away.

    Always a mistake to read too much in an old picture.

    Fascinating picture, with women’s hands on the oar! There was a Lucy Stone memorial on Sunday, June 4th. Oregon voters rejected women’s right to vote, in ballot measures of 1884 and 1900.

    I could NOT find anything specific to this picture. But thought I would use the opportunity to mention Augustus Waterford, an interesting man. I ran across his obit several years ago, while researching Lone Fir Cemetery.

    When he was mentioned in the Oregonian, they would use a phrase like, “well known colored leader”, and “well-known politician, ward healer and wire puller, Gus Waterford”. Sheriff Kelly was elected in 1888. Here is just 2 clippings related to him.

    “WELL KNOWN COLORED MAN DEAD.- Augustus Waterford, supply clerk in the Portland Postoffice for the last 14 years died at St. Vincent’s Hospital, at 10 o’clock yesterday morning, after an unsuccessful operation for cancer of the stomach. The operation was performed last Tuesday. Waterford was born Dresden, Canada in 1860. He came to Oregon with his parents in 1865. He is the only colored man who ever held a position in the Portland Fire Department. He was appointed Deputy Sheriff under Penumbra Kelly. The funeral will be held at Zion Church, Sunday 2 P.M. Internment will be in Lone Fir Cemetery, where his relatives are buried.” Oregonian March 27, 1909

    “WATERFORD, in the city, March 26th, Augustus Waterford, aged 49 years, and 14 days. The funeral services will be held at Zion M.. E. Church, Corner of 13th and Main stts at 2 P.M., Sunday, March 28. Friends invited. Interment Lone Fir Cemetery.” Oregonian, March 27th, 1909

  8. Mike, while it might be that the trees are propped up (and the porches as well), I suspect that the boards are bracing up the temporary walkways installed above floodwaters.

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