16 thoughts on “Mt. Tabor, circa 1894

  1. I have to say something. The old Vintage Portland would tell us where this was taken, which way the camera was pointed, information to help the reader orient the photo. Now…nothing. I love this site! I just wish there was more info on the photos sometimes.

  2. I do miss the old Vintage Portland. And I too Love this site. Change is an enevitable fact. There are some bugs to be worked out. Perhaps we all can contribute our suggestions to those who work so hard on this site.

  3. Good job, maybe vintage orienteering is all of our jobs. We seem to have some pretty astute eyes out there and that only makes the archives stronger.

  4. What a pity they want to decommission these city landmarks, i.e. the reservoirs, that is…regardless of whatever the reason de jour may be—just to buy, clear, develop, construct, and sell little square boxes for people to live in.

    I can only hope, in the inevitable process, over the next few decades or so, that whatever is done, will be done with some major consideration, some serious planning and discussions, some respect and some actual attention paid to the overall visual design for the future of this area and what it once represented to and for the city. A park bench, a drinking fountain and a memorial brass plaque simply won’t be sufficient enough. 😦

    Now is the perfect time to start taking pictures and/or videos…so we don’t forget…and our children won’t forget…and our grandchildren will at least have the opportunity to see what once was such a wonderful part and partial of Portland’s historic past.

    (Sorry…didn’t mean to get so gloomy!)

  5. The old “Vintage Portland” had a photo within the past year or so of the construction of one of the resevoirs which also had a photo of a house on the property that was coming down — is it one of the houses in this photo?

  6. The two larger houses look to be in the American Gothic style with their strong cross gables in the center. The smaller house on the hill appears to be a form of Greek Revival. These styles were popular on the East Coast in mid-century. The first settlers in Oregon built facsimiles of these styles as soon as they were able financially able to do so in the new land. So nice to see these examples on Mt. Tabor. I don’t believe Portland has any remaining Gothic or Greek Revival homes (someone correct me if I’m wrong). I wonder if these houses pictured survive nearby in altered form? You can still see Gothic and Greek Revival houses in older Oregon cities such as The Dalles, Oregon City, and Woodburn. A few also survive as farmhouses scattered throughout the Willamette Valley.

  7. @wayne dietz: “This photo is looking east from about SE 60th & Harrison St.”

    Thanks, but it’s always more helpful if someone can add something his or her rationale or source for a location. Makes it more interesting and easier for others to understand and confirm or offer alternatives, etc.

  8. Pictures like this are in alot of shoe boxes and old album hidden away in a box in a closet or the attic. I would LOVE to find those public pictures to put on my timechanges.net website. Its just a hobby of mine and I would like help in making it that much better. I don’t mean to be soliciting.

  9. I replied over the weekend but my comment must have disappeared in the ether. I think I have a location match for this photo in another VP photo here:

    In the photo above, look at the tight clump of fir trees above the barn and the little track running sideways up the hill to the immediate left, also look at the orchard below that clump of trees in the area bound by the fence.

    Now look to the photo I linked and you can see a very similar clump of trees about one third of the way over from the left, with the uphill same track and an orchard below. This photo is 15 years later, and shows construction of the east side of Mt Tabor Reservoir 6. There is a trestle showing back in the valley, and that trestle is approximately where the dam holds back Reservoir #5.

    Is that enough? Can anybody else find anything more definitive?

  10. Well, A little more sleuthing leads me to this VP post of the 1891 Mt. Tabor map:

    When I imported that map into Google earth and stretched (rubbersheeted) it so it key mapped historic intersections aligned with the modern roads on the aerial photos, I now see that the fence line running away from the camera on the left can be seen as a property line on the map. The house on the upper left belongs to HL Pittock and the House and barn at the foot of the hill are shown as on property owned by Acenith Hosford, who was wife of Chauncey Osborne Hosford. Records on the internet about Mr. Hosford tell me:

    “In 1861 he was on the Mt. Tabor circuit, filling a place that now employs sixteen preachers. While there, he traded his Salem land for 200 acres running clear over the hill at Mt. Tabor. He sold forty acres over the top of the hill for $500 and took his pay in work on his land. This same land is valued at $1,500 an acre. In 1865 he lived in a little log cabin on the property, possessing only a cow and a horse, but no money, having severed his connections with the itinerancy. He and his sons cleared the land. In 1865 he built a cottage and in 1882 he remodeled and enlarged it and now has one of the finest rural houses in the country. In 1887 he sold twenty-two and one half acres of his home at $500 per acre. He now has eighteen acres, worth $4,000 per acre, one mile east of the city [Portland] at Mt. Tabor, and some property in Portland. Fortune has at last smiled upon his honest efforts, and he and his wife are at last surrounded by the comforts which they so much deserve and he is able to go out nearly every Sabbath and freely preach the gospel.”

    In particular, “At one time he owned all of the land which now comprises the reservoirs at Mount Tabor, Portland…”

    So there ya go! That Hosford house and barn would have been immediately east of the east building of Reservoir 6. Are any of those trees on the hill above the reservoir part of the Hosford remnant orchard in the photo?

  11. lefty
    You nailed it !! I have tried for years to identify ownership of several houses in this area. Thank you for the info.

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