29 thoughts on “SW Barbur Boulevard, 1952

  1. What a Treat! My old neighborhood…where we could walk around for block and blocks and no one called the police, just because we were all by ourselves!

    The Safeway, at 19th and Barbur…an ugly olive green…and across Barbur…the small little rectangular building with the flat, overhanging roof…that’s The Humdinger! Best burger around! The building next door-east-a cleaners, looks like they’re adding Watson’s Valley Pharmacy! The white 2 and a half story building, just over the Barbur Viaduct, to the south, was Greg Owens Chevrolet…soon to become Ron Tonkin’s…then across Barbur…just down a bit further…The Turquoise Room…a very popular nightclub/bar in the area.
    I lived at the bottom of the photo, so-to-speak…12th and Hume Street…just up from Falcon Park…which is now called Burlingame Park.

    …and then, in ’57, the freeway came in and tore our neighborhood apart! Constant noise, trucks and bull-dozers, twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week, dust everywhere…and when the freeway was finally completed, the noise never stopped…the cars, the trucks, the sound of accidents, the sirens from police and ambulances… No one really ever called it The Baldock either, the locals just called it one of two nick-names…the I-5 South or that damn freeway…I-5 South stuck, but there are those who still refer to it as that damn freeway!

    Still…a terrific photo…it’s a keeper…thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. Jim Kahn: Question for you: In this picture, there is a gas station and some other big building where the Golden Touch is today. These were torn down at some point. Any idea what the big unknown building is next to gas station on the side of the hill that was taken down? TY.

  3. rumblefish: The building you’re talking about, just west of the viaduct on 19th held Watson’s Pharmacy before it moved across the street. Also in that building was Dr. Armentrout’s office. He was our family doctor. I lived on Hume Court, last house on the east side closest to SW 17th. That entire block was taken out prior to the freeway. They auctioned off the houses. The block was absorbed by Capitol Hill School which is just out of sight in this picture. We had to move during the summer of 1954. My folks ended up buying a home in West Moreland.

  4. i find it interesting how many unimproved streets there are… i have an update somewhere of the paving map previously posted here which shows even close-in neighborhoods like portland heights having oiled gravel well into the 50s. not to mention the ones we still have, most notoriously on the east side!

  5. So the curving road cutting under Barbur was originally the Oregon Electric line, wasn’t it? When did it get converted to a road? And what was the road called? Its now Multnomah Blvd after where it splits from I5 to the west. Where did it go further north, off the bottom of this picture?

  6. To Rumblefish351:

    The Golden Torch “plot” used to be the location of The Chuck Wagon…a buffet-all you can eat kinda place, lots of split-rail fencing decor, rope, barrels, wagon wheels, wait-staff dress up like they came straight from the Pendleton Round-up, a dumb lookin’ rear end of a covered wagon as an entrance…but, I digress…

    …that white-ish building, just to the right of the gas station, just a few feet from the viaduct on 19th, (east side of street), was a two-story building, with a lower back basement, that housed some doctor’s offices, and some other little business of some kind. For some reason, there was never any need to poke around there as kids…nothin’ that seemed to be really interesting.

    The building, just across the way from the Safeway, on the little “exit road” down to Multnomah Blvd…brick, almost a funny triangular building, was a small veterinarian hospital/pet care facility…the long, narrow wooden building, across from Safeway, on 19th, (east side), kinda holding onto dear life, for fear of slipping down the slope, was, as far as I can remember, some kind of hardware/lumber store…I could be wrong, but I just seem to remember large quantities of lumber sittin’ outside. It wasn’t like a Copeland’s or another “franchise” name, just another neighborhood, family owned business…one of many to go OUT of business in the neighborhood BECAUSE of places like Copeland and Freddy’s. That’s what happened to my dad’s business in Multnomah…Bill’s Garden and Home Supply…it’s now the Starbucks, on Capitol.

    The Turquoise Room, further down was part of The Three Star Restaurant.

    Hope that helps!

    To Sharon Irons Perry:

    Wow…Dr. Armentrout…that rang a bell!

  7. Sharon Irons Perry: That makes sense, because I can see the future Watson’s Pharmacy building under construction in this picture (right next to Humdinger). I remember Watson’s being there. They moved out in 1991 into Safeway (I think) for a while. TY Sharon!

  8. That little tiny square building at the south end of Barbur, just past where the drug store moved into, was a little Dairy Queen. It just served soft ice cream, vanilla and chocolate. It was a walk-up, no seating.
    Single ice cream cones were five cents when I went there from 1949 til 1954.

  9. Brian R:

    Thank you for the 21st Century photo! Such a change…wow…progress, eh?
    “No, Progress is located over near Beaverton!”
    “Oh, shut up, you know-it-all! You think you’re funny, doncha?”
    “Oh yeah? Well…your mother wears army boots!”
    “And you’re a spazmo!”

    :0 :0 :0

    Sharon Irons Perry:

    That probably explains why it looks almost like it’s boarded up in this photo…but…soon to become The Humdinger…complete with a single, one-piece picnic table and a phone booth! There weren’t too many places back then one COULD get an ice cream cone in our neighborhood…they hadn’t really popped up yet. And now I can’t remember…did the Dairy Queen relocate…or just move away? Maybe something further south on Barbur? Oh drat…and now I’m hungry for some ice cream!

    Oh…Sharon…do you remember Pete’s Market? On Spring Garden, on 17th…just catty-corner to Capitol Hill?
    The construction of St. Clare Church, the “new” one…completed in 1950? Their old school that originally stood in the parking lot…the nuns lived on the top floor?
    Parkers Market in Burlingame?
    Any family names you might remember?

    Tom K:
    I do remember the train line…just vaguely…and I remember the sounds…then…it just disappeared. Obviously I-5 South had something to do with it disappearing, but nothing really stands out…sorry.

  10. The Oregon Electric RR curve shows well here before it began the straight stretch to Garden Home, now Multnomah Blvd

  11. Tom K: When my family moved back to Capitol Hill in 1949 the railroad tracks were still there. We used to walk to Multnomah along the tracks. It must have been around 1950 when the railroad tracks were removed. My friends and I would walk to Multnomah on Saturdays to go to the Matinees at the Multnomah Theater before it burned down.
    Jim Kahn: Yes, I remember Pete’s Market. when I was in the 7th or 8th grade, a couple girlfriends and I were buying candy in there, when one of the girls stole some penny candy. I was scared to death we were going to get caught. I guess I still feel guilty about it because it’s still a vivid memory. My brother was hit by a car and killed two blocks down on Spring Garden back in 1941.
    I remember the market in Burlingame.
    You asked about names I remember. Gellately’s lived just under the water tower on the top of the hill. The Bride family lived a couple doors down from me. The Parent boys lived on about 21st off Spring Garden. I still see three of them at the Capitol Hill/St Clare’s Grade School picnics every summer. Sharon Parker got a bloody nose on the bus coming home from high school and had to get off at the gas station on Terwilleger and Taylor’s Ferry. Funny things we remember.

  12. In the little triangle of land, just to the right of where Barbur goes over Multnomah Blvd, there used to be a Veteranarian’s office.

  13. Jim Kahn, I seem to recall that the store where Starbuck’s is now, in Multnomah, was Mummy’s Hardware, back in the 50s. Is that correct?

    Hi, Sharon, I think Mr. Mummy was in the Multnomah Volunteer Fire Dept. with my Dad (Bill Bentson), Mr. Cavitt, Mr. Edwards, the Gundle brothers, and the full-time Firemen, Mr. Spencer and Mr. Marshall.

  14. Tom K- The Oregon Electric Railway going further north was on the I-5 alignment all the way to the Ross Island Bridge. The OE abandoned this segment in 1944, but when the rails were actually removed is unknown to me.

  15. Okay…to all of you…here are a few more memory joggers…

    The water tower at the top of the hill…you mean near the little community center building…Norm & Helen School of Dance…every Friday night? (Norm has such BIG feet!)
    Benny Britz…The Big “B” Market…Spring Garden & Taylors Ferry
    Pete’s Market…yeah…didn’t we all try to “acquire” a piece or two of their penny candy?
    Trapp’s Bakery…Multnomah-upper and lower locations
    John’s Market…Multnomah-upper and lower locations
    Multnomah Men’s Shop…Multnomah
    Crawford’s Dress Shop…Multnomah
    Steinbach’s Appliance Center…Multnomah

    The building where Starbucks is now-Multnomah-back in ’49 to about ’54, was my dad’s hardware store, Bill’s Garden & Home Supply…kinda like a drab beige/taupe color…lots-n-lots of tools to play with…then, after he went out of business, all those tools and supplies came home and were stored in the loft in the garage, the back of the garage and in the basement. Gee…no wonder I love tools so much…I don’t remember too much about what businesses came in and out of the building after that…it was kinda like a tender spot for my dad…he so loved his hardware store.

    Safeway…well…first on one side of 19th, then, the other side…but basically, the same location.
    The original Kaady’s Car Wash, just off the Terwilliger Bridge
    The Ranch Inn Motel…Barbur Blvd
    The Capitol Hill Motel…Barbur Blvd
    The Frontier Motel…Barbur Blvd
    The Original Pancake House…Barbur Blvd
    The Crab Bowl…Barbur Blvd
    The original Burger King…the “BK”…near the Terwilliger turn-a-round and bridge

    Time for me to shut up…but it’s nice to still have all those good memories! We lived in a great neighborhood, didn’t we?

  16. What is the actual name of that neighborhood? My sister lives by the Catholic school and has old documents about her plot’s history (her house is only 30-some years old, but the trees and the plot are much, much older) and that paperwork said something like “Alder Springs”, I think? I tried to look it up but I didn’t get far. I found a more recent name that is escaping me at the moment.

  17. kendalchen: My family moved to the neighborhood around 1936. It was called Capitol Hill then, and still is called that, as far as I know.

    Jim Kahn: The water tower at the top of the hill – I was referring to the hill on the west side of Barbur Blvd. I could look across the fields and up across Barbur to the water tower.
    I remember the dance studio and community center on 17th at the top of that hill. I remember taking a ballet class there when I was in about the 6th grade. 17th was a fantastic hill to go down on our sleds when it snowed. There were always parents around to make sure we were safe.
    Was that the only hardware store in Multnomah, Ken? I remember going there with girl friends in the 8th grade to buy oversized grey sweatshirts which were popular then, along with wearing your dad’s old white shirts. Problem was, my dad was 6’3″ so it was huge on me.
    The Crab Bowl on Barbur was the best seafood place in Portland. It always had a line up of people waiting to get in.

    Tom K: You asked where Multnomah Blvd went from north of the picture. It came out and ended on Barbur across from Fred Meyer before it got to Terwilleger.

  18. kendalchen:
    The “name” of the neighborhood…well…from what I remember, everything to the east side of 12th Avenue was considered “The Burlingame District” and everything to the west side of 12th Avenue was considered “The Capitol Hill District”. 12th was kinda like an alley. During some of the construction of houses in that area, The Capitol Hill District, from about Carson/Hume Court to Falcon, 12th to 17th or so, there was a guy called Johnson…he was kinda like the “big-shot” overseer/land manager of those particular plots of unsold land…just waiting for development. Two houses, both cement block, one-story, 2 bedroom houses with flat, somewhat sloping roofs, were built for the “on-site” crew managers…one was located on Hume Court…4th house down from 12th Street-on the north side of the street…totally unrecognizable today…across from Jeff Schulz and Carol Mathews…Debbie and Cindy Clark lived there with their mom. (Their grandparents, the Baxter’s, lived next door.) The other cement block house was located down on Falcon Street…just across from the park…third house in…south side of the street, then just a dirt and gravel road, and also, totally unrecognizable today. Their last name was Markham…Mrs. Markham, her kids, Marcella and her two brothers…Eugene (Jessie) and what’s-his-name…can’t remember, but they were both neighborhood bullies!
    Mr. Johnson built the big two-story house w/basement and a double-car garage, at 1206 SW Hume St…on the corner…and lived there for a couple of years…that’s the house my parents bought around 1951 and that’s the house I grew up in and lived in until 1968, when I moved out!

    I do remember hearing the phrase “Alder Springs” but it kinda faded away…don’t know why…it just did!

    Sharon…sorry…got the water towers mixed up…but yes, you’re right…17th WAS a great hill for sledding…

    The other “hardware store” in Multnomah was Copeland’s Lumber Yard…bright orange…across from Multnomah School on Capitol Hwy…Copeland’s faced 31st.

  19. Jim Kahn: The hardware store I remember was about one or two blocks from the viaduct across Multnomah Blvd. The people who had Copeland’s, I don’t recall their name, he was a fireman in Multnomah in the late ’40’s.

  20. Grew up on 14th. and Marigold. Off all the posts, nothing about Marshall Park. Spent countess hours there as a kid.

  21. The house furthest to the right, near the top of the photo, with a barn to its left and a driveway heading off Capitol Hill Road (across from what is now a Christian school), was torn down and a new one built in its place a few years ago. The owners there once told us that house (the old one) had been moved to that location from nearby, where it originally sat in the path of Barbur Boulevard.

    It looks like an old mobile home park on the site of what is now Centurylink.

    It would be great to find photos, maps or other records about the construction of Barbur, which sits on a huge road wedge here.

  22. Across from Greg Owens/RonTonkin Chevrolet and up a bit was the the 3 Star. Turquoise Room and Barbur Bowl were quite a ways further up.

  23. I love those old pre-freeway photos when we get to see the old highway and railway alignments as they were. Which is funny because IIRC, both Multnomah Bl and Barbur Bl are converted from railway alignments…

  24. Yeah I was wondering if anyone had any pictures of the 3 Star Club and Turquoise Room from back in the 1960’s. My mom know the owner of the 3 Star Club.

  25. Does anyone know what caused the fire at MRS. MURPHY’S CHOWDER HOUSE? Are there a y photos of the place?

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