County Parade Float, circa 1940

Oregon is home to many archives, most rich with collections documenting Oregon’s history. In order to highlight some of these collections containing Portland-area images, Vintage Portland has invited photo submissions from other archives within the region. Today’s photo and text is provided by the Multnomah County Archives.

The County’s Rose Festival float and the sheriff’s deputy escort. The photo is from the records of the County Sheriff, circa 1940.

County Parade Float, circa 1940

County Parade Float, circa 1940


Access the Multnomah County Archives by clicking here.

12 thoughts on “County Parade Float, circa 1940

  1. This photo begs many questions:
    1. Was this part of an actual parade?
    2. If so, where are the spectators? Why are cars parked and driving on the street?
    3. What street is this?
    4. At the end of the float, is that design suppose to be the rose festival princess? (If so, she doesn’t look very happy)

    Interesting photo!

  2. I thought it was a speedboat, being pulled by weird creatures that might be horses or alpacas, being ridden by a scary, unhappy clown.

  3. I wonder if this is possibly from a Junior Rose Festival Parade. Weren’t they usually on the East side of town? Like I say…just guessing…and their parades weren’t as restrictive either…you know…as far as “floats” and other displays…or methods of moving the floats. Could have been near a “starting point” or near an “ending point” too…that would help explain some of the cars in the photo. 🙂

  4. A cursory check of Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade coverage in The Oregonian hardly constitutes a scientific survey, but from looking at that for all years (1910 to 1987 only) it appears that Multnomah County govt. entered their own float in the parade only in 1940 and 1941. So, the date stamp on this photo from county archives is probably correct. I leave it to other sleuths to figure out where this photo may have been taken.

  5. Looks like It’s being escorted to or from the actual parade site? Doesn’t seem like they would allow riders in that scenario.

  6. I keep coming back to this picture, looking at the steep streets and the distant hillside visible at the upper left. The only place I can think of that has hills like that and a view like that is Hood River. Well, why wouldn’t Multnomah County have a float in a Hood River parade? Now, why it is a float depicting Humpty Dumpty on a speedboat with polar bears is another question. Maybe it refers to some contemporary movie or book.

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