Help Us Out!

This image features fallen power lines in front of a blacksmith shop. Can anyone help us out with the location of the O. Peterson Blacksmith? This image was taken February 1, 1916.


City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2011-032.4

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2011-032.4


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

28 thoughts on “Help Us Out!

  1. That is the Blake Moffit and Towne water tank there in the background ( still there) and the round building with the fence is the old Portland Gas and Coke holder tank that used to be right next to the Towne building just south of the Burnside Bridge. I would say the photo is looking north towards the Burnside bridge so the street could be 2nd street.

  2. Owner is Frank C. Peterson, phone book lists wife Grace but no
    other relations like a son at residence. There is an Oscar Peterson on Belmont, who is a cupola man… I assume he built cupolas? Maybe he turned to smithy work later, and ran the MAryland shop….

  3. Sadly, no – a cupola man is not as interesting as I thought:
    “A job as a Cupola Man falls under the broader career category of Furnace, Kiln, Oven, Drier, and Kettle Operators and Tenders”

    Metal foundry work, so at least likely to be the Oscar mentioned by Sharon.

  4. Imagine what would happen today with all the large trees along our streets. If you look at all the old pictures trees are largely absent. It could take weeks to get things going again.

  5. The 1916 Polk’s Portland City Directory has a listing for a blacksmith named Oscar W. Peterson:

    Peterson Oscar W (Maud) blksmth h 1548 Maryland av

    In today’s addresses, that would be 7308 N Maryland Ave. But, Peterson may have worked for someone else, or had his business at a different location.

    But, I think Mike makes a good case for the location being near the east end of the Burnside Bridge, based on the water tower etc.

  6. My research shows Hood River and the Vancouver Portland area reporting 3 feet of snow during the first days of this storm.

  7. would that then be the princess hotel peeking over the roofs?
    what is the tower to the left of that, over the felix bloch billboartd?

  8. Portland 1908-1909 vol. 4, 1909, Sheet 354 – Block 908 has a large rectangle marked OUT 110 or NO. Sheet 344 has it unmarked. It is surrounded by a large lot, has houses to the south facing south, and houses south of those facing east. So yes, likely the intersection of Davis and Grand.

  9. I posted this on a Facebook entry, but it most certainly is the blacksmith shop of C. B. Peterson, at 121 Grand Ave. N. (now 501 N.E Grand Ave). Looking at the original photo, it could even be a “C” rather than an “O.” It also makes sense, because you can see there’s a large void before there are any more buildings along the street. That’s because that address is on the north bank of Sullivan’s Gulch.

    Today, that address is at Grand Ave. & Lloyd Blvd.

  10. i don’t see any obvious candidates in the sanborns for the structure – but they have gaps. what i DO see is what looks like a concrete guard rail under the felix bloch billboard. that would be an overpass. i also think that it is a C for the name, so if the address is from a contemporary phone book I would agree julie and kelly have found it.

  11. I got me information from the Morning Oregonain August 10th, 1918. The address given for Peterson’s Blacksmith Shop is Grand avenue and Glisan street in the article. I wish there was a way to post an article from the Oregonian archives directly to this page.

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