27 thoughts on “Lewis and Clark Exposition, 1905

  1. I think when the Forestry Building burned down in the summer of 1965 it was the last of the Expo buildings. There’s an old apartment building on NW 26th & Upshur which I believe was a hotel during the exposition.

  2. @Paul: As Chuck says, nothing from the L&C Exposition remains at the original site, but the St. John’s Theater & Pub was originally built as the National Cash Register pavilion. It was moved to St. John’s after the fair.

  3. I believe the hotel visible beyond the gates, at right, labeled “Outside Inn” is still there, as an apartment house. I wonder if the social service organization Outside In, took their name from this historic hotel name?

  4. The Hotel Fairmount is the only remaining Exposition building that still remains in situ.

    As Brian says, the St. John’s Theater & Pub is another survivor, along with the central portion of the American Inn (moved to about NW Northrup between 21st and 22nd) and an exhibit building that was moved to Overlook Terrace and converted to a house.

    Craig, I hadn’t heard about any of the buildings at Oaks Park originating with the Exposition, but did hear that the light posts were moved there. Do you have any more information on that?

  5. I believe that crush of people are on the outside waiting to get in. Hotel Fairmount was just outside the main entrance to the exhibition, on NW 26th & Upshur.

  6. There are some other surviving odd architectural fragments of the 1905 fair scattered around town. For example, there is the building at 6031 SE Stark (now known as the Caldera Public House) erected in 1910 as a pharmacy by a Thomas Graham. Supposedly this was one of the first pharmacies on the east side. The four massive wooden doric columns at the front of the building (recently restored) are said to come from some exhibit or other at the L&C Expo.

  7. @Dominic: Mat is right that this view is from inside the gates looking out. The large crowd is presumably waiting to get through the gates. As Mat notes, the Fairmount was outside the Exposition grounds and not an actual Exposition building.

    @scottmcnamara: Here’s a map from a previous VP post that shows the grounds and location. The area just outside the gates with all the people waiting was at the corner of 26th and Upshur. The Hotel Fairmount in the photo (and still there) is facing 26th between Upshur and Vaughn.

  8. Regarding the guys standing on the roof that Mike G points out above, it looks like there are two flag poles there; I think they may be raising flags. The Exposition opened June 1st, so I wonder if this photo was taken to commemorate the official opening of the gates.

  9. A replica of Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Ill was built at the 1905 Expo. It was moved to a site somewhere in Portland where it was used as a rental duplex until it was purchased by Eric Ladd and moved beside the Jacob Kamm house. It suffered fire damage and vandalism while there and was torn down in the 1970’s.

  10. Also I see a Lemps beer sign. The most popular beer nobody has heard of. So many St Lewis brewers committed suicide that they had a name for it. It was called the “Dutch act”.

  11. Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair was certainly a crowning achievement for Portland in the early 20th century.
    The Multnomah County Library has a nice collection of books, documents and records available for viewing at the Central Library. There are few publications available for checkout.

  12. I actually have a souvenir book from that fair. It’s cover is a little threadbare but all of the photos are in tact.

  13. Almost all of the mature Monkey Puzzle Trees in the city can be traced back to the Lewis & Clark Exposition. They handed out thousands of small seedlings at the South American display.

  14. I love any of the 1905 Exposition photos! They’re priceless! Wish I had been there. My husbands Irish family had their home at 23rd and Roosevelt and could walk to the fairgrounds! They probably saw the beautiful lighted pavilions on Guilds Lake from their front porch. Portland in its heyday!

    @Randy the replica of Abraham Lincoln’s house was on the lot at 20th and Jefferson across from the First United Methodist Church along with another neo Greco structure Eric Ladd moved there. I remember as a child walking to our car in the church parking lot and my dad telling me the story about all three of those buildings.

  15. Great informative article, John Killen. Of course, not to be outdone, Seattle had its world’s fair 4 years later. Was it the huge population increase after Portland’s fair the reason little of the buildings were preserved? Tear down & make room for commerce & industry?

  16. Partly, Chuck. The main reason was that the City of Portland only leased the land. After the fair was over, the private owner didn’t have any reason to keep the exhibit buildings (which were mostly built to only be temporary), so some of the land was developed for housing and the majority of the remainder was set aside for railroad use.

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