32 thoughts on “N Vancouver Ave, 1926

  1. I’m not sure this is correct. If this is looking south, Union would be a straight road, and Vancouver would be veering right. Union didn’t turn left like this here AFAIK. This looks to me like its N. Interstate and Union right after the bridge, and what we are looking at would become Delta Park, which matches the curved slough area when you look on the map.


  2. Mike, the problems with this observation is in your map.

    Peninsula Park is an easily legible landmark. Only one road to its east even crosses the Columbia Slough. It can’t be both, and a long smear of letters and slightly askew route tell me that Vancouver isn’t it.

    The other road is Interstate. It’s shadowed by rail tracks just like the photo, and marked as the “Derby Street approach”, which is what Kenton called Denver Avenue at the time. The tyranny of major street names being what it is, I suppose it was renamed Interstate beyond the merge, much like SW Washington St now ends at Burnside.

  3. When was Interstate built?
    Wasn’t Vancouver first?
    Shouldn’t we be seeing three roads, Union, Interstate and Vancouver?

  4. As Champs says, the 1924 map definitely shows this is the Union/Interstate intersection looking south from just south of the Interstate bridge. The curving slough with water in the photo’s right center next to the road matches the map’s unnamed slough on the east side of Derby/Interstate. You can follow the rest of it as it re-crosses Interstate and Union several places, heading east at left center.

  5. Note the helpful airport direction for passing aircraft at the welcome center. At that time the only navigational help available to the pilot were a compass and a map on the lap. for a decade or so these airplane symbols on roofs and paved lots were the only other help available. At the time of the photo this intersection became junction of 99E and 99W,

  6. Additional support: in the distance, where the two roads are parallel, they are separated by far too many blocks to be Union and Vancouver.

    The swampy lowlands we see are an omen. In the lower right you see what in 15 years will become Vanport City, only to flood just six more later.

  7. This photo really intrigued me, so I started looking for a map that might illustrate this intersection. I may have found one: A 1946 Pittmon map (also from Vintage Portland). If I’m reading the map right, the photo may show the intersection of Union (now MLK) and Denver. It appears ti ne from the map that Interstate doesn’t go through as far. See what you think. I think the intersection in question is midway between the F and G at the top of the map. https://vintageportland.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/pittmon-street-map-city-of-portland-4k-1946.jpg

  8. Photo Maybe taken to see where to site a golf course or was Peninsula already built? Or is this even close to there?

  9. Part of the problem is the name changes to whatever route the levee was carrying over the years. The road on the right (west) above is definitely Denver/Interstate, and just out of frame at the bottom-center would be the bridge to Hayden Island (or whatever it was called then).

    In this previous VP post you can see the same area but looking north. Interstate mergers into Denver as it does today, and whatever you call the road that follows the levee north of that, it’s the one in the photo above.

  10. only problem with all this is the rails, they followed union until this interchange,then veered off on their own row until meeting again at the interstate bridge.that would make the road on the right union,and the road on the right columbia

  11. Peninsula golf course got preliminary approval to be constructed on January 28th, 1926. To be funded by Swift and Co. Course to be sited btwn. Derby and Union avenue between the approaches to the Interstate bridge. As far as I can tell they had it up and running by July of the following year. 18 holes etc. If I remember right it didn’t make it out of the 30’s.

  12. can’t tell if this is all hashed out but this looks a lot like the intersection of interstate and MLK. Yes Vancouver is in the photo but faintly in the top left. What looks like the shape of the slough is actually the edge of delta park.

    if you look there is not much water in that slough, and it actually matches the shape of delta park bumping up agains the walmart that is down there now. There is also that little water way which is next to I5 and the parks and rec storage yard today. You can also faintly see the actual slough in the distance as there is a bridge you can see in the top left where vancouver crosses it. The street in the lower left is marine drive. Here is a snap shot today with lines indicating the bridge, water, delta park edge:

  13. Bruce: I puzzled about the rails for awhile too but then I remembered “Fares, Please,” John T. Labbe’s book about Portland’s old streetcar/interurban system. It’s been awhile since I read it, but I’m pretty sure those tracks along the right-hand road are probably from the interurban that used to run between Portland and Vancouver. While most of the interurbans were out of business by 1930, this one could still have been in use in 1926. Or, even if it had stopped running, perhaps they simply hadn’t ripped up the tracks yet.

  14. @ bruce: No, the rails did not follow Union at that point. The rails left Union and traveled over the slough and then the Columbia River to Hayden Island on their own right-of-way and on their own trestle a bit upstream from the auto bridge. The rails in this area followed the Denver approach. See this 1933 map. It clearly shows no rails along Union north of the slough as they are off to the east on their own right-of-way, and it shows rails along Denver up to its intersection with Union where it then veers off to the stockyards.

  15. John Killen, see the map I linked to. The interurban to Vancouver ran on its own right-of-way north of the slough. You can still see it in places today and you can still see in the sattelite view of Googe Maps the base of the trestle path across to Hayden Island.

    Here is a link to a view that shows both. The green path that intersects Marine Dr. next to the Faloma Market was the right-of-way. If you follow it out into the river you can still see the base above which the trestle followed poking above the water level in places.

  16. Brian: Thanks. Looks like you are right about the streetcar line to Vancouver having its own right of way. Based on the 1933 map you provided, the line that ran along Denver/Interstate appears to veer west right after the intersection we’ve been discussing. I wonder if it was built to get people to the Jantzen Beach Amusement Park, which opened in 1928.

  17. rumbleshish351: Thanks for the link to the photo of the bridges! The long diagonal one is the streetcar trestle I mentioned above, the base of which can still be seen in the river. If you read through the article in the link rumblefish351 provided there is a lot of info on, and photos of, that streetcar line and the bridge, including photos from today of the still visible remnants. Great find!

  18. Just to be clear, Interstate joins (and becomes) Denver in Kenton, and Denver joins Union near the river. Vancouver joins Union south of this, just north of the slough.The posted picture is certainly the Denver/Union intersection.

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