40 thoughts on “Grohs Saloon, 1903

  1. I’m assuming that the address given 7300 SW Macadam was not the address at the time of the photo but what the address would be currently right?

  2. not exactly the welcoming ‘cheers’ set! the only people who look like they’re having fun are the double-buttoned anarchist and sweeney todd…

    guy next to sweeney has a fraternal pin – anyone recognize it?

  3. proof they were a ‘fun’ bunch:

    from a 1907 san francisco call…

    Saloonkeeper ‘ and Two Friends Shot in Portland During ‘ a , ‘Mysterious Battle;

    PORTLAND. Ore,, March 12.— As a result of a dispute of an undetermined nature between Antoine Grohs, proproprietor of the Spokane saloon at 315 Water street, and Peter Garretz, the saloonman and two of his friends, James Higley and ‘Jack Gavin, sustained -.bullet wounds from a revolver In the hands of Garretz.

    Grohs and Hlgley ‘ are probably fatally Injured’, while Gavin has a slight flesh wound. “

  4. @Mike G: If the address has remained the same, this would be the current site of OPB (per Google street view)

  5. Do you think the gentleman with the beer is the soon to be dead Mr. Grohs? Does 315 Water translate to a more exact current address?

  6. Based on the font of the sign attached to the porch post, I’m guessing it was an advertisement for either Schlitz or Blatz beer (they both had remarkably similar font styles).

  7. 315 water is over by the morrison bridge; the question would be if mr. grohs owned two taverns, moved, or they are even the same person. there is a john groh, tanner, living in the 1200 block of macadam in 1896. there is also an anton on grand, listed as a laborer. maybe he opened the saloon on water….

  8. I checked the old 1919 map of Portland. 315 Water Street doesn’t appear to go down as far as OPB. It appears to end at Seymour and Hamilton.
    This puts it just up the hill from Macadam Ave.
    Also, the Portland street renaming file doesn’t show a 315 SW Water Ave.

  9. so anton -was – the saloon owner who was shot – fatally. i didn’t see a grohs’ or groh’s saloon at all in pre-1907 newspapers.
    intriguingly, one of the other shooting victims lived on macadam.
    no clue on their relation to the macadam saloon… which doesn’t appear to be called ‘groh’s saloon,’ anyways.

  10. Belay my last.
    The 1894 paving map does show “Water Street” going clear up to the cemetery.
    It does appear this would be “up the hill” from Macadam Ave though.

  11. in the 1909 sanborn (vol2, #137) 315 water st, on the corner of clay, is marked as ‘storage.’ but i did not know there was a water st on the west side, so that was good to learn!

  12. 1901, vol 1, sheet 58 it is listed as store, with dwelling above. not sure if a saloon gets any special marks on a sanborn….

    that’s certainly nowhere near 7300 macadam, so the mystery continues. anyone have a 1903 phone book?

  13. the efile entry lists some names…. christian grohs (in 1896 he is a machinist, residence e main nw corner e 13th) adam grohs and arthur crosby. i wonder if ‘adam’ is anton?

  14. @Brian R: Sorry, I guess my comment was confusing. When I said the address was the same as OPB, I was referring to the address with the photo — 7300 SW Macadam. I’m betting the bar where the shooting took place was near between SW Stark and Oak but just east of Naito, about where the walkway along Tom McCall Waterfront Park is today. I checked the Historic Oregonian (available through the Multnomah County Library) and it has quite an extensive story about the shooting. The reporter appears to have actually interviewed Antone Groh before he passed out from a couple of gunshot wounds (one to the stomach, one to the foot).

  15. i’m going to go out on a limb and assume the efile info is just all kinds of wrong. the photo of anton grohs in the paper strongly resembles the barkeep in this photo (he would be 33 when this picture taken, 37 when shot). that makes adam, anton, and the 7300 macadam spurious, as the spokane saloon – 315 water – is at clay and water in 1901.

    ‘adam’ could be a brother, or christian, and they ran a saloon farther south somewhere along macadam, but without a phone listing with a job notation, it is hard to be sure.

  16. FYI, The Oregonian followed the case for a time and the killer — Peter Garretz — was eventually found to be insane and was placed in the State Asylum. I suspect that’s where he probably spent the rest of his life.

  17. curiouser and curiouser – this saloon MAY be wilhelm’s park, a dance hall / saloon in the south of portland that was apparently notorious. as was the manager, christian grohs… who was divorced for beating the teeth out of his wife. he also had an 18-year-old son, who may be the youth in front, and who may be named adam! adam is 21 when married in 1906, so the age seems right.

    so much for my theory above! whoever anton the dead barkeep was, he must have been related to these two.

  18. I love the old paving map. In fact, I love old maps in general. In fact, I love any map. Is there a place one can buy the paving map and others?

  19. I think you are on to something, wl. Wilhelm’s was in Fulton and the address on Macadam would put it smack dab in Fulton, across the road from the tannery. Groh’s Saloon could refer to the manager, not the name of the establishment.

  20. While it doesn’t correspond to the 315 Water address, the 1889 Sanborn Vol 1 sheet 5b shows a building on the NW corner of Water & Columbia (295 Water) that fits the shape of the pictured building exactly, it’s also listed as a saloon. The block would become the Jefferson St train station in the 1900s, so maybe the saloon moved a block south when that happened.

  21. i think what happened was the grohs murder tossed in a red herring! however he is related to the grohs in the picture, he has nothing to do with our locale. the location of this photo is almost certainly wilhelm’s park. we have names in the efile (christian and adam grohs), and a place name (fulton park). christian groh managed wilhelm’s park, and had a few teenage children when he ran the place… the barkeep bears a resemblance to the young man on the steps, who is also dressed as if he works there; perhaps he is adam. and the fulton park reference puts it near where the caption says it should be. the newspaper articles talk about the madding crowd riding the fulton park streetcars, and getting off before the cemeteries. we just need to trawl the 1901 sanborns and see if we can find some beer gardens! they are in district 35 and 36, according to the paper – whatever that means.

    note to self: check the efile more often! might save me some circle-running.

    and now i need to find out who arthur crosby was (other name in efile)!

  22. yes, sanborn 1909 vol 2 sheet 188 – wilhelm’s park, 1637 macadam. they are standing on a corner clearly marked on the sanborn.

    two different grohs, two different bars!

    anton grohs – spokane saloon, 315 water.
    our photo, christian grohs – wilhelm’s park, 1637 macadam.


  23. I found Anton Grohs’ death certificate (courtesy of findagrave.com index), but cannot manage to copy the image into this comment field. Anyway, the certificate IDs him as a saloonkeeper and states that he died on 16 March 1907. Cause of death in bold letters is “Murder” and “shock and septic infection of abdomen wall following 1 gunshot wound of abdomen.” He died at Good Sam. Hosp., and was interred at Riverview.

  24. I went and walked around where Wilhelm’s Park once stood. Nothing but condos and a Zupan’s today. Some of the houses look like they were constructed not too long after our saloon portrait. There are a few concrete foundations around that look like they could be old but not much else. They are doing extensive excavation around the old Fulton pump station on Nebraska. I should ask them if they have found any buried Blatz signs…

  25. robert, there is one house that may have survived from that era, but it is hard to tell.
    7335 – 7337 sw virginia st is on the 1909 sunborn as a dwelling; portlandmaps.com has it listed as a duplex built in 1910 – but it sure looks like it could be the same house.

    wilhelm’s park would be right about where the southernmost condo sits off scholl’s ferry, right where it meets virginia.

  26. I am Laurence Adam Grohs born in 1943, the direct great grandson of Christian Grohs holding the tray of beer in the above photo. The young man seated is Adam Grohs from whom I received my middle name and is the eldest son of Christian. My grandfather Matthew born 1889 and Adam were brothers. Anton who was shot and died was Christian Grohs’ brother.

  27. Mr. Grohs,
    My great grandfather was Anton Grohs, murdered by that scumbag in 1907.
    I do have one picture of Anton with his wife and 4 children. I would be pleased to share what limited information I have and the picture of course, if you are curious. My cousin,
    Julie Grohs Carlson Gelbach, is also interested in an exchange of information, if you are so inclined.
    I hope we are able to communicate at whatever level you find comfortable.

    Douglas Gilman Facebook
    HM: 503-590-5085
    Cell: 971-336-8221

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