24 thoughts on “NE Fremont Street, 1963

  1. Mike. Before Whole Foods there was a Tradewell grocery store. It was built right about the time this photo was taken. My best friend & I used to rake leaves at the house on the left.

  2. Fine view of Portland’s overhead power lines. They blighted almost every street on the Eastside.

  3. Are there still fire alarm boxes on street corners in Portland? And what does the big A with wings on the gas station sign stand for? My first thought was Arco, but they didn’t appear until 1966….

  4. That gallon of gas that cost $.279 in 1963 would cost about $2.18 today when adjusted for inflation. Not too far off from reality.

  5. Back in the day when there was a gas station or 2 almost every stoplight on Fremont. There was this one on 15th, two at 24th, one at 42nd, two at 57th and two at 82nd. Only three today survive 1 at 57th and the 2 at 82nd. These were full service stations from gas to parts (TBA) to full repairs on cars.The people who worked at were generally your neighbors, not somebody from Gresham or someplace else like today.

  6. “Flying A”, Igor. You might not see any fire alarm boxes, but occasionally I still see the red and white stripes.

  7. I’ve also noticed in old photos that gas stations were everywhere! They are much more scarce now. I wonder why that is?

  8. Fire Alarm Boxes spread throughout the City were a first line defense for fire. Few people had home phone service when the system was expanded in the 1920’s. The call boxes each reported to a curious stone building located at the Y intersection of NE 21st, 22 nd at the end of the 21 st bridge over I-84. The Fire Alarm Telegraph Building was filled floor to ceiling with telegraph receivers and brass bells that could signal the pull of Gamewell Fire Box Alarm at a given location. Captain Jack Wise took me on a tour in the 1950’s. A photo of the interior of that building could be good fun for this site.

  9. Tidewater Associated Oil Co. = Flying A and Veedal motor oil. Like most, but not all service stations of the time they were operated by a lessee whose main function was to pass the profits back to the oil company and absorb the losses. Not a great business plan for the lessee. There were a few really good operators who were able to successfully remain in business sometimes for more than one generation and I believe most of those owned their own properties.

    If you recall ever seeing a sign on the side of a tank truck, “Driver Does Not Carry Cash”.
    That sign came about because many of these “independent” dealers were on a COD basis with the cash upfront. No cash no product. It did not take long for stick up artists to figure out the driver was a easy mark. In a few documented cases the dealer and the robber were in cahoots. Sort of a kickback deal. The practice of making the driver collect cash hung on for a surprisingly long time, into the sixties in some areas before other arrangements put a end to it. The crooks took awhile longer to wise up and that led to some tragic confrontations.

  10. I wonder why that corner remains open land today. I mean it is great that the original developer of that shopping plaza chose to allow some open space remain but it seems sort of silly. Not likely able to support much habitat. But i suppose every little bit helps.

  11. Ooh, Ooh, that’s my house next to the gas station! I’ve been looking for pictures of this block pre-64 for years! More photo’s please!!!!! They moved a lot of the houses that were on that block to my block between N. Chautauqua and Chase.

  12. Kittens: So many of the old filling station sites suffered leaking underground fuel tanks, old spills, EPA regulations on soil cleanup of these former fuel dump sites $$$$$ to deal with. I do not know if that condition exists here. Can make a choice piece of dirt less likely to be developed.

  13. Early 1980s, I worked on District Telegraph Fire Systems.
    The last in service I am aware was the Rivergate loop. Its long gone now…
    Here & there in the city one can find residue of that system in the form of red/white paintstripes upon utility poles, conduits, pedestal anchors etc.

  14. @Bob Slusher
    Thank you for the description of The Fire Alarm Telegraph Building. I have always wondered what it really was for. I did find this document that is kind of neat.

    http://jmf.strateja-xl.com/Jeff_Morris_Documents/History_of_the_Portland_Fire_Alarm_System.pdf

    Do you know what is in the building now and who owns it? I have always been tempted to try and peek in a window. I wonder if any of the old equipment you saw in there still exists. I would guess not.

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