Guilds Lake War Housing, circa 1946

Aerial photograph of the southern section of the Guilds Lake war housing project with views of the Montgomery Ward Building and Vaughn Street Ballpark in the background, circa 1946.


City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2001-025.216

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2001-025.216


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

23 thoughts on “Guilds Lake War Housing, circa 1946

  1. The Portland Beavers were in the old Pacific Coast League (Ca: 1950) and, for the most part fielded some pretty good teams. I don’t remember many of the players, but do remember the shortstop in the early fifties was Frankie Austin, Joe Brovia was in right field and I remember getting second baseman, Eddie “spider” Basinski’s autograph…….and of course the peanuts. Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle all fielded teams in the PCL before the major league expansions brought teams to those cities. Portland, Hollywood and Sacramento rounded out the eight team laague. You have triggered some very fond memories of some very good times in that old ball park

  2. Mervin: Great story! Do you ever remember hearing about plans for a new ball park being built on 82nd and Holgate (Eastport Plaza)? I read that was in the works after Vaughn Street closed.

  3. Just to the right of “Monkey Wards,” you can just make out the outline of the jerkinhead gable end of the Forestry Center from the Lewis & Clark Exposition.

  4. late 1940s, early 1950 the Beavers had a “Knot-hole Gang”, designed to draw youngsters to the stadium. It took two trollies to get there but managed to attend games almost weekly.

  5. OK, another stupid question. Was Guilds Lake named after a lake? I don’t see one in the photo….

  6. Igor, look at pictures from the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition to see Guilds Lake. Same place, same name — just no water. They pulled the plug for the improvements you see in the photo.

  7. The Portland area before the coming of Lewis and Clark was vastly different than today. The landscape was dotted with shallow lakes, marshes, sloughs and creeks and streams. Guilds Lake area that was a lake and swampy marsh was one of these. You can see it in the pictures of the Lewis & Clark Exposition. After the Exposition the lake and marsh were filled in with dredging material from the Willamette River. Almost all of other lakes and marshes in the Portland area that were here before the 1850’s have been filled in. The numerous creeks and streams that used to dot the Portland area were almost all been diverted underground into the sewer system by the mid 1900’s.

  8. We are working on a new apartment complex in the old Guilds Lake area now, and during the deep excavations for the building, the general contractor came into some black squishy fill, probably Lewis and Clark and War Housing buildings deep in the wetland remains flowing underground…

  9. Peter Guilds was a farmer who owned land in the late 1800’s on the northern lip of the wetlands.
    The fill came originally from the heights, washed down sluices operated by a developer creating lots on the slope. Later came dredging of the Willamette, largely the result of moving Swan island out of the middle of the river, and deepening the channel.
    E Kimbark MacColl has descriptions of all this in at least one of his books. The Mayor at the time tried to stop the sluicing but was overpowered by the mostly corrupt council, police and business establishment. Go to Powell’s (blatant promotion- I work there) and buy the books… Good read!

  10. Raise your hand if you can guess what Portland real estate is going be the first to liquefy when the “Big One” hits.
    Hint. It won’t be Rocky Butte.

  11. About Beaver Baseball; I forgot to mention the radio broadcasts. Rollie Truitt and Bob Blackburn were the Beavers’ announcers and for the away games they would broadcast the game from a Portland studio by way of ticker tape just as if they were at the ball park. It took me a couple of years to figure out why there was no crowd noise coming through the radio for those games.

  12. Hey Rumblefish, I’d forgotten the stadium that was never built. If memory serves it was to have been built at the Lents Park location at 92nd & Holgate. That’s about all I remember and it may not be correct. I have no idea why it never happened.

  13. Part of the fill came from the Westover Terraces project. They built a large flume from where Westover now is and hydro sluiced the hill to create level lots. You can see a picture of the flume in the book Portlands Slabtown by Mike Ryerson available on Amazon and at Powells.

  14. If you enlarge the picture you can just make out the old German Catholic church at the very top center of the photo. Many of my ancestors married there.

  15. The banks of the Willamette were basically all swamp. The spot under the Burnside Bridge where Portland was named was about the only reliably dry, buildable waterfront between Kelly Point and Elk Rock. Guilds Lake was a good duck hunting spot, before they washed the hill down into it.

  16. In the Beaverton-Hillsboro area there used to be a lot of good duck hunting ares also. And people wonder why their houses get flooded during intense rain or snow melt conditions. I have gone in more than one crawlspace that could be qualified as a basement wading pool. I have seen this also in areas of Gresham and Vancouver, WA. Even have seen one with a waterfall in the basement near PCC Sylvania

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