14 thoughts on “Willamette River, circa 1924

  1. What an awesome picture! Nothing defines Portland like those bridges dotted with the water towers.
    Also, when I first saw the image, with the sternwheelers and the bridges, my mind flashed to the River Queen restaurant by the Broadway bridge. My Grandparents used to take us there for lunch. Good times.

  2. The building with the advertisement ending in “ODS” was the Allen & Lewis Block, the building with asbestos advertisement was the McCracken Block, and the brick building with the three cupolas was part of the gasworks complex.

    During the construction of the harbor wall, the McCracken Block and the riverside buildings of the gasworks complex were irreparably damaged and had to be demolished (The McCracken Company had already moved into what is today’s Eco-Trust building before the construction of the seawall). The Allen & Lewis Block continued to exist until it was demolished to make way for Harbor Drive.

  3. This is so neat. Sort of like a water-based distribution center. Where did these little paddlewheelers go? Does anyone know? I assume Oregon City, St. Johns, Vancouver, Camas, Troutdale, Hood River, Woodland, Longview. I have often thought it would be profitable for someone to launch a high-speed ferry service to such destinations today, what with traffic, the real estate market and inability to expand our present freeways.

  4. Here is a wiki link to an article about a very typical stern wheeler operating in the Northwest. Some where there is archival film of this very vessel at Celio Falls on the up river run but I am at a loss to recall where.
    At any rate the Portland Harbor dispatched boats up the Willamette to as far as Springfield and on the Columbia Main stem from Astoria to Pasco and beyond. And this long before the dams turned the rivers into lakes. Cheap, fast and dependable when compared with the era’s competition.


  5. Splitting hairs…
    The “Portland” paddlewheeler shown is actually a tugboat, Not a cargo/passenger vessel.

    For a time I worked at the Port. 1970s
    It was amusing, Sailors & Officers from ships all over the world were completely gobsmacked to see this vessel working as a tugboat.
    Sometimes the radio chatter was really funny.

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