Steel Bridge, circa 1942

An aerial of the East end of the Steel Bridge, circa 1942.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2010-001.202.


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11 thoughts on “Steel Bridge, circa 1942

  1. I really enjoy this picture for so many reasons. The Ship backing away from the dock. The house on the east side right at the water front. Maybe even the docking area where the Portland Sternwheeler moored.

  2. The two things I think about when looking at this are the tract of houses along the river in top right corner that would become the Thunderbird Motel in 1959 and does anybody remember the connecting ramp from the Steel Bridge to I-84 that was disconnected in the late 80’s? That on ramp stub still remains.

  3. Really highlights the extreme rail curvature at the east approaches of the Steel bridge. Great photo record of a neighborhood before it’s sacrifice to progress.

  4. Rumblefish351 I remember that ramp. The Portland area freeways have a lot of stubs to nowhere.

  5. Interesting angle of the image . I can see the curve in the street, just down stream from the old “O” dock warehouse, for the east side approach to the first Steel Bridge .

  6. Me thinks that the sternwheeler in the extreme left corner is the “Jean”–I recall reading that she was one of the last sawdust burners and also the sternwheel was split so that she could literally turn on the proverbial dime. Those docks were owned by the pioneer tug company Shaver Transportation.

  7. Ron, the stern of the steamer in the picture that is tied to the dock is that of the steamer stern wheeler “Clair”; the Jean, as was the Clair, as were nearly all of the steamers of this era pictured wee fired by diesel, earlier Steamer stern wheeler’s were all fired by cord wood and all were later converted to oil fired. No steamer stern wheelers in the area where ever fired by sawdust as it proved to be too impractical. The sawdust could never burn hot enough to make steam and would have used up way too much room and difficult to store on the boat, room that was better used for paying frieght. The dock that the stern wheeler is tied to is that of Westen Transportation Company, (Shaver’s was much further down stream).Western Transportation Company was a subsidiary of Crown Zelerback corp. The Stern wheelers of Western Transportation moved paper and wood chip barges and also log rafts between Wauna, Camas, Oregon City and Portland’s Front avenue. Those were the locations of Crown Zellerback company’s paper mills and distribution facilities. Your right about the Jean’s Split Stern wheel, she was also built in the 1930’s so for a stern wheeler she was fairly modern and was built of steel with a steel hull. According to one of it’s captains whom i knew very well, it never really worked as the designers had hoped with the Split stern wheels and therefore they ran it mostly as if it had a single stern wheel. She floated low in the water and had only with about 6 inches of freeboard for the main deck when she was full of fuel oil.. she was relegated mostly to moving log rafts as she was ideal for such work with low decks for the deckhands to step onto and sometimes up to the rafts. It made for easy carrying and distribution of the rigging for the rafts. She had rubber mats on the main decks to accommodate the steel spikes in deckhands calk boots soles.

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