28 thoughts on “Rose Festival, circa 1919

  1. I love the guy climbing the pole! My bet on location is close in east side. Broadway perhaps?

  2. @Steve,

    It’s quite possible that is Guilds Lake in the background. I’ve seen photographs of parade participants posing in their flower-bedecked conveyances in front of either the crumbling Oregon or Washington exhibit building that indicate the exposition grounds were a staging area during the early days of the Rose Festival.

  3. I had relatives who lived in the Albina area at the time who probably participated in the Children’s Parade. Great picture.

  4. to the left of the buildings, the third pole to left is in front of a large tower with cupola – ID that and we have the location!

  5. also – the ‘water’ -might- be a fence… could also just be water!
    but the right-hand portion is definitely part of a white-washed structure, perhaps with lettering.

  6. i am certain there is no water in this picture; the level of the ‘water’
    is NOT level. we are looking at a number of low, likely industrial, structures down the road, with a church and several multi-story buildings behind them. there are a few trees, but the immediate background is not the west hills, it is rooftops and chimneys.

  7. also, there are likely streetcar wires in this photo, they are just hard to see (karsten, the photo you posted does have wires – they are easy to miss!). at top left, just under the leaves, you can see a long narrow object draped over a wire, going left/right. this is a protective cover to prevent the wire -below- it from contacting it and shorting. that cross wire is likely a streetcar wire by the position. it is just barely visible if you play with the image.

  8. WL, I think you’re right about the waterline and will defer to you on the streetcar wires. 🙂 I’m a long-time lurker on VP, but haven’t done much sleuthing (and the little I’ve done I’ve been dreadfully wrong).

  9. i could be wrong about the wires! even the one i can find in this shot may just be a random wire.
    that guess about the house is a good one: the 1919 photo is on a corner, and the gas station would take the place of the nearest house – but the windows don’t work. later photo house has 6-over-one sash (vs. one-over-one), and it looks like the window on the front is proud of the facade… a bay or triangular bump-out.
    buildings do change, but both of those things would have been expensive upgrades, and the neighborhood was going down in that decade, not up.

    wrong guesses never hurt – they often spark a lead elsewhere……

  10. A thought occurred to me while I was browsing photos of Belmont, Burnside, Hawthorne, etc. WL, your comment about the angle of the sun got me thinking of NE Sandy looking SW into the city. I can’t find any photos to back this up, but the the angle of the sun, the seeming slope of the pavement, and the width of the road bring it to mind.

  11. The 1919 date of the archives photo is circa, and the children’s parade was a Rose Festival feature since at least 1908 (with an interruption during 1918 due to WWI). My wild guess is this particular shot dates from some time in the 1920s (I see a shorter hemline on one adult lady’s dress seated at the curb on the right). I saw no coverage of a children’s parade in 1919 in either the Oregonian or the Journal, but lots of ink about it from 1908 thru 1917 and again from 1920 onward. As for the location in the photo, I believe it almost certainly must be somewhere along Grand Avenue on the East Side. Per local press coverage, the children’s parade was long sponsored by E. Side Businessmen’s Club (one of its main boosters), and since about 1908 the route ran south on Grand from about present-day NE Holladay to SE Morrison and, later, to SE Hawthorne. In the 1908-1914 period some civic leaders opposed to East side route because photos of the kid’s parade (which supposedly were popular with wire services around the country) tended to show shabby looking backdrops of one and two-story wood-frame buildings, making Portland look too much like a hick western town (see VP photo). They preferred to show off the city with the more modern, high-rise backdrop of downtown. But it seems E. side businessmen, parents, and the school board prevailed and kept the parade where it was. Along the way, many parents also grumbled about the parade being too strenuous, too expensive (making elaborate costumes), and taking their kids away from school work.

    There must be a detailed history somewhere about precise dates, parade routes, etc. in city or Royal Rosarian archives.

  12. that sun angle just makes me think they can’t be marching south on grand – the sun would be in the northwest, at too high an angle to be evening (when the summer sun does head n of due west). i can see marching north along grand, or ne along sandy.

  13. several of the references to the parade from 1915 and 16 mention the route going NORTH on grand, from hawthorne to holladay. if we id that tower along grand or nearby somewhere we have it.

  14. well, i didn’t find any churches along or west of the grand corridor in the 24 -28 sanborns. might have missed it, tho.

    here is my tweaked image of the steeple/cupola that should be our big clue if anyone recognizes it!


  15. THAT is a very good possibility! most of the church steeples i dug up had enclosed bell towers, or not enough glazing to pass so much light… but the burkhard sure did. also, you can see the massing of large brick buildings around it. so this corner seems to be irving and grand, looking south. house in right foreground has a bay, there is a store a few doors down, followed by 2 dwellings. maybe the oregon chiropractic college afterwards.

    good eye!

  16. sorry, forgot to post the sanborn info: 1924-28, vol 6, 1924, page 681. buildings match the photo.

    now we need to figure the actual date!

  17. Perhaps what we see is the parade proceeding eastward on Holliday St. from the Steel bridge. The river in photo background. The cupola noted is the Union Station tower with the reflection of the large clock face.

  18. bob, when guild’s lake had been mentioned, i also thought of union station…

    what led me away from most of the possibilities was the fact that there isn’t any water visible in the photo – it is an illusion. when enlarged, it is quite clear the ‘water’ is not level. short of having those girls lower their banner so we can see the street sign (on the pole a man is climbing on… in fact, i think he is holding on to the sign!), we have a pretty positive ID, as the buildings exactly match the sanborn map. what we need is the date; it rained in 1915 and there wasn’t a parade in 1918, so that eliminates those. anyone an expert in police uniforms? or ladies’ hats? i would guess 1919 – 1924.

  19. unfortunately the only thing I think of when it comes to the childrens parade is the nightmare of traffic I get stuck in near Hollywood. Happens every single year that I just happen to need to be in that area when the parade is going on. It is an absolute horror show trying to get around

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