SE Stark Street, circa 1900

The Brubaker, Normandin, and Co. Mt. Tabor Store and the Mt. Tabor Market on the corner of SE Stark Street (Base Line Road) and SE 60th Avenue, circa 1900.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2004-002.2488.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

21 thoughts on “SE Stark Street, circa 1900

  1. I’d like to see an old photo of the corner store at 2000 SE 47th Ave, which is still intact but now being used as a residence.

  2. This is near the area where I grew up in the 1940s-1950s. The building was no longer there, or was greatly modified, when I was a kid but the fire station across the street still had a few years to go before being abandoned.

  3. Hopefully copied below is a 1941 Oregonian article about the closing of the Brubaker-Normandin store at this location. One of the original founders of this business (L.S. Normandin) was a well-known businessman in the Mt. Tabor area since at least the 1890s. But according to the article, the store building shown here pre-dated the Brubaker-Normandin partnership (built in 1878 by one C.E. Fields). Brubaker was Emanuel S. Brubaker.

    Brubakr Normandin Store.png

  4. The more I consider this, the more I question the 1900 date.
    The first cars were just making their appearance in Portland at this time. Front street was still cobblestone. Seems unlikely to me that Stark and 60th would have a street as well groomed as this is when most transportation still involved a horse.

  5. I’d say more like 1910ish. If that’s a “United States bakery box in front of the store then It’s at least 1906 since Franz wasn’t a concern until that date. The oldest marked sidewalk Iv’e found in Portland dates to 1903 and is over by Hinson Baptist church.

  6. RE: D. Johnson – I agree with the post 1910 guesstimates.

    MJB Coffee from San Francisco had an ad campaign all over the west coast starting in 1910 stating “MJB Why?”

    They are still around, so I guess that answer was ‘Why Not?”

  7. Yeah, thinking post 1910. Whether MJB Why was started ’00 or ’10, I think it would’ve have taken it long enough for it to get to Portland to pave the streets and curbs for Model T’s, which were pretty prevalent by 1915.

  8. This building existed up until the point they tore it down to build the current condo building. Before they tore it down, they removed the outer layer of siding (maybe it was asbestos) revealing the original fish scale siding below. I remember sitting at a red light looking at the old siding, however I can’t remember if you could make out the old sign or if it had been painted over. I should have taken a photo!

  9. My father worked at Steins bakery in the early 50’s. It was located at 17th and Quimby. They merged with Oroweat in the 60’s for awhile and then Poof gone.

  10. Fwiw,
    Belgian Block (Portland vernacular, cobblestone) paving is slippery hell for a horse. Flat streets are bad enough, Especially bad on hills & if pulling waggon or carriage.

  11. Dave:

    Sorry, I don’t know how or if it is even possible to open the “png” link re Brubaker and Normandin store on Stark; I forgot how I’ve managed in the past to paste copies of text from newspaper archives into this reply text box. Generally speaking, this site is not set up to accommodate “png” or “pdf” format media or any other cut and paste media except for links and Google street views. Maybe the link below will work. Otherwise, go direct to the Oregonian archives online. Search on key words “Brubaker” and “Normandin” or go to the issue date and page number shown in link below.

    News Article; Oregonian; 5; July 30, 1941

  12. The street looks like concrete that most likely had stamped ridges to prevent sliding on the hill. You sometimes see these old original streets uncovered when the city does road construction.

  13. This photo was definitely taken after 1910, and more likely was taken circa 1922 or later. There are several clues in addition to the “MJB Coffee – Why” advertising slogan (which, as others have pointed out, was first used in 1910).

    One clue is the “Fisher’s Blend Flour” advertisement painted across the top of the mercantile building. Fisher Flouring Mills was founded in Seattle in 1910, and began selling flour to the public in June 1911. So, the photo could not have been taken any earlier than 1911.

    Another clue is the advertising slogan “Tree Tea – Ceylon or Japan” in the window. Searching on Google for “Tree Tea” “Ceylon or Japan” yields newspaper ads with those exact phrases from 1915 to 1924.

    Finally, if others are correct that the photo shows a U.S. bakery box that reads “Stein’s Bakery,” that would date this photo as 1922 or later. Stein’s Bakery was originally called Vienna Bakery, and the name was changed to Stein’s in 1922.

    Another photo of these buildings taken in 1916 can be viewed in the Oregon Historical Society’s digital collections. To see the 1916 photo, search on Google for “silver-thaw-on-east-60th-between-east-stark-and-east-glisan-streets-2” (in quotes). In the 1916 photo, the “Mt. Tabor Market” building is labeled simply as “Meat Market.” The 1916 photo also shows different ads and slogans displayed on the mercantile building.

    Some additional trivia about this street corner: these buildings were located on the one-acre Mount Tabor Commercial Block, which was immediately north of the Mount Tabor Central Tract. Both the Block and the Tract were created by brothers Charles E. Fields and Frank S. Fields. Charles was the same C.E. Fields who built the mercantile building in 1878. Frank would go on to serve as Multnomah County Clerk, and would run unsuccessfully for Secretary of State in 1912.

    The Mt. Tabor Post Office was located inside the mercantile building starting in 1879. Over the years, at least three of the men who owned or co-owned the mercantile building served as postmaster or were in charge of the post office, including Charles E. Fields, Isaac Kay, and Emanuel S. Brubaker.

    In 1901, the post office was moved into an addition to the mercantile building to the south (behind the awning in the photo). An Oregonian article published on August 6, 1901 indicated that the construction of the addition was almost finished, and that the post office portion would occupy 12×20 feet. Once the addition was finished, the entrance to the post office was from a door opening onto SE 60th Avenue (then called West Avenue). Just a few months after the addition was built, on January 1, 1902, the Mt. Tabor Post Office became a “substation” of the Portland post office. Finally, in 1905 or 1906, this area of Mt. Tabor was annexed by the City of Portland.

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