Ross Island Bridge, 1934

The Ross Island Bridge and South Portland from the West Hills. Rocky Butte is seen in the distance in the center of the photo, 1934.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2005-005.1411.4.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

21 thoughts on “Ross Island Bridge, 1934

  1. Photo must have been taken early in the day because all three manufactured gas holding tanks are full. They would go down later in the day as gas was used then refilled at night.

  2. >>”Photo must have been taken early in the day because all three manufactured gas holding tanks are full.”

    Not that early actually. The shadows from the utility pole is pointing NNE across SW 1st Ave and Whitaker St. in the lower-left meaning. From the angle of the shadow it’s at least an hour or so past solar noon.

  3. Probably taken from SW Terwilliger though possibly above from the (new in 1929) Portland VA Hospital. In either instance no way to get this view anymore because of the overgrowth of big-leaf maples.

  4. I am wondering how long it took to build and open the old RI Bridge as compared to the current years-long reconstruction. Comparative cost?

  5. Not sure if I am posting the pic correctly, but the big house in the lower right quadrant with 3 dormers is still standing today at the corner of SW Water and SW Whitaker, as are many other houses in that area that survived the “urban renewal” of the 1950s-60s.

  6. No picture, but the link works. Also, it looks like the bridge had “normal” access on the west end at some point, wish they were able to fix it. I think all of us who use it regularly have our own unique ways of getting on that dang bridge.

  7. I was curious about the line of big trees that appear in the middle of SE. Where would they be? A cemetery? A park? It seems odd that in largely treeless east Portland there would still be a big grove like that.

  8. Didn’t know Schnizter was on the waterfront then. I spotted the Power station that is now OMSI.
    Love old pictures of this city.

  9. Lone fir cemetery is between Stark and Belmont so that can’t be it. There were a number of stately homes both north and south of the Ross Island Bridge, maybe that explains all the trees. And I spotted a tiny bit of Failing school behind the trees north of the bridge. And thanks Mike for the I-5 info, that makes sense. I was away at college when all that happened.

  10. I think I see the Stephens School slightly above and to the left of the white river front building. I also see the old Ford assembly building to the left of the gas tanks and to the far right and up the hill the Commerce High School building.

  11. Cynthia, the original Failing school was built 1882-1883. In 1912 the school was rebuilt using brick construction. The reason you cannot see the Failing school building is because it is out of frame by an inch or two.

  12. “I think a shanty town is visible in this photo on the southwest side of the bridge in a large vacant area nearer the river, a “Hooverville” as they were called. Great shot.”

    It was still there last summer. 😦

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