The Lot Whitcomb, 1850

The Lot Whitcomb, a steam-powered sidewheeler on the Willamette River, 1850. This image comes from a publication by Judith Richardson of Portland Public School.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2010-008.188.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

9 thoughts on “The Lot Whitcomb, 1850

  1. This is totally (I like to pretend I am younger and use what I think is current jive 😸) awesome. 1850? Really? Wow! Portland was barely established. Lewis and Clark were here just 46 years before. It is amazing how quickly development happens.

  2. If I recall correctly (no guarantees), the Lot Whitcomb, named after its owner/builder, who also founded the city of Milwaukie, was the first steam powered vessel built on the Willamette River.

  3. Nice photo. If it is indeed Portland (not a trivial question given it seems to be looking WSW from the east bank of the river. The hills seem to be rising fairly quickly so it’s probably at the south end of what is now Portland, possibly John’s Landing area. Wikipedia has more info on the boat. And Salem Historical has the image before it was cropped

  4. Sorry about the double post above, not sure how that happened. At any rate Elk Rock seems likely since, according to Wikipedia, the Milwaukee owners wouldn’t land in Portland since they were in a rivalry to become the leading city in the region.

  5. I highly recommend “Early Portland, Stump-town Triumphant” by Eugene Snyder for anyone interested in early regional history including much about Lot Whitcomb, the man AND the boat.

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