12 thoughts on “The Sellwood Commercial Club, 1912

  1. The Oregonian, January 18, 1910: Big Opening Held: Sellwood Commercial Club Dedicates New Home — Pres. Sterns Speaks. Portland Suburb has work to do, declares head of organization which has accomplished much in upbuilding of city.”

    “The formal opening and dedication of the clubhouse of the Sellwood Commercial Club on Umatilla avenue, near East Thirteenth street, last night was a red-letter event in the history of that suburb. Organized last July, the members of the club and their invited friends from all over the city were entertained at the finished clubhouse with a reception.”

    “As it stands completed, the building, furnished, cost over $0000 [sic — must be optical character recognition erred]. Music was supplied by an orchestra and two quartets furnished selections. Dr. R.S. Stearns, president, delivered the address of welcome and reviewed the progress made in Sellwood….”

  2. There are a number of articles in the digital “Historical Oregonian” about the club, most of them mentioning their proposals for better paving, new bridges, placement of an auditorium, etc. The clubhouse was used for weddings, as well.

  3. The wall mount cue racks ( from whence comes the expression “off the wall”) the bowler hats, the slicker chalking up and the mustaches are classic central casting.
    The only thing missing here is a guy named “Sellwood Fats” to complete the scene.
    You nailed it @Stanley.

  4. But I’m confused by the guy in the back. No hat, white coat, appears to be a black man, and what is he holding?

  5. The two gents in the photo are playing carom billiards as the table has no pockets.
    The man in the white coat was an “attendant” at the club most likely.

    Carom billiards tables have no pockets or opening where balls are sunk, that snooker and pool tables do have. In its simplest form, the object of carom billiards games is to score points or “counts” by bouncing one’s own ball, called a cue ball, off of the other two balls on the table.

  6. I’m having trouble believing that “off the wall” comes from cuesticks. I don’t see any connection. I would think it would come from a baseball played off the outfield fence because of a tricky bounce. Much like an idea that “comes from out of left field.” I’m reading that it may have come from playing handball, but every play in handball is “off the wall,” so I’m not buying that one, either.

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