14 thoughts on “Mt. Tabor Reservoir 5, 1910

  1. What a huge project this was, I can’t imagine having a job like this with so many potential hazards everywhere; you would have to be very aware at all times.
    This photo was taken on 6-4-10, a Saturday; they must have been on a tight schedule trying to get this completed as soon as possible.
    It’s amazing to see all the open space and forested areas to the Northwest.

  2. Does anybody know where the rail line to the construction site would have come from? Photos from the same decade during the construction of the Reed College buildings show a railroad car and tracks, possibly a temporary branch line from the Southern Pacific. By the 1940s and 50s, when I was roaming that area, there was no trace of a rail line to the college. Is it likely that temporary rail service would have been a routine practice for big construction projects in the early years of the 20th century?

  3. If you do a web search on Mt Tabor Reservoir 5 the Portland Water Bureau site has some old shots taken from other angles.

  4. George: I’m not sure where the rail connection went for the reservoir, but we can see it in another photo going past old reservoir 1 towards Division.

    As for the Reed College track, it was probably just a branch off of the already extant line running into Eastmorland on Bybee, which can be seen on this map: http://myplace.frontier.com/~trolley503/1924Map.html

  5. Before the time of motorized trucks, private purpose built railroads were common in construction, manufacturing and mining from the time after the Civil War. The ones used for construction were meant only to be used for the duration of the project and ranged in size from tiny to full size according to the needs of the project. Up until the 1950’s most open pit mining was transported by rail in the pit and some mining companies owned railroads that had some of the largest steam locomotives ever built like DM&I 229. If anyone is interested here is the application for the gatehouse to be on the National Public Register that as the history of the reservoir. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/c19f62aa-cebd-420d-bdf8-f8bc0e2a69a1

  6. Igor: I think the photo you posted is not a rail line but a wooden flume.. Excavation of the reservoir was done by steam shovel, and hydraulic sluicing. A tramway and locomotive deposited material on the Jackson tract on the west side of West Ave. Hydraulic sluicing material was carried through a long wooden flume nearly a mile long to a ravine south of Section Line Rd. The flume was between 25 and 60 feet high, with water carrying dirt, rock, and sand through this flume day and night.
    Oregonian 3/20/10 Page 4

  7. Igor: Section line rd. i think was another name for Division, and I found a Jackson area on the West side of 60th at Hawthorne.

  8. Geezer George: I don’t know about Reed construction but when researching fills between the Willamette River & Union Ave, I learned that spurs were sometimes temporarily extended to streetcar lines to bring fill in. I had no idea streetcars served that kind of double duty.

  9. JimW I just looked at the article again and the date and page are correct, Are looking at March 20, 1910, page 4. The headline of the article is “Rush Reservoir Work Mt. Tabor Plants are Making” also for March 20, 1910 page 4 listed as photograph is a photo of a man sluicing with a water monitor, and a steam shovel digging. A little extra info from my original post, it indicated that soil was deposited on the Jackson tract. I looked at old Portland plumbing permits and most of the homes West of 60th and South of Hawthorne were built in the 1920’s and the permits indicate the addition they are built on is called Jackson Place, so it sounds like soil from the excavation that was transported by locomotive were deposited in this area with homes being built years later. The article on that date has more info than I included. Good luck.

  10. Thanks Dennis! It is actually page 4 of section 4. I used both the Newsbank site which found it immediately and the U of O site which has full page scans with the search words highlighted. It took me to page 4 of section 1. I find the Newsbank site faster for searching and it includes the citation info but I’ve missed cool photos that are placed next to the text. Like the picture of the hydraulic giant next to this article. Now I search both.

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