9 thoughts on “SW 3rd Avenue, 1894

  1. The flood apparently began in May. On May 31, 1894 (p. 6) the Oregonian ran a story headlined THE GREAT FLOOD: ALL PREVIOUS RECORDS BROKEN: The Water is Still Coming Up — A Large Portion of the Business District is Flooded. It goes on to report measurements of water (for instance, 28.1 feet at Stark Street) and mentions that the unusually warm weather had caused snow to melt, contributing to the flood. Rail lines were having difficulty remaining in service, and although “little business was transacted” in the flooded district, “and merchants generally looked glum… there were hundreds of others who…were out on a lark; the novelty of taking a boat ride down First or Front street was not to be overlooked.”

    During the early days of the flood, numerous classified ads informed customers that various businesses were relocating temporarily.

    On June 14 (p. 8) the paper reported that the water was gradually subsiding and that “Boating parties through the submerged district are no longer in vogue.” And “in numerous places the foot-planks above the sidewalks are being torn down.” The gas company was trying hard to restore service to customers.

    On June 20 (p. 5) this society notice appeared: “The FLOOD is gone, but the wonderful Conchita is at the Anheuser. [Music Hall]…. Lay away your gum boots, put on your golden slippers, and go hear Conchita sing, “Is life worth living?”

  2. Great photo. I enjoyed reading the Oregonian newspaper account from Liz C. And how the flood unfolded and itS disruptive affects on business and people’s lives. .
    I count about 32 boats both occupied and tied up unoccupied.

    I am curious which church that was on the east side of 3rd. I also wonder the vantage point where the photo was taken. Perhaps it could have been from the upper story on the Ancient Order of United Workmen Temple Building erected in 1892 that was demolished last year.

  3. The photo was taken from the top of the Dekum building. Frank Dekum opened Portland’s first candy store. The Abington building is on the far right with its central tower still intact. There were several pieces of that building salvaged and still around the city.

  4. Bob C. — The church in this photo is The Cathedral of Immaculate the Conception, and today is St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception located at NW 17th & Davis. From the history on St Mary’s web page this short time line. In 1851 a group of Catholics built a modest church near NW 5th & Couch, in 1854 the parishioners moved the church to SW 3rd & Stark, in 1862 the church became the cathedral. On August 15, 1885 a completed new cathedral was dedicated at SW 3rd & Stark, but following the flood of 1894 a cathedral and school were build at NW 15th & Davis.
    The Bishop’s House that is on SW Harvey Milk (Stark) between 2nd & 3rd was part of the cathedral property.

    From the Oregonian January 10, 1895 Page 5
    Last of The Old Cathedral
    The old Cathedral building at Third and Stark streets is in the process of rapid demolition. The interior is pretty well torn out, and yesterday the stone steps at the entrance were being removed, and at the same time a gang of workmen commenced tearing off the ornamental work about the tower. Messrs, Winslow & Stewart have the contract for tearing out the carpenter work, and also for doing the carpenter work on the building to be erected in it’s place. Messrs, Bingham & Seed have a contract to tear the old building down and to build a two story office building with the material. It will take about a month to tear down the present structure.

  5. The building beyond the church on the left is surely the Worcester Block – or the first half of it – built by Henry W. Corbett on 3rd between Oak and Pine Sts. in 1889.

  6. It appears that the wonderful stained glass windows from this old St. Mary’s Cathedral were eventually preserved, and re-installed, in the new Cathedral. If you want to see a very similar cathedral intact, check out St James Cathedral in Vancouver, WA.

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