12 thoughts on “NW St Helens Road, circa 1937

  1. I believe the address for this property might be 5528 NW Doane Ave. The Historical Oregonian database led me to that when I entered the street names and “oil company” (from the e-files description). In 1968 (January 17, p. 37) there’s a listing for “Union Oil Co., equipment supports, 5528 NW Doane Ave.” under PORTLAND BUILDING PERMITS. In November, 1975, “the Union Oil Co Terminal” at that address is listed on several dates, with regard to public sales.

  2. Looks similar today if you look from from Hwy. 30 north across tracks just northwest of intersection of NW Doane and Hwy. 30 near Phillips 66 Portland Terminal: the railroad cars, loading platforms, and big circular oil tanks in the background. More overgrown with trees now.

  3. This is definitely the Union Oil Co. loading dock. The dock was built to horse and buggy height and was thus only about half as high as a modern truck deck. This dock was adjacent to the blender and can line at the north end of the property, across the street, NW Doane from Chevron Oil. That loading dock was still in use at that low height in the sixties and required a long aluminum ramp up to the the truck floor. Those ramps had to be man handled into place and were inevitably covered with drippings and when wet combined with rain water or humidity were slicker than ice. To struggle up those ramps with a 55 gallon drum loaded with oil even when dry was exciting. The ramp was just wide enough to accommodate a barrel hand truck and inclined 2 1/2 feet from the dock and about 12 feet in length. Miserable. In addition to 55 gal drums they shipped loaded, and received empty pails and cans across this dock.

    As for the building on stilts, no idea. It was gone I believe, by the time I begin to frequent the area in 1959.

  4. The tank car on the right that is marked S.C.C.X. 682 I think indicates that it was owned by Shell Oil Company.

  5. That looks like it might be 1936 Chevrolet Std. Sedan 216 Stovebolt-Six parked inside the gate. Film Noir is right, “be ready to take a photo of the suspect when he unlocks his car.”

  6. Mike Becker— While looking for the meaning of the S.C.C.X 682 on the tank car I saw that the Western Railway Museum in California has a tank car that was restored in the 90’s and donated to the museum by Shell Oil with the marking S.C.C.X. 662. This car was built Standard Tank Car Company of Ohio in 1923 I was able to find a closer photo of the restored car #662 with these marking Tested 4-5-62 BLT 8-23 which I think is its build date. I believe you are correct and that these 2 rail cars were only a month apart.

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