24 thoughts on “SE 26th Avenue, 1946

  1. Great streetcar photo in a great old Portland neighborhood! So this is ’46. When did the last streetcar run out SE 26th? I vaguely recall seeing one downtown near the barber college around 1950.

  2. The large two-story residence in the photograph looks to be in much better shape today, than in this photo. Living across from a cemetery is a pretty sure-fire way to guarantee the area opposite you will remain “park-like”, should we say. Today, the sidewalk opposite this house is superwide in order to try & cover the old streetcar tracks.
    Looks like the photo was taken on a very nice, late summer afternoon during a slower period of ridership (two female passengers). The driver (conductor?) was probably nearing the end of his shift.

  3. I remember my Mom taking my sister and me on the streetcar up to Mt Tabor. At the time we lived in SW Portland, and she wanted us to take a ride because the streetcar was going to be no more. This was sometime in the early 1950s, likely 1952-53. She grew up at 44th and Morrison so she probably was well acquainted with this streetcar.

  4. My brother and I made a special trip to ride the Mt. Tabor streetcar on it’s last day. It was very sad to see it end and became worse when the decision was made to burn all the cars.

  5. Robin Thompson— The last streetcar run in Portland was on Sunday February 26, 1950.
    Below is a small portion of the story about the end of streetcars.

    Oregonian Monday February 27, 1950 page 1
    Nostalgic Souvenir Hunters Crowd Streetcars on Final Portland Runs

    The last streetcars departed Sunday from Portland streets. Just before dawn the Willamette Heights owl car and two extras which followed it for the last run on tracks up to NW Thurman and Gordon streets, shuddered into the barns at East Burnside and 28th ave. They’d had it stripped by souvenir hunters of everything strippable or unscrewable.

    On Monday February 27, 1950 the day after streetcars stopped running in Portland the streets in the downtown core changed from a two-way traffic pattern to a one-way traffic grid that we now use.

  6. Judy Cato– Here is a portion of a story regarding the end of the Mt. Tabor streetcar.

    Oregonian August 19, 1948 page 22
    Bus Routes Bring Protest Mt Tabor Line Attacked by Patrons

    Sunday (8/22/48) changeover of the Mt Tabor streetcar line to motor busses may bring some protests from several hundreds of residents on the eastern end of the line and from the city council it developed Wednesday. According to advertised and announced route of the traction company, the motor bus on the line will not go beyond 82nd ave. The streetcar at present goes to 88th ave.

  7. The track alignment seems so peculiar, with the streetcar up against the 26th Ave curb. The Vintage maps show that as the Sunnyside line which seems to cut over to Belmont at that corner, so possibly the streetcars had some sort of turning maneuver to make there?

  8. I found those tracks by accident years ago. Just showed them to a friend about two weeks ago. Recently noticed a couple of “bricked” street portions in NW. One is off of 25th up by Burnside. Not cobblestones, bricks. And they appear almost new.

  9. Keith Iding, yes the streetcar tracks there transitioned from running along the edge of Lone Fir Cemetery on Morrison (as can be seen in the photo above) over to Belmont by leaving the Morrison right-of-way and cutting across the two blocks between 26th and 28th. This is why the tracks today (see above) appear to run straight into the house at the T-intersection of 26th and Morrison.

    Also, at the northeast corner of 28th and Belmont you can still see that the curb is cut back slightly where the tracks departed the Belmont right-of-way.

    You can see the Mount Tabor streetcar route here on this 1946 map of Portland.

  10. Dennis that oregonian article on two way to way streets in downtown portland is wrong. It did not happen all at once. There is a photo on efiles that shows where SW Broadway was one way till SW Columbia I think then it went back to two way past that point.

  11. SW Broadway was the preferred Friday night dragging street. Not as much fun once it changed to all one way sometime in late 50s.

  12. Mike I was that aware that the the one-way grid did not extend as far as it is today, so that is why I worded it as the core area of downtown. I gave the limits of the one-way grid on a earlier post months ago. I only added it to my comment since it happened at the same time as the end of streetcars. Converting to a one-way grid improved traffic flow and reduced vehicle- pedestrian accidents.

  13. Mike here is the one-way grid that started on February 27, 1950 as the Oregonian reported on February 26, 1950 page 1.
    “The grid area bounded by SW Columbia and Hoyt streets. SW Front and 14th ave.will not shift to the one-way area at the stroke of the clock” The streets bounded by these streets were changed to one-way with some exceptions like West Burnside, and some streets North of W. Burnside.

    Ont the same date as this story they printed a new street grid map on page 28.

  14. If you go out to SE 22nd Ave and Division St. looking south you will see that Streetcar tracks are buried as far as Woodward St. and how they veer left through the building at the north end at Division St. I lived in the neighborhood in the 60’s.

  15. Brian, so by 1946 the Morrison line ended right there at 26th? You say it originally continued on a SE angle for 2 blocks to meet Belmont, so the homes east of 26th were built over where the tracks were but the line stayed in use up to that point? I’m just trying to picture it. Maybe the conductor switched ends there to reverse direction like the MAX cars can do now. Pittmon map is great!

  16. “Brian, so by 1946 the Morrison line ended right there at 26th?”

    Keith, no it didn’t end there — sorry for any confusion. The house at the “end” of the tracks on 26th that is there now didn’t exist in 1946 and the tracks continued though where that house is now located. After the line was abandoned those lots were sold eventually becoming the current house. You can also see, for example, the apartments on east side of 27th in the middle of the block between Morrison and Belmont are much newer than the house and building on either side of it, because until 1948 the MT line tracks cut through there. Same with the apartments on the west side of 27th on the corner of Morrison.

    If you look again at the map I linked from 1946 you can see after 26th the line continues across those two blocks at an angle and went over Belmont joining it at 28th. The Mount Tabor line continued all the way to 88th I believe, until the line was replaced by bus in 1948. Sometime after that the lots it abandoned on those two blocks mentioned above where sold and built on.

    Also,Here’s a previous VP post with a photo of a MT line car in1946 heading west up the east side of Mt Tabor approaching 71st and Taylor. Where Taylor ends at 71st is another section where the MT line left the street right-of-way. See my comment on that thread for more details.

  17. I have tried to reconcile John Killen’s article & Robert G’s photo a few years ago. I don’t think Robert’s photo is a picture of 26th & Morrison. I appreciate how similar it is, At that intersection, the roof of the streetcar would be level with the cemetery. I think Robert G’s photo is about 4 blocks west with a similar house, since demolished (for many years the Tice Electric site, now 2121 Belmont Apts), That style of duplex is very common in my neighborhood.

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