12 thoughts on “Kelly Butte, 1968

  1. I think that is the old isolation hospital just showing at the bottom right of this photo. I remember as a kid in the early 1960s seeing that building as my mom and dad drove by there regularly. Does anyone know mush of the history of the isolation hospital?
    I also remember the Piggly Wiggly on Powell near 92nd.

  2. Amazing. So many drive by, so few know how much history is and was within. The prisoners breaking rocks. The bunkers and microfilm. And this picture is so fun, just a massive full zoom treasure hunt. Thanks VP.

    I bet Plympton loved the view from the top of his farm, his folks’ before him. Looking across his claim from Jefferson to Hood to Adams. And Mount Rainier, peaking around Saint Helens, still in her perfect pre-eruption form, the Fuji of the West.

    Maybe he went up one last time, on a warm 1905 summer day, a year before his death, and watched the distant blimps and balloons over the World’s Fair. Maybe he waited for the sunset, and saw the glow of the lights. An old man atop the hill he grew up on.

  3. I think the isolation hospital was mainly for TB patients who were also wards of the county. My question is this. Was the water tank/reservoir built on the old jail rock quarry? I know that it was common for inmates to be sent to the rock quarry on Kelly Butte prior to the building of the Rocky Butte jail. Which also had it’s one rock quarry.

  4. From Oregon Encyclopedia ” The City of Portland had opened a sixty-bed, municipal Isolation Hospital at Kelly Butte in September 1920 to house patients with contagious diseases; it closed in 1960. In 1968, a ten-million-gallon water tank was built on the old hospital’s acreage “

  5. I also remember driving by the Isolation Hospital, lonely up there on that hillside, with my parents on our way out to Gresham in the 1950s. Does anyone know if polio patients were hospitalized there during Portland’s major polio outbreak in the early 1950s?

  6. Chris if you click on the Kelly Butte 1963 related photo above the comments you will see the Isolation Hospital just north of SE Powell at 97th. on the right edge of the photo. The water tank under construction in today’s photo was replaced and a new 25 million gallon underground reservoir took it’s place when completed in 2016.

    Todd I think old rock quarry was where I-205 is today. The Mulrnomah County Sheriff had a rifle-pistol range which I think was in the old quarry for training and it was also open to the public. I used the range a few times and if you look at an aerial photo from the early 70’s you will see the range just west of the water tank. I read that there was a jail a Kelly Butte in the early 20th century were prisoners spent 10 hour day breaking rocks, before Rocky Butte jail opened in 1941.

  7. The screen of the 104th St Drive-In is visible in the upper right corner, just in front of the trailer park. You used to be able to come in down the hillside and sit there and watch a free movie. It was better if you hopped the fence and turned up 3 speakers. Shoulder-tapping a buyer for a shorty of beer at the 7-Eleven on 112th was a bonus.

  8. that cool sign is still there ! raped in some kinda metal screen take it all of and restore it now !! i hope who ever owns this piece of movie history that is over 60 – 70 years old will see this comment some way ! and take notice !!

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