14 thoughts on “Sellwood Bridge, 1941

  1. The brushy ground north of the bridge, between the river and the interurban tracks, was a deposit of old sawdust from a sawmill. Around 1947 my neighbor in Westmoreland took me along once when he drove his pickup to that brushy area and loaded it with well-rotted sawdust to use in his garden. Later one of the big fuel companies set up an operation to mine that sawdust and sell it by the truckload for gardening.

  2. That’s a lovely house in the upper right hand portion of the photo – not sure I know this landmark.

  3. Great photo! The inter urban still dominates and the auto road to Oaks Park looks unpaved! Logs lined up for the mill – does anyone know which mill that is? Sell wood Park full of trees and open ground too. Shows a city providing both commerce and lots of recreational opportunities for its citizens! What we all loved about Portland.

  4. Todays aerial view: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sellwood+Bridge/@45.4606511,-122.6633551,390a,35y,44.85t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x54950adf61143e29:0x7d41b82183d06b1f!8m2!3d45.4642991!4d-122.6654917?hl=en&authuser=0

    The “C” shaped building on the south side of SE Tacoma St. (#608) is still there as is the little house next to it (#616). The building that is now The Muddy Rudder Public House is just out of the photo on the right, so it’s hard to say if the building if the1941 building and the one today are the same (it’s has been totally redone in the old style).

    The two houses at 515 & 535 SE Nehalem St. are still there and looking great.

  5. Be interesting to know when the last log raft floated down the Willamette!

    Spent a lot of time fishing off the rafts above and below the bridge back in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Mostly carp caught which we gave to others there fishing who actually wanted them. Terribly polluted water with the sewers emptying into the river. We kids knew the dangers of slipping off and between logs and the issues with the pollution but like most kids were invincible (but did wash as soon as we could).

    As kids we spent a lot of time at and around Oaks Park and the Sellwood Pool. Remember well the Bollinger’s roller rinkl. Took skating lessons from Dale and Jeanne Pritchard. For a few years in the mid-50’s I and a partner competed as couples dance skaters. Met what would be my future wife at the Imperial Rink where she skated (going on 64 years of marriage now).. By then of course the road to Oaks Park was paved.

    Lots of good memories!

  6. Mike, that’s the Sellwood Park swimming pool building all right! A beautiful building, a wonderful swimming and wading pool, and the city band concerts in the evening in the park. Lots of great memories! And Debby, right on to your comments about what Portland provided its citizens back in the day. Thanks, Vintage Portland!

  7. Mike– I have not been able to identify the building you have a question about but the newspapers in the 1940’s sometimes mentioned the “Standard Boathouse” and only gave the location as a short distance down stream from the Sellwood Bridge, but not saying which side of the river.

    Debby–The mill is Eastside Lumber and if you Google “Eastside Lumber, Sellwood” Pamplin Media has 2 stories.

    Don– I don’t know when the last log raft left the Willamette river, but aerial photos from 1996 show some log rafts tie up to the East of Ross Island.

  8. Don, I don’t know when the last log raft on the river was but in ’76 or ’77 the last sawmill shut down. I was working at Nicolai Door and they hired bunch of guys that had worked there. One guy in his 40’s who had worked the log booms there showed up for work in corks and high water pants with suspenders. It was what he had been wearing to work for years.

  9. Fwiw,
    Summer ’78 was the last log raft I saw on the Columbia. Moored on Washington side, Upstream some of Interstate Bridge. Grass and stuff growing on it, had been there a while too.

  10. I have just noticed something peculiar while comparing today’s VP photo from 1941 and Igor’s 1948 photo. Igor’s photo shows a newish looking water tower on the hill opposite the old Oaks Park driveway (the driveway that currently behind a permanently locked gate) that wasn’t there in 1941. The smaller water tower just south of Spokane St near the RR tracks is in both photos. I have walked a lot in that area and don’t remember a water tower off the trail around the rim of Oaks Bottom. Google maps doesn’t show one either. Next time I am in that area, I’ll do some bushwhacking to look for an abandoned foundation. So, a water tower was installed plus water mains connecting it to The City system, at considerable expense when steel was in short supply because of the war effort, then removed. Poor planning? Its elevation was so low that only water services at river level would have usable pressure. Do any VP viewers have any input on this? Thanks in advance.

Comments are closed.