16 thoughts on “Washington Park Zoo, 1958

  1. When the new zoo opened, one of the biggest attractions was Rosy the Elephant. Us kids really loved to visit her! We first saw her in her compound in the old zoo. Also, in the background here you have a good view of the northern waterfront from Union Station north.

  2. Pitch and putt there on the left refers to Hoyt Pitch and Putt –what was left of West Hills golf course after it was no longer a regular golf course.

  3. Loved the old zoo. I wish they would restore the zoo railway to Washington Park. That was a vital part of the zoo experience. It is greatly missed.

  4. I wonder if the house in the lower right corner was left over from the old poor farm/Hillside Farm era. Thank you for posting.

  5. When you see a photo like this, you really gain a sense of proportion of things relative to each other – the car parking lot takes up almost as much space as the attractions themselves.

  6. I worked at Hoyt Arboretum for the Portland Park Bureau during the summer. A great job. I worked for Jim Bray who Bray lane in the Arboretum is named after.

  7. What was in this area before the zoo was built? The golf course was further west, right? Was all this just wooded hillside?

  8. igor
    Aerial photos from 1951 show that the area east of the golf course and the site of the zoo was densely forested.

  9. Igor, there was an old zoo, with a few caged animals — I recall a couple of bears. It was pretty pathetic. It was located closer down to the tennis courts and the rose gardens if memory serves.

  10. Whenever I pass the area of the old zoo all I can think of is how awful it smelled. I can still remember the smell as though I were in it now. The bears in a smallish cage were so confined. The place was dreadful. Today’s zoo is amazing.

  11. In late summer 1958, my father Lawrence B Martin Sr.; my brother Lawrence B. Martin Jr. 10 (deceased) our friend Mark Caputo 10; myself 8; and my brother Patrick Allen Martin 6. We hiked from SW 5th and Sherman up to and south on 6th Ave, along Terwilliger Blvd, crossing to Sam Jackson Park Rd. to Montgomery St. and on into the Tualatin Mts. crossing Canyon Rd. and walked in to what was going to be The Portland Zoo’s new location. We had started out early in the morning about 0600 and arrived at about 0800-30 before anyone was about the place stayed only a short 30 min. and then hiked back out across Canyon Rd. retracing our route, (my father was a cartographer) back home quite an adventure for all concerned.

  12. Bill, that’s good to know! I couldn’t quite place it in today’s context. It’s been so many years. And, Judy, I couldn’t agree with you more about the old zoo. It was pretty horrible and looked like it had been neglected for years.

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