15 thoughts on “Help Us Out!

  1. Thats a long street. Will not be that easy to figure out exactly where along the street the photo was taken.

  2. Possible location: This may be the house pictured on the left in the photo. The house on the right in VP photo nearest camera is gone to make way for Clarendon School (1970).

  3. I think this is way out at the north end of N. Clarendon where it intersects today with N. Columbia Blvd., near the address 9824 N. Clarendon. The old farmhouse in the background with the chimney is still there, surrounded by mature trees. But the two houses in the foreground are either gone or rebuilt/modified. In the mid-’50s a number of those streets out on the north end were more like unpaved country lanes.

  4. I think Robin is on it. The house nearest the camera on the right is still there. The large fir tree to our right of the two men is still there. Columbia Blvd was widened and the two house on the south side of Columbia were razed, potentially the next set of homes too.

  5. Robin Thompson is correct. This is on Clarendon just south of Columbia, looking south.

    There are other images in this set here that helped me piece it together: https://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/Record/43122

    That thicket at the end of the road is a roundabout at N Cecelia.

    A 1946 Pittmon map of the area shows there used to be a street between Columbia and Cecelia named Walker, which is where that house on the left would have been. Walker split the 9700 and 9800 blocks of Clarendon where all the newer houses are built. There was a bridge from the NW that carried Swift Blvd (before it was renamed and combined with Columbia Blvd) over the railroad, across Carey (which used to go along the entire trench), and over to Walker.

  6. There is a good chance this is the intersection of N Clarendon and what used to be N Walker. After 1955 Columbia Blvd was realigned and extended west of Fiske Ave. The old Columbia Blvd became today’s Columbia Ct. , and Walker St. and Swift Blvd. were connected and widened to become the new Columbia Blvd. from that point westward. The widening of Walker St. would have eliminated a number of houses.

    (Image: 1956 Shell street map)

  7. Yes, Robin Thompson, you are absolutely correct! My grandparents bought the ‘old farmhouse’ at 9825 N. Clarendon Ave a year or so before the 1948 Vanport Flood. My mother worked in Vanport and moved to her parents’ home a scant couple of months before the flood. The property at 9825 N Clarendon,at that time included at least 2-3 city lots, had a small barn & other outbuildings. Grandpa rented pasture from the railroad behind his property up to ‘the cut’. I don’t recall how much acreage was involved, but there was a nice stand of mature Douglas Fir, Cedar, Maple,trees, and other native plants & berries. My childhood was spent mostly on that piece of land. Mom bought a small home on Wall Ave in 1950.a few.blocks away. My grandparents kept a couple of milk cows, a horse, & chickens. There was a small orchard & a most spectacular Queen Anne Cheery tree in the front yard. I have photos of that house in its glory days as a family gathering place. Clarendon was a dirt road. Columbia Blvd was a quiet 2-lane paved road. ‘The cut’ added a strange twist to all that bucolic serenity. I’d post a photo of the house if I knew how.

  8. Johnny Carter ~ I don’t recognize where the other photos were taken. They look like they were taken in a more industrialized area. I do remember the N Cecelia roundabout. In summer it was covered with perennial sweet peas – white & rose colored.

  9. I have always wondered where all the soil from the “cut” ended up. I know some the houses on N. Sumner over by Greeley are supposedly sitting on some of it. They are elevated.

  10. Donna, thanks for sharing your personal memory of this very interesting rural/semi-urban area of Portland in the 1950s. Although we didn’t live in that neighborhood, Dad used to drive me around out there, usually on a Saturday afternoon. Maybe he had friends out there — I don’t remember now. These kind of fond memories make Vintage Portland come alive for me. Thanks!

  11. It was an area in massive transition after WWII. In some ways it was the best of two worlds. Columbia Villa housed a diversity of families. Public transit was pretty good, although from where this photo was taken it was about three long blocks to Fessenden to catch a bus into downtown Portland. As teenagers, we got anywhere we wanted to go using pre-metro bus service. Not every high schooler had a vehicle.
    My son says the man in the photo is carrying a shovel. Was he part of a city project?

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