11 thoughts on “Palm Lunch, circa 1913

  1. The first items I found in the Oregonian mentioning the Palm Lunch restaurant were short want ads for an experienced lunch counter man, kitchen man, dishwasher, and pastrywoman, all to “Call at Palm Lunch, 4th and Yamhill.” The pastrywoman ad was the only one with a description of the duties and pay, “to make pies in small place: $10 a week.” These ran between August and October, 1911.

    In December of the same year, “$200 and only part cash down buys a restaurant that has got a good location on the West Side and is paying good: reason for selling, got 2 places. For further information call at Palm Lunch, 4th and Yamhill location.” (12/3/1911, p. 14)

    A couple of months later (2/20/1912), “$150 cash buys a small lunch counter that clears now $3 a day. For particulars, inquire at Palm Lunch, 4th and Yamhill.”

    That apparently didn’t do the trick, because on March 8 of the same year (p. 21), “$75 down and $125 easy payments buys lunch counter, money-maker: very neat and good location.” (Has the same address for inquiries.)

    The lunch counter received a score of 77.8 in 1914 (2/8, p. 16) in a list under the headline: “153 Restaurants Probed by Bureau: Percentage Score is Based on Sanitary Conditions Found by Inspectors. Highest Mark is 95.8”

    The person placing the Palm Lunch ads may have done other business there. It’s given as the place to go to find out more about “5 ½ acres Beaverdam cheap, $100 will handle.” (5/30/1912 p. 12) and “Sacrifice–$325 will buy my billiard hall, located in good-sized, nearby town…2 pool tables, 2 card tables…[many other items including a stock of cigars], Dirt cheap.” (6/17/1915)

    Four days after the ad about the billiard hall, “Will swap my business, valued at $550, for automobile of same value.” And the usual direction to inquire at Palm Lunch.

    After that, there is a partial scan of the December 8, 1935 issue of the Oregonian (p. 36). The scan says only “PALM LUNCH 129 W. Burnside $150 lunch.” (It’s a poor scan; I’m betting it’s a $1.50 lunch.)

  2. According to a couple of online inflation calculators I’ve just consulted, $10 in 1911 would now be around $300 and $150 in the year or so after that would be around $4500.

  3. I wonder if that’s George Horton on the left?

    Two of the men are wearing old-style starched collared dress shirts, and two are wearing sleeve garters.

    Those mighty long aprons would protect their trousers pretty well, so they would have to wash ’em as much.

    I’d want the young kid in the middle to take my order.

    I’d be curious to know what is printed behind the men on and below the window.

    The notices tacked up outside on the window frame and the reflections off the window are amusing.

    I think I see a cash register set inside the doorway.

  4. The US Census shows more than one George Horton in Portland, but George Weller Horton would have been 30 years old in 1913 so perhaps he is the man on the left. He list his occupation on US Census as follows. 1910 cook — 1920 -1940 proprietor restaurant. Mr. Horton died in July 1949.

  5. Kudos, Dennis! When I tried to find out more about Horton, I found a lot of men with the name, including a postmaster in Oregon City who had also been a Clackamas County clerk, a pitcher and captain of a local baseball team, a switch engine operator, among others. None of them were George W. though. You did a great job!

    Did you find the death notice for George W. in the Oregonian on July 12, 1948 which listed his address as 1728 SE 43rd, and his widow as Lulu Horton?

  6. Liz I did not find an obit for George W Horton when he died in 1949, only the funeral notice. I checked on his widow Lulu and did find a short obit for her in the Oregonian on May 14, 1991. Lulu was living in California when she die at 97 yrs. old. She married George on Valentine’s Day 1913, so we may be looking at a newlywed in this photo, she also helped George with his restaurants. With the info you found I think it may be possible that 1910 cook George Horton bought Palm Lunch on SW 4th and launched his life as a restaurateur with Lulu.

  7. Liz — In the Oregon Journal on February 16, 1914 on page 9 listed that George & Lulu had optioned a marriage license. Lulu may have gotten the year wrong, but I bet she remembered it was Valentine’s Day.

  8. Just a guess, but from left to right, Owner, server, server, busser and dishwasher by looking at their “uniforms”.

  9. My great grandfather was a singer during this years my mother would talk about his apron he would wear for ice cream socials after and how inconvenient the length was for others while he was an unusually tall man in those days.

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