16 thoughts on “NW Leif Erikson Drive, 1933

  1. Although we had a lively discussion of this construction project (see the “Related” item dated September 23, 2022), it doesn’t look like anyone remarked on the clothing these men were wearing. Fedora hats, for instance, don’t seem practical for protection while loading rocks! Do you suppose it was a “photo op” for the managers?

  2. Google maps doesn’t have a Leif Erikson Drive listed anymore. Did this turn into the Leif Erikson trail at some point?

  3. No. Everyone is in some kind of hat. It probably had more to do with fashion and working out in the weather. A hat with a full brim keeps the rain from running down the back of your neck.

  4. 90 years ago today May 25, 1933 the Oregonian reported that the city council had approved the proposal from the Sons of Norway to change the name of Hillsdale Rd. to Leif Erickson Dr. as part of Portland’s great address and street renaming program of the early 1930’s.

  5. I take it that all the men working here were transported to the job site from the Stanton Yard (i.e. May 22, 2023 VP Photo), in the same trucks they are seen loading the fallen rock debris into. I wonder if the guy with the pirate (skull & crossbones) lunch pail was working here?

    Some of the men have removed their coats and have laid them out on a tree stump or something to keep them out of the mud. A couple of shovels are also seen standing vertically and idle, stuck in the mud.

    The fellow standing above the ladder is certainly taking chances – the guy standing in the road behind the truck is watching him; “Hey, Dennis! Be careful!”

    This would be a tough job, but these men were mostly likely “happy” just to be working, wearing whatever old clothes they had at home to earn a paycheck. Austerity is misery.

  6. Igor—-Leif Erickson Drive the unimproved gravel road was closed to vehicles in 1945 according to news archives, but was reopen to vehicles for one day on July 31, 1955 to travel a 6 1/2 mile portion from the end of NW Thurman to Saltzman Road. Traffic was one way with a 15 mph speed limit from 10 am to 5 pm.

    Oregon Journal August 1, 1955 Leif Erickson Tour Popular
    Interest revived Sunday in one of Portland’s most picturesque areas as 2,262 motorist in 1,019 cars traveled over 6 1/2 miles on NW Leif Erickson Dr. to view the city and the backdrop of Cascade mountains from the 550 foot bluff of Forest park.
    The drive had been closed for 10 years. Cars entered the park at a steady stream during the afternoon, sometimes lining up as far as a block waiting their turn.

    The road was not opened in 1956 from what I can tell since the road had 28 landslides in the spring of 1956. The road did reopen for 1 & 2 day one way trips in 1957, 1958 and 1962. I would think these 1 & 2 day trips ended because of fire danger, and the need for road repair.

  7. @Matthew — you’ll see the answer to your question in the above-mentioned “Related” item. Cheers!

  8. One detail I forget to include. It was estimated that 1,400 dogs took the Leif Erickson Dr. trip.– I can just see all those nose’s sticking out the car window, barking at the other dogs, or just thinking SQUIRREL!

  9. I used to drive Leif Erickson Dr from Thurman to Germantown Rd in the late 70’s. I would never encounter anyone else driving up there. Very nice drive, some good views.

  10. Back in the late 90’s, I would go on patrol with one of the Portland Fire Bureau’s Brush rigs all the way on Leif Erikson drive. It was a summer time, fire watch & it was very peaceful.

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