Portland Cable Railway, circa 1890

Here we see the Portland Cable Railway Co. trestle that ran through Portland Heights. In a previous post, we saw the trestle from a different angle. This image is from circa 1890.

Portland Heights cable railway, circa 1890 : A2004-002.6867

Portland Heights cable railway, circa 1890 : A2004-002.6867


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

City Hall, circa 1905

In 2009, Dan Davis started a new blog called Vintage Portland that grew to become a very popular site for a community of people interested in Portland’s history. The City of Portland Archives & Records Center (PARC) is not only a fan of Vintage Portland, we’ve also been quiet collaborators. Dan approached us in 2009 because he was interested in using some of our photos he found in Efiles, our online database. We were delighted to work with Dan as a way to showcase many of the City’s photographs. Our collaboration continued when we approached Dan (and this great community) for help in identifying some of our “mystery” images.

PARC has enjoyed our association with Dan and the Vintage Portland community; and while we are sad that Dan has decided to move away from managing the site, we’re also very excited that Dan has asked us to take over the Vintage Portland site! As of June 23, 2013, PARC will begin administering the Vintage Portland blog and other social media platforms. We are thrilled by the opportunity to continue to engage Vintage Portland followers by featuring the City’s extensive collection of photos. We also plan on inviting other institutions to share some of their photos because there is a rich visual history of Portland held within many local archives. There will be a few changes to the site, mostly cosmetic and procedural. Please let us know if you have any questions about the transition or about the collections in general. Many thanks to Dan and this incredible community he has helped create! We are looking forward to continuing the tradition.


City Hall from 5th Ave and Jefferson St. circa 1905 : A2011-014

City Hall from 5th Ave and Jefferson St. circa 1905 : A2011-014



SW Washington St, 1910

Looking west on SW Washington through its intersection with 3rd Avenue, we can see that streetcar and horse traffic were the main (or maybe only) modes of transportation in downtown Portland in 1910. The Dekum and Spalding Buildings straddle Washington in the foreground, while the Perkins Hotel at 5th Avenue can be identified by its pyramidal roof.

SW Washington looking west from 3rd Ave 1910(City of Portland Archives)

NE Union Ave & Eugene, 1929

Having trouble finding the corner of NE Union and Eugene on your modern maps? That’s because you’d now be looking at NE MLK Blvd and Thompson Street. Before the street renumbering of 1933, Eugene Street ran between Williams and 7th Avenues. Those three blocks became Thompson in 1933.

A2009-009.1813 NE Union & Eugene 1929(City of Portland Archives)

NE Broadway & 9th, 1929

This fine old house was being documented by the city for some unknown reason in 1929. We do know that it no longer sits on the southeast corner of  NE Broadway and 9th Avenue, but it looks like its neighbor to the south fared better.

A2009-009.3264 - Residence NE Broadway and 9th Ave 1929(City of Portland Archives)

W Burnside & 16th

The north side of W. Burnside between 15th and 16th Avenues was a lively hub of commerce in 1917. A newsstand and a barber shop, art, antiques and salvage material, a Saxon automobile dealership, and a garage all shared this block.

A2000-003.34 527 Burnside St  1500 block W Burnside St. 1917(City of Portland Archives)