Ad for mail-order leisure suits, from the August 1st 1976 Oregonian.
THE RESIDENTS on Mount Tabor laugh at MALARIA. No case has ever been known to originate on that most healthful of buttes. Hundreds have been cured by temporary residence there. It is not the MALARIA inhaled during the hours of active business life that kills. It is malaria absorbed during the hours of rest. Slavin, the Panama contractor, anchored his men three miles at sea every night and saved their lives whilst DEATH RAN RIOT amongst those ashore. When in the summer months the residents of Portland fly to the seaside or elsewhere, the people at MOUNT TABOR enjoy their fruits and flowers and an Italian summer, and laugh at the fears of Portlanders, and THANK GOD that they do not have to desert their homes, since THERE IS NO MALARIA ON MOUNT TABOR.
Here’s a photo of the shiny new Central Plaza parking garage under construction at SW 4th & Alder, back when cars were king and businessmen wore jaunty hats. April 11th, 1965. This seems to have been the city’s first big multistory parking garage; a later article about downtown parking (12/30/1967) talks as if it was still the only big parking garage at that point, and refers to it as the “gem” of downtown’s parking options. The 1967 article is an interesting time capsule of the city business scene at the time. Apparently business was looking up and retailers were feeling optimistic, after getting a scare a few years earlier when the Lloyd Center Mall opened over on the eastside. Businesses gave out “Park & Shop” stamps that were good for discounted (but apparently not free) parking. And the parking lot magnates who were interviewed seemed bullish about future prospects, saying the public’s “new affluence” made them willing to drop a little extra cash on a convenient parking spot. All this sunny optimistic talk really makes me want a time machine. So long as it’s a two way trip, I mean.
An unbuilt 1974 proposal would have created a “Central Plaza South” parking structure one block south, with the two connected by a skybridge, part of a larger skybridge network that would have allowed shoppers to visit the downtown Newberry’s, Meier & Frank, and Lipmann’s department stores without ever setting foot outside at ground level. I’m always fascinated by alternate grand visions like this. The articles mention there was a great deal of handwringing about preserving street-level retail, which is probably why this was never built. One of the 1974 articles lists the businesses occupying the block at the time, which is kind of a time capsule in itself:
Presently doing business on the property are the Blue Mouse Theater, 4th Avenue Smoke Shop, Capitol Barber Shop, Tummy Tamer doughnut shop, Third Avenue Smoke Shop, Stockmen’s Club, Angel’s Jewels, Grand Oasis Tavern, Oriental Gift Shop, Olympic Sauna & Bath, and the Soup Kitchen. Storage space is also involved.
Two GIs peeling potatoes at the Oregon National Guard encampment in Portland’s Duniway Park, March 23rd 1944.
Roller Derby Debuts in Portland, October 4th 1938. "Dervishes to Whirl", a full page story about the new sport, ran on October 2nd, and ads ran daily in the paper for weeks before and after the sport’s October 4th debut.
As if this wasn’t hipsteresque enough, I’d like to draw your attention to a detail in the third screenshot. See where we’re told to listen to radio station KALE for roller derby news? That isn’t ‘shopped. We really did have a radio station called KALE in 1938, and they did, in fact, cover roller derby. And this was before roller derby was famous, too.
There’s something about the Oregonian database that makes cyclical theories of history seem compelling.
Coupon in the June 3rd, 1909 Oregonian: Good for 10% off any lot in Westmoreland. Seriously, an actual coupon for 10% off real estate. NOTE: This coupon expired on June 15th, 1909. Trying to use it now would probably not work out so well. Very cool “Westmoreland” logo though.
Ad in the May 16th, 1909 Oregonian: Beaverton-Reedville Acreage - “The Pasadena of Oregon”. The idea here was that you could grow fruit and nut trees in Beaverton & Reedville, which is what Pasadena was famous for back then. Maybe not oranges and almonds, but fruits and nuts certainly. There were still a few working filbert, I mean, hazelnut orchards in the Reedville area in the late 1970s & early 1980s, when lived there as a kid.
A fun thing about this ad is that it’s advertising farmland with easy mass transit access to downtown, five trains daily on the old Fourth Street Railway. Sigh.
The developer, “Shaw-Fear Company”, may have given its name to present-day Shaw St., which runs immediately south of the railroad through much of Beaverton & Aloha. FWIW.
Cheesy commercial for 1-976-GABB. Portland “social media”, circa 1990. #pdx
"Fastest Mile Ever Made on Track". June 23rd, 1907. The previous day, famous early race car driver Barney Oldfield broke a world land speed record right here at Portland’s old Irvington racetrack, covering a mile in just 52.4 seconds, a bit over 68 miles per hour.
"State Police Raid Narcotic Farm", September 17th 1931. Heh. *snort* *giggle*
The accompanying page 1 story explains that a farmer near Goble, OR (on the lower Columbia, near Rainier) had been growing a certain “Mexican narcotic” on his property. The state police had never seen it before and called in botanists to identify it, before seizing and burning the plants. They estimated the total crop at around two tons. Two TONS.
The article ends by listing off some contemporary prices:
Stripped and dried, the drug brought Welter and Flores $2 a pound, the officers said. It is retailed in Portland to addicts at $2.50 for a pocket-size tobacco tin and 25 cents for a single cigarette, they said.