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IN this chapter we shall attempt to furnish a record of the improvements made in the city during consecutive years, giving statistics of population, of the various industries, and of the buildings erected. While aiming to neglect nothing that is important, we shall try to avoid unnecessary or cumbrous details, and while not expecting this portion of the work to cover all the facts that might be gathered, we hope to make it at least intelligible, and for those who are fond of hard statistics, of considerable value.
In the department of commerce, of transportation, and manufacturing, this chapter will be found but partially filled, since the importance of the growth of our shipping, of navigation companies and facilities on our river, the building of railroads and the construction of manufactories, have been considered of so much interest as to require for each a separate chapter. The reader is therefore referred elsewhere for a more minute account in these special fields.
From preceding pages it has already been learned that in 1850 the town was of the most shabby construction. There were at that time no brick buildings and only two or three frame houses which presented anything like an architectural appearance. There were but two houses which were plastered, that of Mr. Pettygrove on Front street, and that of Capt. Crosby on Second street. Carter's store on Front street was one of the pretentious buildings of the time, being two stories high, but its finishing on the outside was only riven weather-boarding. In the matter of hotels and lodging houses the accommodations were but of the most primitive character. There was the old California house on Front street, and on Jefferson street one Dennis Harty kept a small boarding-house. A boarding-house by a Mrs. Apperson also accommodated the more staid bachelor [page 140] population. The old Canton House was built in 1851 by Stephen Coffin, a two story structure of fairly decent appearance and of respectable finish. It was subsequently turned into the American Exchange Hotel and served many years for the purpose of a lodging house. It is now standing at the foot of Jefferson street, one of the few relics of the early day.
The substantiality of a town may be inferred from the sort of material which its capitalists are willing to put into the walls of its structures. Canvas and battens serve for a mining camp, or for some uncertain frontier village. Clapboards and white paint and chimneys denote more hope of permanence, while brick and stone and iron show that it is not only for the present, but for coming generations also, that the city has been established. Portland was wholly of wood until 1853. In this year W. S. Ladd was so far willing to bank upon the future as to construct a building of brick. Mr. Lucien Snow and D. C. Coleman soon followed his example. Mr. Ladd's was that now occupied by Beach & Armstrong; a substantial structure of decent appearance and commodious for the transaction of business. It has been in constant use up to the present time, and while not exactly ornamental or imposing, is not at all discreditable to the business portion of the place. Mr. Snow was a Maine man, having the thrift and enterprise of New England, and Mr. Coleman was a brother; of the wealthy merchant of San Francisco of that name.
For the following complete list of brick buildings for the decade, 1850-'60, we are indebted to Mr. Edward Failing, well known as a leading citizen and merchant; whose memory covers the entire period and whose interest in our city insures the accuracy of his recollection. The estimated cost of the earlier structures is given, and where not otherwise specified, but one story may be understood.
1853-W. S. Ladd, 103 Front street, between Stark and Washington; D. C. Coleman, southeast corner Front and Oak (Cost $9500); Lucien Snow, Front street, between Pine and Oak; F. B. Miles & Co., southwest corner Front and Pine (Cost $13,500).
1854--Blumauer Bros., Front street, between Washington and Alder (afterwards owned by Cohen & Lyon); J. Kohn & Co., Front street, between Stark and Washington, next south of Ladd's; Geo. L. Story, Front street, between Stark and [page 141] Washington, next north of Lad's; P. Raleigh, southwest corner Front and Stark (2 stories); J. Failing & Co., southeast corner First and Oak, small brick ware-house.
1855-L. Snow & Co., one-story brick next north of the store built in 1853. 1856-Sellers & Friendly, 89 Front street, between Oak and Stark.
1857 Holman & Harker, Front street, between Morrison and Yamhill; Baum & Bro., 87 Front, between Oak and Stark; Benjamin Stark, (3 stories) 91 Front, between Oak and Stark; Hallock & McMillen, (2 stories) northwest corner Front and Oak; M. Weinshank, 2 stores each one-story, Front street, between Ash and Pine.
1858-H. W. Corbett, (2 stories) southwest corner Front and Oak; Benj. Stark, (3 stories) 93 Front street, between Oak and Stark; Allen & Lewis, (2 stories) northeast corner Front and B; E. J. Northup, northwest corner Front and Vain-hill; A. D. Fitch & Co., next door north of Northrup; Seymour & Joynt, (2 stories) Front, between Washington and Alder; A. R. Shipley & Co., (2 stories) Front,. next south of S. & J,; A. D. Shelby, (2 stories) 105 First, between Washington and Alder.
1859-Failings & Hatt, (2 stories) 83 Front street, between Oak and Stark; Geo. H. Flanders, (2 stories); Old Masonic Hall, southeast corner Front and B; A. D. Shelby, (2 stories) 103 First, between Washington and Alder, north of his store built in 1858.
1860-Harker Bros., (2 stories) next south of Holman & Harker built in 1857; Pat. Raleigh, (3 stories) southeast corner First and Stark; H. Wasserman, (2 stories) Front, between Washington and Alder; Weil Bros., (2 stories) Front, next south of Wasserman; A. D. Shelby, (2 stories) southwest corner First and Washington.
Elegant residences were built quite early. First among these was that of H. W. Corbett, in 1854, on Fifth street, between Yamhill and Taylor, which was replaced by a more costly structure in 1876. Mr. C. H. Lewis erected an attractive mansion in 1863. Capt. Couch's old residence on Fourth street, on the west side of Conch's lake, near H street--still remaining--was built still earlier.
In 1852 the steamboats serving on the river were the Willamette owned by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, on the route to Astoria to connect with the ocean steamers of that line, which did not at first attempt to ascend to Portland; the Lot Whitcomb, the Multnomah, the James P. Flint, the Washington and the Eagle, running to or connecting with various points on the lower Columbia and Willamette. The still older steamers, Columbia, Black Hawk and Major Redding were worn out, and their machinery was converted to other uses. [page 142]
In 1854 the steam saw mill. was destroyed by fire, introducing a minus sign before the improvements. But there had been activity since 1851 in multiplying structures of all kinds, so that when in 1855 a census was taken Portland was shown to contain four churches, one academy, one public school, one steam flour mill, four steam saw mills, four printing offices, two express offices, four physicians' and six lawyers' offices, two dentists, five cabinet shops, three bakeries, four stove and tin stores, two tailoring establishments, two jewelers, four blacksmith shops, one foundry, three wagon-makers, six painters, two boat-builders, six livery stables, twelve hotels and boarding-houses, three butchers, six saloons, two bowling alleys, one book store, one drug store, one photograph gallery, one shoe store, one candy manufacturer and "a few cigar stores." There were also, besides these, twenty-five establishments dealing in dry goods, groceries, etc., together with ten engaged exclusively in dry goods, and seven in groceries only. The assessed value of property, both real and personal, was one million one hundred and ninety-five thousand and thirty-four dollars.
In 1854 Multnomah county was set off from Washington, being granted a separate government, on December 23d of that year. This gave our city a little more importance as county seat and was greatly to the convenience of our lawyers and the county officials of Portland, who had hitherto gone to Hillsboro in Washington county on county business and to attend court.
During 1855 and '56 the Indian war was raging with bloody violence upon the frontiers, and carried uncertainty into almost every department of business. Portland as a supply point for the armies of the territory, which were scattered throughout the Columbia basin, presented a scene of vast activity. Troops were moving to and fro through her streets; a general camp and headquarters were made at East Portland; distinguished men, such as Gov. Curry, General Stevens and General Wool, were frequently seen in the city, while our intrepid volunteer Colonels, Nesmith, Kelly and Cornelius, either taking out their troops, armed rudely with pistols, knives, shot-guns and rifles, and clad and mounted according to their own means and taste, or bringing back their worn and battered battalions [page 143] from tiresome and often unsatisfactory pursuit of the savages, are even yet bright in the memory of our people. Such unknown little officers as Sheridan could not yet be distinguished from the rest of the boys in blue. Less was felt at Portland of the war in Southern Oregon, where Col. Chapman, Col. Kelsey, Gen. Limerick, Major Bruce and General Ross, with other brave men, were "rounding up" and bringing to punishment the oft times wronged, but nevertheless wholly untamed and untrustworthy savages of the Umpqua and Rogue river. But though this military activity stimulated business to a certain extent, it was not a productive or progressive period, and little building was done.
The assessed value of property in 1857 was one million one hundred and three thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine dollars. It is not to be supposed that there was natural shrinkage of nearly two hundred thousand dollars in two years, as the figures would seem to show, but merely a lower assessment. Nevertheless, the increase in property could not have been very great. The population of this year is placed at twelve hundred and eighty. At the election of 1858 the vote polled was four hundred and sixty. In 1859 the first daily paper was issued, The Portland Daily News, published by S. A. English & Co. The life of this journal was not of long duration, and it was in no way connected with the publication of the same name in more recent years. In 1859 there was also erected the first really handsome dwelling house. This was the residence of W. S. Ladd, built from the model of a house seen by him during his travels at the East. It was situated on Jefferson street and Sixth, occupying an entire block, and was from the first noticeable for the elegance of its appearance, its commanding site and tasteful grounds. As improved in 1878, it is one of the most substantial of Portland's many beautiful residences.
In 1860 The Oregon Times became a daily, and The Oregonian in 1861.
By the school enrollment of 1860 it was found that the children of school age numbered six hundred and ninety-one. The total population was two thousand nine hundred and seventeen, of which there were sixteen colored and twenty-seven Chinese. The great flood [page 144] of the Willamette in 1861, the highest on record until that of 1890, did some damage to wharves and other buildings along the city front, but occasioned no serious loss. The asylum for the insane was established during the summer of this year on the west side of the river, under the management of Drs. Hawthorne and Loryea. A few years later it was removed to a beautiful site in East Portland, where it remained until the destruction of the building by fire a number of years afterwards.
In June of 1862--the second result of the heavy snow fall of the winter before--the Willamette rose to a great height from the flood in the Columbia, inundating the lower part of the town, but doing but little real damage. In 1861-62 the assessed valuation of property was two millions eighty-nine thousand and four hundred and twenty dollars.
Discovery of mines in Idaho and Eastern Oregon greatly stimulated navigation on the Willamette and Columbia, and as many as twenty steamers were plying in 1862 on these rivers. In that year the population, as determined by the' city directory, rose to four thousand and fifty-seven. Of these, seven hundred are reckoned as transient, fifty-two colored, and fifty-three Chinese. The Oregonian of that year remarked that the increase in wealth and population had been of the most substantial character. "Eighteen months ago," it said, any number of houses could be obtained for use, but to-day scarcely a shell can be found to shelter a family. Rents are up to an exhorbitant figure, many houses contain two or more families, and the hotels and boarding-houses are crowded almost to overflowing. The town is full of people and more are coming in. Buildings are going up in all parts of Portland, streets graded and planked, wharves stretching their proportions along the levees, and a general thrift and busy hum greet the ear, or attract the attention of a stranger upon every street and corner." "Substantial school-houses, capacious churches, wharves, mills, manufactories and workshops, together with brick buildings stores and dwelling houses and street improvements," are referred to in the city directory. As for occupations the following list is given: Three apothecaries, four auctioneers, three brewers, two bankers; six billiard rooms, two confectioners, five [page 145] dentists, twelve restaurants, fourteen hotels, twenty-two lawyers, five livery stables, twenty-eight manufacturers, eleven physicians, eight wholesale and fifty-five retail liquor dealers, forty-five wholesale and ninety-one retail dealers in general merchandise, two wholesale and eight retail grocers.
During 1863 a long step toward improvement was the organization of the Portland and Milwaukie macadamized road, with A, B. Richardson as president, Henry Failing secretary, and W. S. Ladd treasurer of the Board of Directors. The shipping lists of the steamers show large exports of treasure, one hundred thousand dollars. two hundred and forty thousand dollars, and even seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars being reported for single steamers. Six thousand to seven thousand boxes of apples were also reported at a single shipment. The old side wheel river steamer John H. Couch for many years so familiar a figure on the lower Columbia, was launched this year. The principal building was that of the Presbyterian church, at the corner of Third and Washington streets. The laying of the corner stone was observed with due ceremony, Rev. P. S. Caffrey officiating, assisted by Reverends Pearne and Cornelius. A new school-house of the congregation of Beth Israel, was opened this year. The arrival of thirty-six thousand pounds of wire for the Oregon and California telegraph line showed the interest in telegraphic communication with the outside world. The assessed valuation of property was three million two hundred and twenty-six thousand two hundred and sixty dollars. The day of independence was observed with great ceremony this year, the United States Military Department, under Brigadier General Alvord, from Vancouver, and the Fire Department and other societies of Portland uniting their efforts to make an imposing parade, while the evening was made resplendent with fireworks. To the country people who thronged the city this was new and imposing, and the imagination of none had yet extended to so lofty a flight as the illumination of the snow-capped mountains, as in recent years, to close the display. A spirited address by Hon. Amory Holbrook, in a time when the scream of the eagle meant something more than lifeless platitudes, added to the inspiration of [page 146] the hour. The capitulation of Vicksburg was also celebrated a short time afterwards by a torchlight procession. There was no lack of patriotism in those days.
In 1864 much expansion was noticed. Grading and draining of the streets was largely undertaken. The Presbyterian church was finished at a cost of twenty thousand dollars and was called the finest structure in the State. The Catholic church was improved to an extent of two thousand dollars. J. L. Parrish erected. a three-story brick building, fifty by one hundred feet, on the corner of Front and Washington streets. A house was built by the city for the Columbia Engine Company No. 3, on Washington street, at a cost of six thousand dollars. The lot cost two thousand dollars. Two new hotels, the What Cheer House and the new Columbian, were built, and older ones such as Arrigoni's, the Western, the Howard House, the Pioneer and Temperance House were improved. A considerable number of stores and dwelling houses were also put up. The greatest improvement, however, was the O. S. N. Company's dock on the water front between Pine and Ash streets. It was necessitated by the increasing traffic with Idaho and the upper Columbia. There was not hitherto a dock to accommodate vessels at all stages of the water. This new wharf was accordingly built with two stories, the upper being fifteen feet above the other. The lower wharf was two hundred and fifty feet long by one hundred and sixty wide; the upper, two hundred by one hundred and twenty, thus occupying the entire front of one block. For this work there were used sixty thousand feet of piles and timber, five hundred thousand feet of sawed plank, fifty tons of iron, two hundred and twenty-five thousand shingles, two thousand eight hundred perch of rock, and six hundred barrels of cement. The work was completed from plans of J. W. Brazee and supervised by John D' Orsay. The cost was fifty thousand dollars. The wharf and buildings of Couch and Flanders, in the northern part of the city were improved, bringing their value up to forty thousand dollars. The river front was not then as now a continuous series of docks, and these structures made an even more striking appearance than later ones far more pretentious and valuable. In order to prevent delay and vexation in the arrival of ocean vessels, a [page 147] call was made for money to deepen the channel of the lower Willamette, and was met by double the sum named. The improvements were soon undertaken with great vigor. Five thousand dollars were spent in grading and improving the public square between Third and Fourth streets on Main. With the general leveling of the irregularities of the surface of the city and the removal of stumps more effort was made to adorn the streets and door yards with trees and shrubbery, and to make handsome lawns. The surroundings of the city were, however, still wild, and the shattered forests seemed excessively rude, having no more the grace and stateliness of nature, and having not yet given away altogether to the reign of art.
The population was now five thousand eight hundred and nineteen; there were one thousand and seventy-eight frame buildings, fifteen one-story, thirty-seven two-story and seven three-story brick buildings-one thousand one hundred and thirty-seven of all kinds.
There were seven wharves in the city; Abernethy's, at the foot of Yamhill street; Carter's, at the foot of Alder; Knott's, on Water, between Taylor and Salmon; Pioneer at the foot of Washington, owned by Coffin & Abrams; Vaughn's, at the foot of Morrison; the O. S. N. wharf, between Ash and Pine streets, and the Portland wharf of Couch & Flanders, in North Portland, at the foot of C and D.
There were thirty-eight dealers in dry goods and general merchandise, thirteen grocers, ten meat markets, four dealers in produce and provisions, three drug stores, fifteen physicians, four dentists, twenty-eight attorneys, three book-sellers, thirteen hotels.
The hotels were for the most part on Front street, showing the as yet comparative cheapness of land along this thoroughfare. There were the Mansion House, at1 143 Front street; the Farmer's House, 169 Front street; What Cheer House, 126, 128 and 130 Front street; The Union Hotel, 131 Front street; The Shakspeare House, 25 Front street; The Franklin House on Front near Vine; The Howard House, No. 5 North Front; The New York Hotel, No. 17 North Front; the Pioneer and Temperance House on the corner of Front and Washington; The Western Hotel, at 13 and 15 Morrison street: the Miner's Home, at the corner of First and Taylor. [page 148]
As dealers in hardware may be named J. R. Foster & Co., E. J. Northrup and G. W. Vaughn, doing business between Taylor and Salmon, on Front street, and H. W. Corbett and Henry Failing at the present site of the business of Corbett, Failing & Co., on Front, at the corner of Oak. There were also three houses engaged in the furniture business-Lowenstein & Co., at 138 First street; Hurgren & Shindler, at 97 First street, and W. F. Wilcox, at 207 Front street. The real estate agents, now omnipresent and legion, were represented by the single firm of Parrish & Holman. Plumbers were represented by a single name, C. H. Myers, 110 First street. Hatters had but one name, A. J. Butler at 72 Front street, while saddlers had four, J. B. Congle, 88 Front street; H. Kingsley &Reese, 100 First street; Wm. Kern, 228 Front street, and S. Sherlock & Co. 52 Front street. There were as many as eight livery stables-those of Bennett & White, at 116 Second street; M. Patton, on Salmon near Front; R. E. Wiley, corner First and Taylor; Sherry Ross, 165 First street; N. Gray, on Front near Clay; W. R. Hill, on the corner of Front and Market; R. J. Ladd, at 31 Washington, and L. P. W. Quimby, at 63 Second street. There seems to have been a demand for transfer business and numbers of draymen or companies had a license for express work. Many of them, however, were simply delivery wagons. There were forty-six places for the sale of liquor. The photographers were W. W. Davis, at 99 First street; Hack & Dobson, at 107½ Front street; B. H. Hendee, at the corner of Washington and Front, and A. B. Woodard & Co., at No. 5 Morrison street. The printers had three firms, R. D. Austin, at 27 Washington street; William D. Carter, at 73 Front street, and A. G. Walling, at No. 5 Washington street. S. J. McCormick published the Oregon Almanac, 105 Front street; H. L. Pittock, The Oregonian, at No. 5 Washington. The Pacific Christian Advocate was published at No. 5. Washington by the Methodist Church, and the Evening Tribune at 27 Washington street by VanCleave & Ward.
There were salt depots on Front street, a soap factory operated by W. L. Higgins, on Front street near Clay, and a turpentine manufactory by T. A. Wood & Co., near the same site. Carson & Porter, at 208 Front street, and J. P. Walker, at 230 Front Street, foot of Jefferson operated sash and door factories. [page 149]
The total exports of 1864 reached eight millions seventy-nine thousand six hundred and thirty-one dollars. It is to be remembered, however, that the most of this was gold dust from Idaho, and the price of produce was far in excess of that at present.
During 1865 a steady forward movement was felt. Some of the streets were macadamized, and some were laid with Nicholson pavement. A factory for furnishing staves, heads and hoops ready to be set up into barrels, for the Sandwich Island trade, was established in North Portland. The court house on Fourth and Salmon streets, a handsome building of somewhat massive proportions, two stories in height with dome, and built of brick and stone, was erected at a cost of seventy-five thousand dollars. A public school-house was erected on Harrison street, at a cost of seven thousand dollars. The old Central public school on Sixth street, between Morrison and Yamhill, was until this time the only building to accommodate the thousand or more ' children of school age. There were, however, other educational institutions in the city; as St. Mary's Academy, on Fourth street, between Mill and Market, with an attendance of one hundred and fifty pupils; St. Joseph's day school, at the corner of Third and Oak streets, with one hundred pupils; Portland Academy and Female Seminary, on Seventh street, between Jefferson and Columbia, having one hundred and fifty pupils; the Beth Israel school, at the corner of Sixth and Oak with sixty-five pupils; a private school by Miss M. A. Hodgson, a lady of culture from Massachusetts and now long known as an educator in our State, and a Commercial Academy in the Parrish building on Front street. For a further and fully connected account of schools from the first the reader is referred to the special chapter on schools.
Of brick buildings made in 1865, Cahn & Co's, at 37 Front street, extending to First; Wilberg's two-story building on Front street; Moffett's on Front, and that of Wakefield, Glenn and others on Front, were the most prominent and represented a considerable outlay of money. Cree's building at the corner of Stark and Front, built in 1862, may be mentioned, A broom factory, a match factory, the Willamette Iron Works, and the First National Bank were established this year. To these may be added [page 150] Vaughn's flour mill on Front and Main streets, an expensive and imposing building, costing about fifty thousand dollars. About thirty-five thousand dollars was spent on street improvements.
The total value of exports was seven millions six hundred and six thousand five hundred and twenty-four dollars, the most of it being gold dust. To form commercial communication with San Francisco, there were two lines of ocean steamers, one running the Sierra Nevada and the Oregon, and the other the Orizaba and the Pacific. Of these the Orizaba was the largest, registering fourteen hundred tons. To Victoria the Active was run under the command of Captain Thorn. There were sailing vessels also to San Francisco, some of which were later run to the Sandwich Islands. These were the bark Jane A. Falkenberg, of six hundred tons; the bark H. W. Almy of six hundred tons; the bark Almatia, of seven hundred tons; the bark W. B. Scranton, of seven hundred tons; the bark, Samuel Merrit, of five hundred and fifty tons; the bark Live Yankee, of seven hundred tons. To the Sandwich Islands, also, there were then running the barks A. A. Aldridge, of four hundred tons, and the Comet, seven hundred tons.
Of the steamboat lines on the river there were now in operation the following three: The Oregon Steam Navigation Company, running to Astoria the J. H. Couch, with fare at $6.00 and the freight at $6.00 per ton; to Monticello, the Cowlitz or the Rescue, fare $3.00 and freight $4.00; to the Dalles, the New World, Wilson G. Hunt, the Cascade, Julia, Oneonta, Idaho and Iris, with fare at $6.00 and freight at $15; above the Dalles, the steamers Owyhee, Spray, Okanagon, Webfoot, Yakima, Tenino and Nez Perces Chief, with fare to Lewiston at $22.00 and freight at $60.00 per ton. These were the balmy days of river travel, the steamers being crowded and a small fortune being made at every trip. The People's Transportation Company confined itself to the Willamette and ran the Senator and Rival below Oregon City and the Fanny Patton and others above the falls. The independent steamer Fanny Troup ran to Vancouver, and on the Willamette above Canemah there were the Union and the Echo. The Willamette Steam Navigation Company, still another line, ran the Alert and the Active on the Willamette. These Willamette [page 151] crafts, having no competition from railroads, also did a fair business. The population of Portland in 1865 was six thousand and sixty-eight. The occupations represented are illustrated by the following list: Of apothecaries, four; architects and civil engineers, four; assayers, three; auctioneers, three; bankers, four; billiard rooms, six; bakers, two; contractors and builders, seven; brokers, eight; butchers, seventeen; dentists, three; restaurants, five; hotels, sixteen; insurance agents, three; lawyers, twenty-three; livery stables, seven; manufactures, sixty-three; photographers, five; physicians and surgeons, fifteen; plumbers, two; real estate agents, three; retail dealers in merchandise, one hundred and thirty-three; retail liquor dealers, one hundred and five; theatre, one; wholesale merchants, thirty-nine; wholesale liquor dealers, twelve. There was assayed gold dust valued at two million nine hundred and thirty-four thousand one hundred and sixty-seven dollars. These are the figures of a busy little city. The number of voters was one thousand seven hundred and twenty-three.
During 1866 numerous brick buildings were erected, the most prominent among them being the block of the O. S. N. Co., adjacent to their wharf at the foot of Pine and Ash streets, and the structure of Charles M. Carter on First and Alder streets. By the Oregon Herald the latter was called one of the finest buildings in the State and equal to the elegant buildings of San Francisco.
From the foundation to the top of the fire wall it measured eighty-one feet and was three stories in height; the cost was fifty thousand dollars and the finish was elegant. This building was destroyed by fire in December, 1872. The Court House was finished in 1866. A correspondent of the San Francisco Bulletin, whose grace and humor of style as a newspaper writer would hardly betray his devotion to the knotty problems of applied law, writes of a view from the cupola of this building. After describing the scenery of the mountains and lands surrounding, he says : "But to return to Portland. On every side of me I saw its varied and sometimes motley structures of wood and brick, densely packed together, and edging out toward the limits of the natural site of the city-a green semi-circle of irregular shaped fir clad hills, on the west and south, [page 152] and the water of the bright Willamette, curving outwardly from the north to the south. A radius of a mile from where I stood would not more than reach the verge of the town. Across the Willamette, and upon its east bank, I could count the houses and orchards in the suburban village of East Portland. This place is yet half town and half country, but it is destined at no distant day to furnish an abundance of cheap and comfortable homes to the thrifty and industrious artisans and laborers whose hands are daily turning this raw clay and growing timber into temples and habitations for civilized man. "
It was in 1866, also, that the Oregon Iron Company's Works were begun at Oswego, with a capacity of ten tons per twenty-four hours. W. S. Ladd was president and H. C. Leonard vice-president of the company.
The assessed value of property was four million one hundred and ninety-nine thousand one hundred and twenty-five dollars. The export of produce reached the following figures : Flour, one hundred and forty-nine thousand and seventy-five dollars; salmon, twenty-one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four dollars; bacon, seventy thousand and sixteen dollars; apples, sixty-eight thousand eight hundred and sixty dollars; wool, sixty-six thousand eight hundred and forty dollars; making an aggregate of four hundred and fifty-five thousand four hundred and fifty-seven dollars. The shipment of gold dust, bars, etc., reached the large sum of eight million seventy thousand and six hundred dollars, which, it is possible, was an over estimate.
The screw steamship Montana and the side-wheeler Oriflamme appeared on the line to San Francisco, and the little screw steamer Fideliter to Victoria. The population was six thousand five hundred and eight, of whom three hundred and twenty-four were Chinese.
During 1867 there began in earnest agitation .for a railroad through the Willamette Valley to Portland, a full account of which appears elsewhere. Propositions were made by the newly-formed railroad companies that the city guarantee interest on bonds to the value of one million dollars, and a committee appointed by the City Council made a favorable report, setting forth the advantage to the [page 153] farmers and the country towns of cheap transportation to the seaport and the reciprocal advantage to the city from increased trade and commerce. The movements of the time, of which this was a sign, stimulated building and the sale of real estate. The Methodist Church erected on the corner of Third and Taylor streets, a brick edifice in the English Gothic style with ground dimensions fifty-six by eighty-two feet. It was to have a seating capacity of twelve hundred and supported a tower with a spire reaching a hundred and fifty feet above the ground. It cost thirty thousand dollars. A school house, with a main part fifty-six by eighty feet and two wings, each twelve by forty feet, was built for the North Portland School, between C and D streets. The Bank of British Columbia erected a substantial building on Front street. Brick stores were constructed by Dr. E. Poppleton and others on First street. The Unitarian Church erected an edifice, the tenth church building in the city, on Seventh and Yamhill streets.
Exports of produce and merchandise reached the value of two million four hundred and sixty-two thousand seven hundred and ninety-three dollars. The great apparent increase over 1866 was due in part to a more perfect record kept, but also to actual improvement. The shipment of gold dust fell to four million and one thousand dollars. The screw steamships Ajax and Continental appeared on the San Francisco line-the Pacific and Orizaba having been drawn off and the Brother Jonathan wrecked some time before. The river was much improved at Swan Island. The population of the city for this year was estimated at six thousand seven hundred and seventeen.
In 1868 the railroad company began work, the west side breaking ground April 15th and the east side two days later. During this year also an independent commerce sprang up with New York, and the way was opened for direct export of grain to Europe. The iron works of the city began to command the trade in the supply of mining machinery for the Idaho and Eastern Oregon companies. The sawmill of Smith, Hayden & Co., on the corner of Front and Madison streets, was improved so as to cut twenty-four thousand feet of lumber per day, and that of Estes, Simpson & Co., on Front [page 154] Street, was enlarged to a capacity of twenty thousand feet. The handsomest building of this year was that of Ladd & Tilton, for the Oregon Bank, at the corner of First and Stark streets. It occupied an entire lot fifty by one hundred feet, and was built in two stories upon a basement seven feet in height. The material of its construction was brick, with ornamental iron work, and the pilasters on Doric bases with Corinthian capitals. Upon the interior it was finished with lavish elegance, and the whole cost of the structure was about seventy thousand dollars.
On the corner of Front and Morrison streets was built a four story brick structure by R. D. White. This was originally intended as partly a business house and partly as a hotel, but has now been converted wholly to the latter use. Buildings of brick were erected on Front street by Moffit & Strowbridge, and A. P. Ankeny and others; and on First street by Goodnough & Holmes and Goldsmith Bros. A fire-proof brick building for a sash and door factory was built by Mr. John P. Walker, to replace a wooden structure which had previously served the purpose, but had now been destroyed by fire. Over four hundred dwelling houses were erected, "And yet," says The Oregonian, "you will find that there are no desirable houses to rent. The great and increasing growth and improvement of our city is no chimera." Indeed, during this year Portland was experiencing one of those waves of prosperity by which she has been advancing to her present eminence.
The exports of the year reached a value of two million seven hundred and eighty thousand four hundred and eight dollars, requiring the services of nine steamers and thirty sailing vessels. The assessed value of property was four million six hundred thousand seven hundred and sixty dollars. Real estate transactions reached a volume of one hundred and forty-three thousand eight hundred and forty-six dollars. The price paid for the lot on the corner of First and Alder streets by the Odd Fellows was twenty-two thousand five hundred dollars. The shipments of treasure and bullion were three million six hundred and seventy-seven thousand eight hundred and fifty dollars. The population was seven thousand nine hundred and eighty. [page 155]
In 1869 an Immigration Exchange was formed, by which information as to the resources and opportunities of Oregon was disseminated abroad, and employment was found for laborers. In the line of buildings there were erected seven of brick, aggregating a cost of $172,000, and twelve large frame buildings costing altogether $58,000; while many smaller ones were built, making a total of about $400,000. The most conspicuous of these was the Odd Fellows' building at the corner of First and Alder streets, three stories in height, and costing $40, 000; the United States building for Court House, Customs House and Post Office were begun on a scale to cost three hundred thousand dollars. The reservoir of the Water Works Company on Sixth street, with a capacity of three million five hundred thousand gallons, was built this year. On the improvement of the Willamette there was spent thirty-one thousand dollars. Exports reached one million sixty-six thousand five hundred and two dollars; treasure, two million five hundred and fifty-nine thousand dollars; and bullion, four hundred and nineteen thousand six hundred and fifty-seven dollars. Real estate transactions were upward of half a million. The population of Portland proper was estimated at eight thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight, and of East Portland, five hundred.
In 1870 the steady growth which from the first had been a fairly reliable index of the growth of the northwest coast, began some-what to accelerate. The railroad on the east side of the river was completed to Albany, and work on the west side was progressing. The shipping of grain to Great Britain was becoming more firmly established. A greater spirit of enterprise was manifested among merchants and other citizens to publish abroad the advantages of soil and climate and position. A number of fine buildings were erected as follows: Corbett's three-story brick building, with solid iron front on First street, between Washington and Alder, costing forty thousand dollars; a brick block, of four buildings occupying a-frontage of one hundred feet on Front street, and running back eighty feet, of iron front, costing thirty thousand dollars, built by Lewis & Flanders; a four story brick building, having one hundred feet frontage on First street and eighty feet on Ash, at a cost of thirty-two [page 156] thousand dollars, by Dr. R. Glisan; the largest business block yet erected, built by A. P. Ankeny, with frontage of one hundred feet on First street, and running two hundred feet to Front street, costing fifty thousand dollars; an addition by the O. S. N. Co., to their block on Front street, forty by ninety feet, costing twenty thousand dollars; the Protection Engine House at the corner of First and Jefferson streets, twenty-six by seventy feet, costing ten thousand dollars; a new edifice by the Congregational church, at the corner of Second and Jefferson streets, fifty by eighty feet, with spire one hundred and fifty high, costing twenty-five thousand dollars; the Bishop Scott Grammar School building on B street, at the junction of Fourteenth, thirty by ninety feet of three stories, and occupying a superb site. Many smaller buildings were erected this season.
As 1870 fills out a decade, it is not out of place to give here a somewhat more detailed list of the occupations then flourishing in the city. Of hotels there were twenty-two: The St. Charles, at the corner of First and Morrison: The International, at the corner of Front and Morrison; the American Exchange, at the corner of Front and Washington; the Occidental, at the corner of First and Morrison; The Western Hotel, on Front near Pine; the Pioneer Hotel, on Front near Ash; The Shakspeare Hotel, at 23 Front street; the Washington Hotel, corner of Alder and Second; the New Orleans Hotel, at the corner of Yamhill and First; the Wisconsin House, at the corner of Ash and Front; the Russ House, at 126 Front street; the Railroad House, on Front near Yamhill; the St. Louis Hotel, on Front street; the New York Hotel, at 17 North Front; the Patton House, at No. 175 Front street; the Fisk House, on First near Main; the Cosmopolitan, at the corner of Front and Stark; the California House, at 13 Stark street; the Brooklyn Hotel, on First street near Pine. There were also twelve boarding houses and nine restaurants. Real estate agents now numbered six houses; J. S. Daly, Dean & Bro., William Davidson, Parrish & Atkinson, Russell & Ferry, Stitzel & Upton. The wholesale merchants contained many names in active business; Allen & Lewis, Baum Bros., Fleischner & Co., Jacob Meyer, L. White & Co., Seller, Frankeneau & Co., and Goldsmith & Co. Of retail merchants of that time there [page 157] may be named C. S. Silver, S. Simon, A. Meier, D. Metzgar, W. Masters & Son, John Wilson, M. Moskowitz, P. Selling, Loeb Bros., Koshland Bros,, Van Fridagh & Co., S. Levy, Mrs. C. Levy, Kohn Bros., Galland, Goodman & Co., Joseph Harris & Son, J. M. Breck, M. Franklin, J. M. Fryer & Co., Beck & Waldman, Clarke, Henderson & Cook, Leon Ach, and John Enery. In groceries and provisions there were the wholesale merchants Amos, Williams & Myers; Leveredge, Wadhams & Co., and Corbitt & Macleay; and thirty-three retailers. In hardware, Corbett, Failing & Co., Hawley, Dodd & Co., F. J. Northrup & Co., and Charles Hopkins. The druggists were J. A. Chapman, Hodge, Calef & Co., Smith & Davis,. C. H. Woodward, S. G. Skidmore, and Whetherford & Co. George L. Story made a specialty of paints and oils. There were nine houses of commission merchants: Allen & Lewis, McCraken, Merrill & Co., Knapp, Burrell & Co., Everding & Farrell, George Abernethy, Williams & Meyers, Everding & Beebe, Janion & Rhoades, and T. A. Savier & Co. The lumber manufacturers and merchants were Abrams & Besser, Smith Bros. & Co., J. M. Ritchie, and Estes, Stinston & Co. The foundries were the Eagle, the Oregon Iron Works, the Willamette Iron Works, Smith Bros. Iron Works and the Columbia Iron Works. The furniture dealers were Hurgren & Shindler, Emil, Lowenstein & Co., W. F. Wilcox, and Richter & Co. Hat manufacturers were J. C. Meussdorfer, N. Walker, and Currier & Co. The flour mills, that of G. W. Vaughn and McLeran Bros. The physicians were R. Glisan, J. S. Giltner, J. A. Chapman, J. C. Hawthorn, A. M. Loryea, W. H. Watkins, R. B. Wilson, G. Kellogg, J. W. Murray, F. Poppleton, J. A. Chapman, I. A. Davenport, H. A. Bodman, S. Parker, F. C. Paine, J. C. Ryan, F. W. Schule, Robert Patton, J. M. Roland, J. F. Ghiselin, H. McKinnell, Charles Schumacher, G. W. Brown, T. J. Sloan, W. Weatherford, and J. Dickson.
For the attorneys of this as well as other years the reader is referred to the special article on the legal profession. The printers were G. H. Himes and A. G. Walling. The publications were The Oregonian, which issued daily and weekly editions and was published by H. L. Pittock with H. W. Scott as editor; The Bulletin, James [page 158] O'Meara editor; the Oregon Herald, H. L. Patterson proprietor and Sylvester Pennoyer editor; the Pacific Christian Advocate, I. Dillon editor; the Catholic Sentinel, H. L. Herman editor; the Oregon Deutshe Zeitung, A. Le Grand editor, and the Good Templar with C. Beal as editor. The Oregon Almanac and city directory were regularly issued by S. J. McCormick.
The saddlers were J. B. Congle, Samuel Sherlock & Co., N. Thwing, and Welch & Morgan. The leather dealers J. A. Strowbridge and Daniel O. O' Reagan. The dentists were J. R. Cardwell, C. H. Mack, J. G. Glenn, J. H. Hatch, J. W. Dodge, William Koehler, and Friedland & Calder. In the crockery and glassware trade there were W. Jackson, H. W. Monnastes, A. D. Shelby, M. Seller, and J. McHenry.
There were eighty retail liquor saloons and seven wholesale dealers in liquors; there were nine livery stables, thirteen meat markets, four photograph galleries, twenty cigar and tobacco dealers, six breweries, five bakeries, two brickyards, four banks, fourteen printers, one match factory, one soap factory, one salt works, one barrel factory, two box factories, twenty-one dressmakers, five dealers in Chinese goods, two book binderies, one tannery, five wagon makers, six blacksmith shops, five bakeries, two express companies, three railroad companies, five merchant tailors, two telegraph offices, thirteen licensed draymen and two undertakers, besides a number of other occupations such as auctioneer and wigmaker.
These statistics show Portland to have been twenty years ago a thriving cosmopolitan little city, with business much diversified and doing a heavy business. As indicating the religious growth of the place it may be said that there were now fifteen churches, a full account of which is found elsewhere.
The assessed value of property in the city was six million eight hundred and forty-eight thousand five hundred and sixty-eight dollars; about half of its purchasing value. The population was estimated at nine thousand five hundred and sixty-five.
In 1871 the improvements continued, the amount spent on buildings being estimated at one million two hundred and eighty-six thousand dollars. Commenting upon this at the time, The Oregonian [page 159] said: " Many of these buildings are costly and of handsome and imposing appearance. We doubt if any city on the Pacific Coast can show anything like a parallel. The exhibit proves conclusively and in the most appreciable manner the rapid strides of our city towards wealth and greatness. * * * Every house is occupied as soon as finished, and not infrequently houses are bespoken before the ground is broken for their erection. * * * Rents are justly pronounced enormous."
The finest buildings of this year were the New Market Theatre of A. P. Ankeny, sixty by two hundred feet, on First and A streets extending to Second, and the Masonic Hall on Third and Alder, of three stories and a Mansard roof, still a very .prominent building, and finished in the Corinthian style:
The number of steamers registering in the Willamette District were thirty-one; of barks, one; brigs, six; schooners, two; scows, two; sloops, four. The total exports-exclusive of goods re-exported -reached a value of six hundred and ninety-two thousand two hundred and ninety-seven dollars. The total value of property assessed was ten million one hundred and fifty-six thousand three hundred and twenty dollars, with an indebtedness of one million one hundred and ten thousand one hundred and five dollars. The population as estimated reached eleven thousand one hundred and three.
In 1872 Ankeny's New Market Theatre was completed at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars, and the Masonic Temple at eighty thousand dollars. A Good Templars' Hall was built on Third street costing ten thousand dollars. The Clarendon Hotel was built on North First street near the railroad depot. Smith's block, a row of warehouses between First and Front streets and Ash and Oak, was built this year, at a cost of fifty thousand dollars. Pittock's block on Front near Stark was completed at a cost of twenty thousand dollars. A house for a Central school was erected, sixty by one hundred and twenty feet, costing thirty thousand dollars; work on the Government building on Fifth and Morrison streets was continued. Trinity Church erected a house of worship on the corner of Sixth and Oak streets, at a cost of twenty-five thousand dollars. Dekum's [page 160] building on the corner of First and Washington streets, of three stories, and still one of the prominent buildings, costing seventy thousand dollars, was begun in 1871 and completed in '72. The hack and dray company erected new stables on G street, between Fifth and Sixth, one hundred by seventy-five feet, costing five thousand dollars. The wharves of the O. S. N. Co. were extended and improved. The Home for the Destitute was also built this year.
In the line of shipping there were five ocean steamers plying to San Francisco: The John L. Stephens, an old-fashioned side-wheeler, being the largest, carrying one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven tons. Coastwise tonnage aggregated one hundred and nine thousand nine hundred and forty-nine tons; in the foreign trade there were eighteen thousand nine hundred and forty-four tons. From foreign countries there arrived twelve barks and two ships, with a total capacity of nine thousand four hundred and forty tons. Imports-that is strictly from foreign countries-were seven hundred and twenty-eight thousand seven hundred and twenty-five dollars; exports to foreign countries six hundred and fifty-eight thousand and six hundred and fourteen dollars. The west side railroad was running to the Yamhill river at St. Joseph, and the east side to Roseburg in the Umpqua valley. Large fires occurred in 1872 making a total loss of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The population was estimated at twelve thousand one hundred and twenty-nine.
In August, 1873, a great fire occurred, burning twenty blocks along the river front south of Yamhill and a part of Morrison street. It destroyed property to the value of one million three hundred and forty-five thousand dollars, on which there was an insurance of but two hundred and seventy dollars. An account of this conflagration is given elsewhere in this book. Immediate steps were taken to build up once more the burnt district, and many structures were erected to replace those lost. A brick market building two hundred feet from Front to First at the corner of Madison, was built by B. V. Bunnell and other parties as stockholders. Johnson & Spaulding, G. W. Vaughn, J. M. Fryer, Quimby & Perkins and others, built good structures on Front and First streets. H. W. Corbett, C. M. Carter C. Holman, C. M. Wiberg, J. P. O. Lownsdale, M. S. Burrell, and [page 161] Elijah Corbett, interested themselves in rebuilding the waste places. The house of Protection Engine Company, on First street near Madison, was at the time allotted a good building.
In the northern part of the city a fine building was erected on First and A streets, by A. P. Ankeny. Further north the bonded warehouses and a number of brick stores were built. In this year also the elegant residence of Mr. Henry Failing was erected.
In the. line of commerce the coastwise entrances reached a tonnage of one hundred and twelve thousand and one hundred; of foreign entrances, nineteen thousand one hundred and forty-three tons. American vessels for foreign ports aggregated nineteen thousand four hundred and forty-four tons clearances. The exports, a value of one million two hundred and eighty-four thousand one hundred and forty-nine dollars, exclusive of shipments by way of San Francisco. The property was assessed at ten million eight hundred and four thousand six hundred and sixty-two. The population was estimated at twelve thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine.
For the shipping season of 1873-'74 there was exported of wheat and flour a value of four million thirty-seven thousand and ninety-three dollars by the mouth of the Columbia river. During 1874 there was a steady improvement in the growth of the city, yet the loss of the previous years and the filling up of the wastes by fires did not so much work for the extension of the city limits. During 1875, the general depression in business throughout the United States, consequent upon the general failure which was begun by the Northern Pacific Railroad Co., so affected Portland as to discourage general improvement. Exports in shipping continued about the same. Railroad enterprises, although working to the advantage of the city, were now drawing in rather than disbursing money, although work on the west side was resumed. There was considerable increase in property and population which now reached thirteen thousand four hundred and seventy.
The publications of the time speak of the prosperity of 1876, of "the numerous and costly buildings" erected, of "additional wharves and warehouses" and of manufacturing interests, but a detailed account is not at hand. Seventy-two foreign vessels visited [page 162] the river and the export of wheat was one million nine hundred and thirty-seven thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven centals, and of flour two hundred and fifteen thousand seven hundred and fourteen barrels. The salmon business on the lower Columbia was moving toward its maximum, the pack of this year being estimated at four hundred and eighty thousand cases. Wool, to the value of six hundred thousand dollars, was also shipped. There was also a coast-wise export of upwards of one million dollars to San Francisco. The population was thirteen thousand eight hundred and two.
During 1877 about one hundred separate building improvements were made. Those valued at five thousand dollars or upwards are named herewith: a wharf, by John Rines, at the foot of Oak street, five thousand dollars; improvements to school buildings, twelve thousand dollars; two-story brick building, by P. W. D. Hardenberg, at the northwest corner of Morrison and Second streets, ten thousand dollars; two residences, by Rev. George Burton, at the northwest corner of Eleventh and Morrison streets, five thousand dollars; a two story brick building, by Harker, on First and Front, between Morrison and Yamhill, eight thousand dollars; a two-story brick building on Front street near Main, five thousand dollars; a wharf, by Captain Flanders, at the foot of C street, eight thousand dollars; German Reformed church, at the northeast corner of Stark and N, five thousand dollars; Lutheran church, rebuilt into a dwelling, H. W. Corbett, six thousand dollars; a double house, by G. F. Wells, West Park and Yamhill, six thousand five hundred dollars; residence by F. Dekum, on block between Eleventh and Twelfth, and Yamhill and Morrison, thirteen thousand dollars; a one-story brick building, on the corner of First and Taylor, by C. M. Rohr, five thousand dollars; three residences, by W. Honeyman, on Tenth and Taylor streets, six thousand dollars; improvements to the mill near the water works, six thousand dollars; a dock and warehouse by W. K. Smith, on the levee north of Salmon street, ten thousand dollars; brick building by H. Weinhard, corner of B and Eleventh streets, fifteen thou-sand dollars; brick building, by F. Dekum, on the corner of A and Front streets, thirteen thousand dollars; two-story brick, by H. Trenkman, eight thousand dollars. The total improvements for this year were [page 163] estimated at three hundred and twenty thousand dollars. About eighty vessels in the foreign trade entered the Columbia river. The total wheat and flour export was upward of five million dollars in value. The total of all exports from the Columbia was estimated at over sixteen million dollars-probably somewhat excessive. The assessable property of the city was twelve million one hundred and thirteen thousand two hundred and fifty-five dollars and the population was estimated at fifteen thousand and ninety-nine.
The movement toward improvements begun so auspiciously in 1877, steadily expanded during 1878, the number of separate buildings exceeding two hundred, and fifty and costing about one million dollars. Of those costing ten thousand dollars or upwards we give a list below. Among them stood pre-eminent the Catholic Cathedral on the old site at the corner of Third and Stark streets, built of brick in the Gothic style, and costing eighty thousand dollars. The new Unitarian church was also built this year on the old site at Seventh and Yamhill at a cost of eighteen thousand dollars. A handsome brick store was erected at the foot of Stark street by Reed and Failing at a cost of thirty thousand dollars. The brick store of J. S. Smith was also erected this year at the foot of Washington street, at a cost of thirty thousand dollars. G. H. Flanders made an addition to his wharf at an expense of ten thousand dollars. The wharf of J. S. Smith, at the foot of Washington street, was built at a cost of ten thousand dollars; and the machine shop, by S. M. Dyer, at eighteen thousand dollars. A brick hotel was erected on the corner of Third and F streets by John Burton at a cost of thirteen thousand dollars. A residence was built by Henry Weinhard on B and S streets, costing sixteen thousand dollars; and Molson' s brewery on Ninth and B, at an expenditure of sixteen thousand dollars. Stores were built by H. C. Leonard on the corner of Front and A, at twenty-four thousand dollars, and also by Chinese companies on the corner of Second and Alder, at ten thousand five hundred; and a brick store by C. P. Church & Co., on the corner of First and Morrison, at thirteen thousand five hundred dollars. A livery stable was built by Sherlock and Bacon, on the corner of Second and Oak streets, costing twenty-three thousand dollars. A hotel was erected [page 164] by Therkelsen & M' Kay on Second and C, at ten thousand dollars. The other buildings of this year were quite handsome residences, as that of Dr. G. H. Chance, on the corner of Hall and Second streets, at a cost of five thousand dollars, of J. B. Congle, on Sixth street, between Salmon and Taylor, at four thousand dollars, and L.. Therkelsen, on Market and Ninth streets, at five thousand three hundred dollars.
The following from The Oregonian of that date well illustrates the growth of the city by comparison of river traffic: "In 1868 eight steamboats, of which two were only used as substitutes, transacted all the passenger and freight business, excepting that by ocean vessels, centering in Portland; and even then were compelled, in order to `make expenses,' to do all the miscellaneous towage which the river then afforded. This was before the days of either the east or west side railroad, and the little steamer Senator, running between Portland and Oregon City, found it an easy task by making one round trip each day to move all the grain crop of the Willamette Valley and to carry the passengers and general freight of both sides of the river. Now twelve steamers, any one of them larger than the Senator, find profitable business on the Willamette, and sixty cars each day, loaded with grain and passengers, come into our city by two lines of railways.
"Then the steamboat Cascades, of less than four hundred and fifty tons burden, ran between this city and the gorge from which she derived her name, making one trip each day, and without inconvenience carried all the merchandise required by the people of that part of Oregon and Washington east of the Cascade Mountains and the northern half of Idaho. Now the magnificent boats S. G. Reed and Wide West find steady and difficult work in keeping the warehouses clear. In addition to these, smaller boats are constantly employed in trade along the river bank.
"Between Portland and Astoria, one steamer, much smaller than the boats of to-day, made three trips each week and did all the job towing on the Columbia below Rainier. On the same route now two large boats ply regularly on alternate days, and over forty tugs and smaller steamers are engaged in towing and general work. " [page 165]
The valuation of property reached twelve million two hundred and ninety-one thousand three hundred and fifty dollars. Wheat and flour exports were estimated at a value of about three million dollars. The population was estimated at nineteen thousand one hundred and twenty-eight, but this was undoubtedly an over-estimate, as two years later it was found to be but a little over seventeen thousand. The statistics which we have given of population have been taken from the directories of the consecutive years, and it is probable that owing to the excess of adults, too high proportion of total population to names was assumed.
During 1879 improvements still increased, reaching a value of one million one hundred and sixty-two thousand and seven hundred dollars; consisting of two hundred and seventy-six dwellings, sixteen brick blocks, fifty-eight stores, eight hotels, six docks and warehouses, fourteen shops and stables, two schools, two planing mills, one brewery and the Mechanics' Pavilion. The buildings of a value exceeding ten thousand dollars may be named as follows: The Union block, by Corbett & Failing, eighty-six thousand dollars; the Esmond Hotel, at the corner of Front and Morrison, by Coulter & Church, forty-five thousand dollars; a block of eight residences on Second and Mill streets by S. G. Reed, forty thousand dollars; the Park school house, on Jefferson street between East and West Park, twenty-nine thousand dollars; a brick block on the corner of Front and B streets by Klosterman Bros., at thirty-five thousand dollars; a residence by C. H. Lewis, on the corner of Nineteenth and G streets, thirty-five thousand dollars; the residence of H. D. Green at the head of B street, twenty-eight thousand dollars; the brewery of George Herrall, on Water street, near Harrison, twenty-five thousand dollars; a wharf between Taylor and Salmon streets by J. F. Jones, twenty-five thousand dollars; the three story brick building on the corner of Front and Columbia streets by Peter Manciet, eighteen thousand five hundred dollars; the new Harrison Street School house, eighteen thousand dollars; a brick block by John Shade, fifteen thousand dollars; the Mechanics' Pavilion; on the block between Second and Third and Clay and Market, sixteen thousand five hundred dollars; a brick block by H. McKinnell, on Second street [page 166] between Salmon and Main, thirteen thousand dollars; a residence by Samuel D. Smith, on Twelfth between Yamhill and Taylor, ten thousand dollars; a residence by M. W. Fechheimer on the corner of West Park and Montgomery, fourteen thousand dollars; a residence by J. W. Whalley, corner of West Park and Harrison, ten thousand dollars; a brick block by Mrs. Mark A. King, on the corner of Third and Alder; a brick block by Dr. R. Glisan, on the corner of Second and Ash, thirteen thousand dollars; a brick block by Chinese merchants on the corner of Second and Alder, twenty thousand dollars; a brick block on the corner of Front and Ash by N. Lambert, H. L. Hoyt and J. W. Cook, twenty-four thousand five hundred dollars; a brick block by Fleischner & Hirsch, on First and B streets, sixteen thousand seven hundred; the residence of J. C. Carson, on the corner of Nineteenth and J streets, ten thousand dollars; tracks for switches and round house of the Western Oregon Railroad, ten thousand dollars; Park school house twenty-nine thousand dollars; and there was spent on the Catholic Cathedral ten thousand dollars more in completion. Many residences and minor business houses of a value of five S thousand dollars to eight thousand dollars were also erected. It was during this year that the palatial residences in the northwestern portion of the city began to be erected, converting what was once a dilapidated forest overgrown with brush and wild vines, into one of the most handsome and sightly portions of the city. .
The grain fleet entering the river numbered about ninety vessels; this was exclusive of the regular coasters. The steamers registering in the Portland district were sixty, with a total capacity of twenty-seven thousand five hundred and ninety-seven tons. The steamers Oriflamme and John L. Stephens had now disappeared, having been broken up. There were thirteen sailing vessels with a total capacity of six thousand one hundred and four tons. The export of wheat reached upwards of two million centals, valued at over five million dollars. Shipments of wool reached seven million pounds. The catch of salmon was three hundred and twenty-five thousand cases. The gross valuation of property was thirteen million one hundred and forty-three thousand four hundred and twenty-five dollars. [page 167]
The prospects of growth and business in 1880 were bright, and stimulated not only activity in real estate movements, but in business also. The uncertain and depressing railroad management of Ben Holladay had given away to the more business like and careful regime of the German Company, and plans for the O. R. & N. Railway and for the speedy completion of the Northern Pacific were taking definite and public form. Sales of real estate were considerable, although uncertainty as to the location of the terminal works of the transcontinental line, now expected to be made in North Portland, now in South Portland, and again in East Portland, gave a strongly speculative character to this line of trade. Improvements extended uniformly in all portions of the city from the river bank to the city limits, and even beyond them. There were erected thirteen brick blocks and stores; thirty frame blocks and stores, six docks, four manufactories, three churches, two hotels and two hundred and two dwellings at a gross valuation of eight hundred and eighty-one thousand dollars. Those costing ten thousand dollars or upwards are named as follows: Family residence of Capt. George Ainsworth, on the corner of Sixth and Yamhill, fifteen thousand dollars; a residence by the same, ten thousand dollars; improvements to the Zeta Psi block, corner Front and D, ten thousand dollars; the Chinese theater, on Second street, twelve thousand dollars; the Oregon Steam Bakery, by Liebe & Holburg, on East Park and G, fifteen thousand dollars; the building by Labbe Bros., on the corner of Second and Washington streets, eleven thousand dollars; a brick block on Washington street between First and Second, by Richardson & Mann, ten thousand dollars; the three story brick block on the corner of Second and Stark streets, thirty-six thousand dollars; the brick building on First street between Main and Yamhill, ten thousand dollars; the three story building on Third street between Yamhill and Taylor, twelve thousand dollars; the Nicolai House, at the corner of Third and D streets, thirteen thousand dollars; an addition of five hundred feet to the Ainsworth Dock by the O. R. & N. Co., fifty thousand dollars; an addition to the Steamship Dock of the same company, twenty-eight thousand dollars; an addition to the Greenwich Dock by Capt. Flanders, twenty thousand dollars; the [page 168] Multnomah block, at the corner of Fifth and Morrison, by H. W. Corbett, twenty-eight thousand dollars; the furniture factory of I. F. Powers, twenty-five thousand dollars; a four story residence on Sixteenth and B streets by the Dundee Investment Company., nineteen thousand four hundred dollars; the two story business block on the corner of Second and E streets by J. C. Ainsworth, thirteen thousand dollars; the Stark street ferry boat by Knott Bros., sixteen thousand dollars.
In 1880 the hotels had increased to twenty-nine. Those on Front street were the American Exchange, The Esmond, St. Charles, Commercial, New York and Zur Rheinpfalz. On First street there were the California House, the Eureka, the Globe, the Norton House, the Clarendon, the Occidental, the Oregon, the St. George, the St. Louis, the Thompson House, the Metropolis, Portland and Phoenix. On Second street there were the DeFrance and Richmond House. On Third street there were the Burton House, Holton House and the Nicolai. There were besides these thirty boarding houses, twenty-one restaurants, nine coffee houses and three oyster saloons. There were one hundred and three liquor saloons and ten wholesale liquor houses. There were twenty-four butchers. The whole-sale grocers were seven and the retail grocers fifty-three. The physicians now numbered sixty-seven, the attorneys sixty-three, and editors thirty-four. There were seven sawmills, three flour mills, three box factories, one brass foundry, two soap works, one stove manufactory, four foundries, six iron works, four ferries plying on the river, fifty-seven contractors and builders, three wholesale and twenty retail dealers in dry goods, seven dealers in crockery and glassware, three wholesale and thirteen retail clothiers, three wholesale and ten retail dealers in boots and shoes, and thirty-four commission merchants. Commerce indicated about its previous volume. By the United States census of 1880, the population was found to be seventeen thousand five hundred and seventy-eight. By the Directory of that year it was estimated at twenty-one thousand six hundred.
During 1881 there were spent about one million one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in building. The most important of these were the following: The iron and brick building of W. S. Ladd, at [page 169] the corner of First and Columbia, costing forty thousand dollars; the Portland Seaman's Bethel, on the corner of Third and D streets, under the management of R. S. Stubbs, twelve thousand dollars; G. W. Jones's block, on block 176 in Couch's Addition; G. W. Weidler's residence, on the corner of L and Eighteenth streets, costing sixteen thousand dollars; C. P. Bacon's residence, on the same block as above, ten thousand dollars; residence of W. N. Wallace on Tenth and Salmon streets; residence of Sylvester Pennoyer on the corner of West Park and Madison streets; the three story brick of J. C. Ainsworth on Third and Oak streets, costing eighty-five thousand dollars; the Cosmopolitan block of Reed & Failing, on the corner of Second and Stark; and the residence of J. N. Dolph on Fifth and Jefferson, were the most prominent structures of the year. The Columbia Dock was built by C. H. Lewis, at the foot of N street, at a cost of twenty-five thousand dollars. Commercial statistics showed an increasing volume of business. New interest in the mines of Idaho and of Southern Oregon began to be felt by the capitalists of Portland, and with the prospect of railroad connection to these points, they inaugurated the operations which have since attained such proportions. Manufacturing interests began to concentrate in and about Portland. Weidler's immense sawmill, with capacity of one hundred and fifty thousand feet per day, led all in the volume of business. Besides lumber, the manufacture of furniture, of boots and shoes, of wagons, of iron and steel implements and machinery, and preservation of fruit assumed appreciable proportions.
In 1882, the extent of improvements rose to an astonishing degree, a total of two million nine hundred and seventy-four thousand six hundred dollars being spent in Portland, East Portland and Albina. The more noticeable of these buildings erected were the four-story brick structure of Dolph & Thompson on First street, between Pine and Ash, with dock in the rear, costing two hundred thousand dollars; the First National Bank building on the corner of First and Washington, one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars; the three-story brick block of Allen & Lewis on North Front street, one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars; the Calvary Presbyterian [page 170] Church on the corner of Ninth and Clay streets, thirty-six thousand dollars; the North Pacific Manufacturing Company's plant and improvements, fifty thousand dollars; the Couch school house on Sixteenth street, between K and L, thirty-five thousand dollars; the Failing school house on First street, between Hooker and Porter, thirty-five thousand dollars; the railroad docks, coal bunkers, etc., at Albina, one hundred and eighty thousand dollars; the residence of Bishop B. W. Morris, corner of Nineteenth and B streets, twenty thousand dollars; residence of R. B. Knapp, on Sixteenth and B streets, thirty-five thousand dollars; residence of Captain G. H. Flanders, on the corner of F and Eighteenth streets, forty thousand dollars. There were many others of elegant design and finish costing twenty thousand dollars and less.
During the year 1884 there were built seventy-five large dwellings, thirty-six brick houses and blocks, and other buildings, bringing up the total to two hundred and eleven. For business houses there were spent six hundred and twenty-two thousand dollars; for residences, three hundred and forty-nine thousand five hundred dollars; for other improvements, seven hundred and eleven thousand seven hundred dollars, making a total of one million six hundred and eighty-three thousand six hundred dollars.
East Portland's improvements footed up three hundred and forty-one thousand seven hundred dollars, and those of Sellwood and Albina, seventy-five thousand dollars. On street improvements in Portland there were spent three hundred and thirty-four thousand five hundred and fifty-five dollars and seventeen cents. Grace Church was erected at a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars, on the corner of Eleventh and Taylor streets. Pipe organs costing about three thousand dollars each, were placed in two churches.
During the year following there was some decline in improvements, but as there was also a great decrease in the cost of materials, it was a good time to build, and those sagacious and able took advantage of the opportunity to erect some very handsome and costly structures, which have given character and tone to the appearance of the city. Among these may be mentioned the Portland Savings Bank, of brick, on the southwest corner of Second and Washington streets, at a cost [page 171] of seventy-five thousand dollars; Jacob Kamm's magnificent brick block on Pine street, between Front and First, eighty thousand dollars; the High School building on Twelfth and Morrison, sixty thousand dollars; M. F. Mulkey's brick block on the corner of Second and Morrison, forty thousand dollars; Weinhard's brick brewery, fifteen thousand dollars. R. B. Knapp's residence built this year, cost ninety thousand dollars; Pfunder's unique Swiss residence on Ninth and Washington, ten thousand dollars. About two hundred dwellings were erected at a cost of three hundred and ninety thousand dollars. Improvements were made in East Portland to the value of one hundred and two thousand nine hundred dollars, and in Albina of twenty thousand dollars, making a grand total of nine hundred and sixty-four thousand four hundred dollars.
By the State census of 1885, the population of Multnomah county was placed at thirty-five thousand seven hundred and thirty-two; about three-fourths of this should be attributed to Portland.
The year 1886 was marked by a great increase in buildings and improvements, some of which were of great extent, as will be seen by the following list: Morrison Street bridge (commenced), two hundred thousand dollars; Albina Terminal works, seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars; the new medical college, thirty-five thousand dollars; the reduction works in East Portland, fifty thousand dollars; Reed's five-story brick building on Third street, between Washington and Stark, ninety-five thousand dollars; the United Carriage, Baggage and Transportation Co.'s barn, twenty-five thousand dollars; the four-story brick stable on Second street between Stark and Washington, twenty-seven thousand dollars; vessels built or improved, sixty-eight thousand five hundred dollars. The stone church of the Presbyterians was projected at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars. The grand total of all improvements actually made, reached one million nine hundred and eighty-nine thousand one hundred and ninety-one dollars.
The year 1887 witnessed a steady expansion in building and improvements. Among the most important were the following: The Abington Building, on Third street, between Stark and Washington, sixty-five thousand dollars; the five-story building west of the [page 172] Portland Savings bank; the residence of Levi White on Nineteenth street, forty-five thousand dollars; The Armory, on Tenth and B streets, forty thousand dollars; W. S. Ladd's brick building at the foot of Morrison street, sixty-five thousand dollars; improvements on the Oregonian building, by H. L. Pittock, eighteen thousand dollars; the four-story brick building of C. H. Dodd, on the corner of First and A streets, seventy-seven thousand dollars; the building of the Cyclorama Co., on Pine street, between Third and Fourth, sixty thousand dollars; the Portland Bridge, two hundred thousand dollars; on the railroad bridge there was spent one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. The cable car line up to the heights was begun. The streets were improved to the value of one hundred and ninety-seven thousand eight hundred and thirty-five dollars. The total improvements of the year are summarized as follows: In the city, one million fifty-four thousand one hundred and seventy-nine dollars; on Portland Heights, sixty thousand dollars; in East Portland, one hundred and ninety-five thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars; in Albina, six hundred and twelve thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine dollars and fifty cents; on Mount Tabor, sixty thousand dollars; making a grand total of two million seven hundred and eighty-four thousand and twenty-four dollars.
During 1888 all former improvements were far exceeded. Many large buildings of the most permanent character, and improvements which would be a credit to any great city were brought to completion or undertaken. The following is a list of the principal works: The Exposition Building, on Fourteenth and B, one hundred and fifty thousand dollars; on the First Presbyterian church, sixty thousand dollars; the Jewish Synagogue, sixty-five thousand dollars; the railroad bridge (finished), four hundred thousand dollars; improvements by the water committee, two hundred and forty thousand dollars; buildings in Portland (not otherwise named), one million eight hundred thousand dollars; improvements on the streets of Portland, three hundred and twelve thousand five hundred dollars; East Portland and Sunnyside, three hundred and nineteen thousand three hundred and eighty-eight dollars; at Oswego, five hundred thousand dollars; at Albina, one hundred and eighty-one thousand [page 173] six hundred and ninety-five dollars; on the street railways, fifty thousand dollars; on Portland Heights, forty thousand dollar; on Mount Tabor, thirty thousand dollars; at Sellwood, twelve thousand dollars; at Milwaukie, seven thousand three hundred dollars. This shows a total of three million five hundred and twenty-two thousand six hundred and thirty-nine dollars.
It is noticeable by the foregoing that many of these improvements were made outside of the city limits, in some cases from three to six miles distant. The propriety of including them among the improvements of Portland arises from the fact that they were undertaken and completed by Portland capital and were in fact the growth of the city itself--illustrating how Portland has completely overstepped what were once called "the natural limits of the city," between the circle of hills and the bending course of the Willamette. The improvements of 1889, reaching a value of about five million dollars are fully mentioned elsewhere, and need not be enumerated here.
These statistics as given in the foregoing pages, while probably not without error, are nevertheless the best now to be had, and give approximately a correct idea of business operations and the growth of the place. By examination it will be seen that the development of Portland, as of all new cities, has been, as it were, by wave motions, the flood now rising and now falling again, but nevertheless at each new turn reaching a much higher point. Much of this oscillating movement has been due to the peculiar circumstances of the city and to the opening of the country by public works. In the very earliest days the first movement was due to the coming of ships loaded with goods for the use of the rural population of the Willamette Valley. Portland as a shipping point and post of supply made a secure beginning. After it had become thus established it did the business for the farming community surrounding in a regular and steady fashion without much increase except as the growth of the tributary country demanded. During the early sixties, however, a new and promising field was opened for her merchants and navigation companies by the discovery of precious metals in Eastern Oregon and Idaho. With the development of the mines, and to quite an [page 174] extent also with the settlement of Eastern Oregon and Washington and their occupation by cattle dealers and cattle raisers, Portland gained largely in business and trade. The steady growth resulting from this development was not greatly accelerated until in 1867-68 plans for opening the country by means of railroad were brought to completion, and ground was actually broken for a line to California. With the prospect of railroad connection with the rest of the world, the speculative imagination of the people of Portland was excited, and almost extravagant dreams of great immediate growth and wealth were indulged by even the most steady and conservative. Property increased greatly in value and improvements were stimulated. The early railroad days of Oregon were, however, beset with difficulties, as will be seen in a following chapter, although, producing much real growth, did not ultimate so hopefully as was by many anticipated. Ben Holladay showed an unexpected weakness and incapacity in managing his roads, and as his bonds declined and the general expectation of failure was felt, depression was experienced in all parts of the State. When a few years later occurred the great business collapse in the United States, which began with the failure of J. Cooke & Co. and the Northern Pacific Railroad Co., Portland was left to the simple cultivation of her domestic commerce, and inflated prices and expectations had to be abandoned. With the passage, however, of the California and of the Oregon Central railroads into the hands of the German bondholders, and a better system of management thereby introduced, business revived once more and Portland found herself obliged to add to her accommodations to meet the incoming tide of immigration and the increased flood of business. Independent commerce with the East and with Europe having sprung up stimulated very largely the production of grain in the Willamette Valley and also in Eastern Oregon and Washington, so that there was a steady increase in the amount of treasure received into the country and in the volume of business transacted at Portland. Exports of wool, lumber and salmon also figured largely to swell the volume of trade. With the year 1880 and those succeeding, prospects, and at length the realization, of a through line from Portland to the East, produced a greater volume of trade [page 175] and raised higher expectations than had previously been known. Portland began to assume a truly metropolitan appearance. Activity in real estate and in building, and an expansion of all kinds was everywhere noticeable. All went well, until the O. R. & N. road and the Northern Pacific had been so far completed as to make a through line to New York, and Villard and the Oregon and Trans-continental railroad having gone beyond their means, suffered a reverse, and in their ruin involved also many of the citizens of Portland. For a time the people of our city seemed discouraged, nor did they quite realize the immense importance to them of railroad connection with all parts of the Northwest. Gradually, however, they began to see the ease with which they might connect themselves with all parts of Oregon and Washington and command the wholesale business of this region; and how they might even more stimulate the agricultural and mining interests of this whole region. Gathering up these lines of business they began to push vigorously and in a short time were at the head of the commercial, mining, manufacturing and banking interests of the whole section. As a result of this active policy business began to pour in, in an almost overwhelming flood, through the thoroughfares, the docks, the commercial houses and the banks of our city. Real estate rose greatly in value; addition after addition being added to our city; suburban towns began to spring up; manufacturers began to press in for a location, and capitalists found themselves obliged to erect buildings as rapidly as materials and labor could be obtained. A generous public spirit began to be felt and a general desire for public buildings which would do credit to the city was expressed. By public enterprise, such buildings as that of the Northwestern Industrial Exposition and the grand Hotel Portland were constructed. Men of wealth saw that the situation warranted the construction of the very best and most permanent houses. Fine churches were also erected. Street car lines were multiplied. Electric railways and motor lines to the suburbs and other points near were built with astonishing rapidity. With the passing out of the year 1889, the greatest amount of capital of any season has been spent in improvements, and there is every indication of a still greater expenditure in the coming year. [page 176]
Portland has now reached the point where she has comfortable communication with all parts of the territory which she is .to serve. Her growth is now but the result of the growth of Oregon and Washington. What yet remains to be seen is a perfect opening of the Columbia river from its mouth to the British line, and the improvement of the tributaries of this magnificent stream, so that not only by rail but by water, every village and farm may be brought into close connection with our city, and may be supplied from her warehouses and shops.
CITY CHARTER, GOVERNMENT AND MAYORS.
Charter of 1851--Its Provisions and Amendments-Charter of 1872-Charter of 1882-Police Department-Fire Department-Health Department-Water Works -Public Buildings-Biographical Sketches of Mayors-List of City Officials From 1851 to 1890.
IN 1851 a Charter was granted to the city of Portland by the Legislature of Oregon. By this instrument corporate powers were lodged in the "People of the city of Portland," constituting them "a body politic and corporate in fact and law" with all necessary legal privileges. The city limits were to be fixed by a line beginning at the northwest corner of the donation claim of Finice Caruthers, running thence easterly by the north line of that claim to the river bank, and by a projection of the same to the middle of the Willamette; thence northerly by the middle of the river to the projection of the north line of Couch's claim; thence west seventy chains and south to the place of beginning.
There was little that was peculiar about the charter. It provided that the officers should be mayor, recorder, treasurer, marshal and assessor. There should be a common council of nine members. All of the above offices were to be filled by election of the voters of the city. By appointment of the city council there were to be city attorney, street commissioner, city surveyor and city collector. Election day was fixed on the first Monday in April, yearly.
1. Old numbers.