Portland living, 1905

A friend with a wonderful sense of history and photography has sent me a link to this site, where the historical society has collected dozens of big photos of Portland houses, with their occupants outside them, in 1905. Now, 1905 is a little before our house was built, but it appears from these pictures that in some parts of nearby inner east Portland, things were already in full swing. The sidewalks, where there were any, were made of wood, and the roads were dirt, but the houses look a lot like many that are still standing now.

Of course, I got lost in this site for a long time. Part of me wants to identify the locations of these residences, to see what they look like today. But I couldn't manage to figure out any of the locations, at least on first try. Maybe some readers with a sharper eye can do so. In any event, many of the photos are quite a hoot.


  1. My 1870s immigrant family settled on the inner east side, off MLK. They built a row of houses that still stand today.

  2. I know exactly the perfect person to identify Portland locations from old photographs... Mr. Christopher Beck I am summoning you, my friend.

  3. I noticed the lack of power lines. Also the young boy and his wild haircut!

  4. That house is probably even younger than the one my father owns in the Corbett neighborhood, which was built in 1885. I was at his house once and realized that the builders were likely old enough to remember President Lincoln’s assassination.


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