Remember Manitou?

It’s OK if you’ve not heard of the Manitou Addition, a small chunk of neighborhood that once had its own identity, now lost to time. In my research on Alameda-Beaumont-Wilshire, I’ve kept running into references to Manitou-this and Manitou-that and wondered where it was. While reviewing plat maps recently, I found it: the long block between 33rd and 35th that includes the north side of Fremont and both sides of Alameda.

Manitou Plat Detail, March 3, 1910

Manitou Plat Detail, March 3, 1910

The plat for Manitou was incorporated by Fred and Gussie Jacobs, who were partners in the Jacobs-Stine Company, which platted many Portland subdivisions with fancy sounding names, only two of which are in circulation today-Errol Heights and Argyle. Fred Jacobs told a reporter in April 1910 that Manitou was named for Manitou Springs, a picturesque mountain community about 65 miles south of Denver. (Incidentally, Fred Jacobs was the Portland real estate man who died in the crash on Stuart Drive that resulted in it being known as “Deadman’s Hill.“)

Of course, when I found Manitou, it begged another question because that plat is a subdivision of the Spring Valley Addition. Now there’s another name that has fallen out of use. Spring Valley is easily one of the oldest plats in the area, filed on November 6, 1882 by one “Clara L. Files, Spinster,” and encompassing the area east-west between 33rd and 37th and north-south between The Alameda and Skidmore (including Wilshire Park). Interesting to note that until 1941 (when development really came to that part of the neighborhood) the Spring Valley plat showed a major planned north-south thoroughfare called Broadway, located about where NE 35th is today.

The cumulative mushroom effect of historical research guarantees that you can’t look into the history of the Spring Valley Addition (or Manitou) without bumping into other nearby mysteries, including plats for Maplehurst (south of Fremont), Irene Heights, Fullerton, Whiterose, Rossdale, Rosyln, Calman, Wilshire and Railroad Heights (nope, no railroads ever ran up here, but you might have been able to hear a train or two).

2 responses

  1. I live in this area you have in the Manitou map. On the Assessor property description it is Railroad Heights.

    Thanks for a little history on the area!

    • Thanks for dropping by the blog… It was not uncommon in the heady days of development out on this outer northeast edge of the city for developers to file replats that rearranged existing plats. My hunch is that is what’s happened here. For the latest look at plat boundaries you can visit the Multnomah County Surveyor’s website and use a tool there called SAIL (Survey and Assessor Image Map Locator) that, with some trial and error, will let you view every plat on file. I love the sound of these names: Manitou and Railroad Heights…

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