“It lies on a slight eminence…”

It was 100 years ago this week that the first newspaper advertisements began to run extolling the virtues of the newly platted Alameda Park district. The text is pretty flowery and the ad is jammed with words. Here, take a look:
From The Oregonian, March 16, 1909

From The Oregonian, March 16, 1909

This ad tells us much more about the men behind the Alameda Land Company than it does about the development itself. You get a very clear idea of who they were pitching to, and their intent to offer a “first in” deal to the early wave of investors and potential homeowners. It’s important to point out that in March 1909, there wasn’t much up here on the ridge but mud, Douglas-fir trees, brush, some small orchards and a rutted dirt road running up the hill (today’s 33rd Avenue). Panoramic views of lakes? Hmm. Not sure where they got that one. There was a small pond in the area near today’s NE 28th and Siskiyou. Maybe you could see that from the ridge…

Just one month previous to this advertisement, the Alameda Land Company filed its first plat. Even though there were no streets or curbs or water or any service in place, this March push of advertising was aimed at creating a personality for the new district and to put it on buyers’ radar screens. Different (but similar) ads ran each day this week.

Interesting to note that the March 1909 ads, which seemed to claim well-paved streets, were roundly criticized by the developers of neighboring plats, particularly Irvington, which by 1909 actually had well-paved streets, homes, water, gas and curbs. In their own advertisements taken out the following weeks, the Irvington crew called the Alameda Land Company a pack of liars, literally, for their exaggerated claims. The ad sales guys at The Oregonian must have loved it!

4 responses

  1. What, exactly, is included in Alameda Park? Just curious. I think I live on the slightest eminence of the eminence itself…

    Do you know of any pictures of the neighborhood when the homes were being built? I’ve always wondered what my house looked like, pre-additions.

  2. Thanks for dropping by, pdxknitterati. The boundaries of the original plat are Fremont, Prescott, NE 21st (mostly) and NE 33rd. You can find a scan of the original map here: https://alamedahistory.org/the-map/

    Once you get there, click on the top map and it will enlarge, revealing the scope of Alameda Park.

    My wife is knitting an afghan, a giant, quilt-like piece made from knitted squares. She’s a life long knitter, but this is her first afghan. Any advice?

    Will be interested in knowing if your eminence on the eminence is in “the park.”

  3. Yes, I’m on the slight eminence *under* the ridge. But I’m definitely in the park. I have an bit of a view of fireworks in the summer from my upstairs windows, so a little elevated, but not much.

    Sounds like your wife is approaching the afghan in my favorite way: smaller blocks. Each block feels like a small, manageable (and portable) project, rather than an enormous thing that has to be hauled out to work on. Small hint; work in the yarn ends as she goes, otherwise they can be overwhelming at the end!

    Feel free to send her over to my knit blog for fun: http://pdxknitterati.com

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