Beaumont Corner, 1928

Photo friend Norm Gholston has shared another view of a favorite corner, this one shows something important that’s missing, which gives us a good clue about when it was taken. Do you see it (or rather not see it)? Have a good look.

NE 41st and Fremont Avenue, looking southeast, about 1929. Photo courtesy of Norm Gholston Collection.

What’s missing is the Beaumont Market, which exists today immediately adjacent to the far left of this building. Here’s a post we wrote last year that includes a similar but slightly later photo, and beautiful color-pencil renderings of the market building (which came along seven years after the pharmacy), submitted to the city in 1935 by architect Charles Ertz.

Other things to note in this photograph include the absence of the McMarr Stores sign, which was present in the 1929 photo. Our hunch is that this photo was taken soon after construction–late 1928 or very early 1929–and used by J. Benjamin Lowe, Proprietor to get the word out about his new pharmacy, and his phone number. Note the Beaumont exchange was GA (someone trying to phone Proprietor Lowe would pick up the phone and say to the operator, “please ring Garfield 1614”). Do you know about old phone exchanges? Read more here.

The hinged box sitting on the curb: in more snowy climates, a box like this might hold gravel or sand for when the crosswalk and intersection become hard-packed and slippery, but Portland? Maybe. A drop box to keep the bundle of early-morning newspapers dry until the owner opened up? Other ideas?

8 responses

  1. The Duncan yo-yo man was on the corner after school showing the tricks,the 5 and dime next door to Ruepell’s drugstore..the steep,steep steps going up to the dentist..and the market on the corner let me walk in with my dog to buy Skippy dog food..I could have a note written by my mother so I could buy her cigarettes..those were the days..

  2. Hi Doug, one of the photos of the Grocery-Bungalow in the Alberta district, about which you have written, shows a large hinged box in the front on the sidewalk. I believe the writing says Fresh Milk. Not sure, had to use a magnifying glass to read it.

  3. I remember getting special treats at the bakery in the 1950s. I see in Google Street Views that the bakery now is Bagel Land and that the power pole is in the same location .

    IBC mentions the dentist office on the second floor. What else was up there??

  4. What’s really interesting with this building is the property owner owns the sidewalk on the west side of the building. Only place in Portland I know of where that’s case. I think the Multnomah County Sheriff signed off on the deal in the 30’s to make the intersection more usable for cars. That’s why there is a weird sidewalk configuration on 41st.

  5. Note that there are two telephone numbers listed. There were two competing telephone companies in Portland at the time. Home telephone company and Bell.

  6. If you are familiar with the City of Portland archives sites Vintage Portland if you go to that site and search up 28th and NE Broadway there is a picture of a MacMarr store with a hinged plywood box outside– it was was for Stigerwald Milk

    • Excellent, thank you Mike for the phone company insight, and the Stigerwald Box ID. Vintage Portland is one of our favorite websites and regularly features photos that turn back the clock.

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