Alameda Stories

Alameda Community Church

We are a neighborhood filled with memories and stories. This photo, taken in 1924, shows a gathering of local kids at the Alameda Park Community Church, built in 1921 on an island of property at NE Regents and Mason. Today, the building is known as the Subud Center, 3185 NE Regents Drive. For more history of the Subud Center/Alameda Park Community Church, check out the link below. Photo is from the Morrison Family Collection. 

Click on the bold headings below to read articles I’ve researched and written that have appeared in the Alameda News.

Broadway Streetcar: The streetcar was key to development of the neighborhood and connected Alameda with downtown and the rest of the city.

Alameda Street Names: Ever wonder about Bryce, Hamblet or Gile? Here’s some background on how our streets got their names.

Alameda Life | 1920-1930: Looking back to the 1920 and 1930 Census can reveal some interesting trends and information about early day Alameda.

The Pearson Place: Noticed the tall pine near Northeast 29th and Fremont? It has quite a story to tell…

Living Where They Grew Up: Alamedans tell their own stories about what it has been like to live in the homes where they grew up.

The Alameda Park Community Church (today’s Subud Center): This is a fascinating story of neigborhood opposition and then acceptance. Check out the photos too.

17 responses

  1. This may be somewhere else on the site, but we once (probably still do in some drawer) had a brochure advertising the new development which roughly consisted of farms recently consolidated to create a large suburban development of Alameda. The brochure was printed around 1918 and advertised the new development as “free of Negroes and other minorities. Hard to believe it was not that long ago, and that something like that would be printed as if it was quite acceptable.

  2. The map here on the blog was pulled from that brochure, which was printed in 1911 and advertised lots for sale by the Alameda Land Company. Terry is right…the marketing language of the day makes for a startling read.

  3. I love all the research you have done here! I have owned a home on Fremont at Edgehill in Alameda for about 7 years. When I bought the house I tried to get some historical information from the previous owner but never heard back from them. I was really hoping to start compiling some house history but I don’t have much to go on. I would love to find blueprints and the architects name.
    Here’s all I know: Alameda/Olmsted Park, built in 1922 in French Normandy Cottage style.
    I heard a rumour that the architect was a dentist and built 2 other homes in Alameda; my neighbor’s home and another house, both on Edgehill Terr. All three houses do share some similiar features.
    When I bought the house it had suffered some neglect but mostly cosmetic. It has most of the original interior details, fixtures and even original paint and stain cans from the 20’s. I just recently started on the attic and I keep finding treasures. Antique toys, games, lamps, papers and such.
    Where to you recommend I start to try and find more information about the history?

  4. One cannot begin to describe the Old Neighborhood without mentioning the bus route. Specifically from N.E.27th and Skidmore to N.E. 29th where the bus turned right. This two block run had to be terrifying for most of the Bus Drivers.
    Everything imaginable was heaved, thrown and shot toward every bus during every month of the year. It was snow balls in the winter, rocks, chestnuts, dirt clods, frisbees (pluto platters), water balloons, crayons shot with a Cross Bow. In fact, one time, one of the neighbor kids put a firecracker in an apple, lit the fuse and threw it in front of the bus. It exploded and apple shrapnel hit the windshield. The driver immediately stopped and tried to chase everyone away. I also remember a water balloon being thrown in an open window (summer time) and it got a passenger all wet. Another kid kicked a soccer ball so hard against the bus that it dented its side. I was later told by one of the adults that the bus company was seriously considering changing the bus route. That is how bad it was. I wonder if the Bus Drivers received hazardous duty pay?
    Another kid poured lighter fluid across the street at night and lit it on fire just before the bus approached. The bus drove through the flames. The bus drivers just never knew where or when they would be hit.
    What a great neighborhood to grow up in. Fun too!

    • Great memories! Thanks for sharing your experience at Hunderups (Hunderips?), and the bus gauntlet on Skidmore. I’ve never heard that particular tale. What was it about that stretch of street? There must have been some extra adventurous young people who lived nearby. I welcome and invite you to continue sharing your memories of Alameda here on line, or drop me an e-mail at Thanks!

      • hi doug love your web page i grew up on alameda st the long block that starts at 29th street to 26th or edge hill witch us kids called deadmans hill. any way my mother and father bought the house in 1968 my mother still lives there. i was 5 yr old then anyway me and some of the knot head kids growing up on the ridge we decided to make a trail all the way across the back yards on the ridge side from 29 to 26. this was quit the task it had bushes that we dug onderneath dug around trees had secret access to peoples back yards. we would cut out part of there wire fences anddelicately wire them back if they had wood slats we would loosen some slats to get through to there yard and so on almost every homeowner had some kind of fence of some sort but we always found a way to get through. that was a great escape for a young boy lots of fun and mischief. i can still remember the faces of some of the older lady faces seeing these little rug rats running through there yards. the funny thing is some of these sweet older ladies knew who we were and never scolded us kids when we would walk by there houses. i would like to think they got a kick out of banging on there windows win they saw the little cowboys @ indians running to are next safe spot. that was some good times.

      • Ted, I love this story and have heard a version of the same escapades from Alameda resident Steve Goodman, who may have blazed some of those trails you and the guys were crawling along (or may have been right there with you). Thanks for dropping by and sharing this gem.

  5. Doug, We exchanged info a long time ago and that brought me and Jean Pecore Weaver together on the net. If you want info on 3880 NE Wisteria Dr.(maybe not in Alameda) where the Herman Lowens lived after l937, and it is a fascinating story, contact my Sister in Law, Evelyn Lowen Apte,
    To refresh your memory I am a friend of Janet Mc’s

  6. Doug, I am curious to know if any of the Alameda Park area has been designated as a National Historic District. It was so disheartening to see the recent alterations on the house I grew up at 2028 NE Alameda Drive. I wish there had been some protection for that lovely home. It has lost so much of its historic integrity.

    We moved from the house in 1964, a mistake my Dad still talks about today. The couple who bought it from us lived there for 40 years. He recently passed away and then the extreme makeover happened.

    I have lots of stories from growing up in that neighborhood. It was the perfect street for us boomer kids to play and create our own fun. Before there were soccer camps there were carnivals, parades and home made go carts.

    Be fun to come up and meet you sometime.
    Doug Eaton

    • Hi Doug. Thanks for your visits to the blog, and for sharing your comments and memories. Sounds like you are an “old house person” as well, having restored your own bungalow and now working on the theater project.

      Yes, I would be interested in meeting and learning more about your memories of Alameda. Based on your e- mail address, it looks like we have an Irish connection that we need to explore as well.

      Regarding historic district status: while there are several neighborhood houses on the National Register of Historic Places, we do not have historic district status. I have been studying the possibilities, and watching as other neighborhoods have gone through the process.

      -Doug Decker

      • Doug,
        When my family came to 20th and Fremont, from Buena Park CA. I thought I had been dropped into the Garden of Eden (until I was dropped into first grade at Madeleine Grade school!! hell!) I used to go along the back properties of the Ridge as described above, between 21st up to Deadmans hill. I called it the Forest of Fairy Land. Broken bits of bottles were the jewels and the rays of light through the thick trees and morning glory were full of fairy dust in my 6 year old mind..

        Jane McCallum Buck

    • Hi Olivia. Thanks for visiting. I have never heard anything about a haunted hospital in Alameda. I can pretty conclusively say there has never been an official hospital here in the boundaries of the neighborhood, which was set up and marketed 100 years ago as an exclusively residential area. Give me a little more context…what have you heard? Just checking to make sure you mean the Alameda neighborhood of NE Portland, and not the city of Alameda, California?

  7. Hello Doug:
    I am sorry that the program on Sunday at the Subud Center is full. We will look forward to hearing about the next one!

    I have lived in this area since 1952– my mom still lives in the house we were raised in on Skidmore Street. We are in the home we bought on Alameda/Wiberg Lane in 1982 (or ’83 ?). My siblings and I went to Beaumont, Jospeh L. Meek, and Grant HS. Then our children went to Alameda, Beaumont, and Grant. Now grandchildren at Alameda and Beaumont… We roamed up and down 42nd Ave, rode bikes out to the slough and the river, picked berries on Sandy Blvd, played and spied on the ‘hobos’ in Beaumont Woods (along 47th Ave.) and all the boys played ball at Blaesing Field behind what is now Amalfi’s. There was a grocery store (burned down) where Pizzacato and Beaumont Florist are now. There was a pharmacy on the corner (Gazelle), Boss’s Bakery, the dry goods store, the five-and-ten cent store; Sid Stein’s gas station was where the Albina Bank and Foot Traffic stores are now sitting.

    We had such good times as kids in this neighborhood. And it is still a grand place to live, raise children (and grandchildren).

    Thank you so much for your comprehensive research and willingness to share. ‘Can’t wait for another opportunity to hear/see what you’ve learned about the really old aspects of our neighborhood!

  8. My grandmother Odell Violet Allen (1916-1979) lived at 640 Pacific Avenue, with her husband Larry Weerts and their adult son, Larry Jr. – who occupied the apartment below with a giant St. Bernard, who loved to chase me and my sister whenever we came to visit. The house sits across the street from Fire Station No. 2 – and I well remember being excited to watch the fire engines coming and going. My grandmother owned a cleaners, and when she passed the house was sold and her husband and son (my uncle Larry Jr.) moved to Arizona. Some good memories of walking with our uncle to Taco Bell in the very early ’70s, and of egging his dog on to get her to chase us, and yes, of Grandma fiercely washing our hair in her kitchen sink.

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