Home History School | Find your streetcar

Northeast Portland streets were once alive with streetcars taking neighbors to work, school and play. They were an institution that connected us with the city and with our neighbors. Noisy, drafty, cold in winters but alive with neighbors going places, these electric-powered vehicles were loved by Portlanders, and our system was the envy of the country.

The Beaumont streetcar at the end of the line between Klickitat and Siskiyou on NE 41st Avenue, about 1914. Courtesy City of Portland Archives.

The rise of cars and buses in the 1940s brought an end to streetcars, but if you know where to look, you can still find clues, and there’s lots of photos, memories, maps and even old film to teach us about these times. This week’s activities get you looking for clues, finding your nearest streetcar route and learning about the electric trains that criss-crossed Northeast Portland neighborhoods.

Click below for this week’s installment.

Find Your Streetcar

Home History School | Where’s Elwood?

Maybe you have some young people in your world these days looking for things to do to feed their curiosities and continue their learning close to home. As in very close to home. The great pandemic of 2020 has turned our lives upside down in so many ways, and it’s brought your kids’ classroom to your dining room table.

Here’s a sliver of good news: You happen to be living in a century-old time machine on a landscape that has been in constant change and full of opportunities for imagination, exploration, expression, activity and insight.

Each Monday this spring, we’ll provide a weekly focus on local history explorations that include activities and questions to get you going. We think these activities are fun and meaningful for kids of all ages, like us!

We’re starting with Elwood Wiles, a name you probably recognize but can’t quite place (think sidewalks). And each Monday, we’ll provide a similar package of things to do and think about, from using old maps to draw a map of your neighborhood today, to locating a current view from old photos, to exploring local parks in search of their history.

Click into the PDF below to get started…

Where’s Elwood?

 

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