PORTLAND IN THE EARLY EIGHTIES
by Rev. John Stadling with observations by Harley Hallgren.
An account of his observation of the City of Portland by Rev John Stadling of Stockholm, Sweden and writes in his book published in Sweden in 1863.
"Portland is a beautiful city of 26,000
population on both sides of the Willamette River. On the whole it is well
built. It's hotel, school houses, churches and other buildings compare
favorable with similar buildings in the larger cities of the East.
Portland is the center of all trade in Oregon, Washington and a part of
Idaho. Great and lively activity prevails and the town is growing
fast. The river that flows through center of the town is deep enough for
the largest ocean steamers to navigate and tie up at its docks.
There are to be seen vessels from various countries of Europe, as well as from
the East Coast. Most of the boats seem to be from England."
"Five and Eight hundred foot hills covered with majestic virgin forest rise immediately behind the town. We walk among trees any one of which would provide enough lumber for building a large house with enough fire wood left over to last a year or two. Between these mighty trees, fruit trees are planted which groan under the weight of giant fruit of various kinds."
Railroads were a-building toward California and also eastward along the Columbia River where Rev. Stadling says he saw, "four thousand Chinamen in blue blouses" working on the right of way.
The Northern Pacific Terminal Company had purchased the old Central school property, where the Portland Hotel now stands, for $175,000 and this too had its effect upon our church development. (Since that time the Portland Hotel has been razed and is now where Pioneer Square is located.) For it was to help lay the stone for the foundation for this hotel that Edwin Stone cane to Portland from St. Paul. He arrived on the first Northern Pacific train, in fact the first train to come into Portland from the East in 1883. Mrs. Stone soon followed and with her came her sister Elizabeth Peterson who became Mrs. P. M. Holst and the mother of Mrs. John Nordell. These three were active members of the First Swedish Baptist Church in St. Paul, now known as the Payne Avenue Church. They were at once interested in the work of Okerson and Liljeroth in Portland. Later Mr. Stone's two sisters came to Portland.
Portland was supplied with several short street railway lines in 1883---small cars drawn by horses or mules and forbidden to travel more than eight miles an hour.
The arrival of the Northern Pacific train with Henry Villard and the other officials and prominent national figures was the occasion of much celebration with a great parade and a general illumination of the town with tallow candles.
There were not bridges across the river until 1887 but a large ferry operated between the two sides of the river. East Portland and Albina were separate towns until 1891.
The account of Rev. John Stadling and the added notes by Harley Hallgren were entered word for word from notes written by Harley Hallgren in his book titled "Miscellaneous notes by Harley Hallgren For Temple's Golden Jubilee Celebration--1934"
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