Portland's Streetcar Lines (Images of Rail)

October 31, 2020
Portland's Streetcar Lines (Images of Rail)

Portland neighborhoods owe their location, alignment, and growthto a splendid, 19th-century innovation: the streetcar. This citystill bears the imprint of the carlines that once wove their wayout to suburbs in every direction, including Fulton, PortlandHeights, Goose Hollow, Nob Hill, Slabtown, Willamette Heights,Albina, Saint Johns, Irvington, Rose City, Mount Tabor, Montavilla,Mount Scott, and Sellwood. As routes developed, people used themfor more than just getting to work; they also discovered therecreational function of street railways while visiting friends,parks, and shopping areas farther from the center of town. The timeof the trolley peaked during the 1910s. In 1927, the local streetrailway system entered a period of slow decline that ended in 1950,when Portland's last city streetcars gave way to buses. This is thehistory of those classic lines.Rail historian Richard Thompson has worked as an archaeologist,archivist, historical museum director, librarian, and streetcarcoordinator. His large collection of photographs and memorabiliaserved as a resource for two previous Arcadia Publishing books,Images of Rail: Portland's Streetcars and Images of Rail:Willamette Valley Railways. The photographs in this volume takereaders back to an era when the clang of the trolley bell was awelcome part of neighborhood life.