Compiled by Martha Gies with help from historic preservation activist Cathy Galbraith, Executive Director, Bosco Milligan Foundation.
Jane Weber graduated from Grant in 1948, attended University of Oregon, where she earned a Bachelor’s in General Arts & Letters in 1952, then took a one-year post-graduate course in medical records at Duke. Returning to Portland, she worked in the records department at St. Vincent’s until she and Don Bachman, whom she had married in 1958, adopted their first child. They had adopted two girls and a boy by the time they had three daughters of their own.
Emma and Finn Brown came from Biloxi, Mississippi, to the Pacific Northwest by train, and settled in Vancouver, Washington, in 1949, where their only child, Annie Louise, was born at St. Joseph Hospital. Finn first got a job working at a cannery; later, when he was hired on at Rich Manufacturing in Portland, they moved across the river. Emma went into domestic service with a family in Dunthorpe, with whom she worked for more than two decades. Widowed in 1978, Emma Brown, has also outlived many of her clients. Today she is 84 and still working part time.
For nearly 7 years, Eliot residents have wondered what the future is for the building that housed the Cleo-Lilliann Club for many years. At the corner of N Williams & Monroe, it was a fixture for social gatherings in the neighborhood until closing in 2001. Since that time, it has sat vacant and been a target for taggers as no real estate deals apparently have been worked out between owners and potential buyers.
Eliot lost a historic building in October 2007, but to the relief of some residents as it had been an eyesore in recent years. The two story wood framed structure was at 2240-2248 NE MLK on the corner of NE Sacramento. Over the last 50 years, it suffered insensitive alterations and neglect. In its last years, structural problems became more apparent as the elements took a toll on the exterior. It was the last of several turreted Victorian structures that formerly lined a busy Union Avenue (MLK today) during the 1890s. Under the present ownership, a future new mixed use building is planned for the site since it is a prime location for retail development.
Russell Street Looking West 1910′s
Lower Albina and the Factory District in the early 1900’s. There are at least 8 buildings in this picture that are no longer standing. In the picture, on the left side is the building that is home to Mint and 820 and further down , the White Eagle. To the right you can see part of the Davis Block, the former hotel next door and in the distance, the Smithson Block – now home to Widmere.
Egyptian Theater 1933
This 1933 picture shows the entrance to the Egyptian Theater located on Union (MLK) near Brazee. The neighborhood theater was built in 1924 and owned and operated by the Graeper family. Originally it was home to live vaudeville style shows and later in the 30’s was showing motion pictures. The building operated as a theater until 1962 then as a warehouse until 1989.
Martin Mayo Building 1930’s
The Martin Mayo Building, 2401 NE Union, is on the corner of Union (MLK) and Sacramento. It was built in 1912.
In our neighborhood full of wonderful old homes, we often wonder who the actual builder was that put his design and energy into these buildings. Many of the skilled men who actually built our homes also lived inside Eliot. Some of them were masters at the design as well as the carpentry. John F. Wilson was one of these men who left their building legacy behind for us. But unlike most builders of the day, he remained inside our neighborhood for six more decades even though he switched residence in several houses.
Hill Block 1910
The Hill Block Building was built by Charles H. Hill, Albina’s first mayor. Located at the corner of Russell and Williams it was at the center of the business district for Albina.
Roy E. Roos, author of many neighborhood history articles over the last 9 years, is putting together a book on the history of Albina. The old town of Albina was inside today’s Eliot, Boise & King neighborhoods. There has only been a limited amount of history documented about the early days of Albina and there have only been a few old photographs found at the Oregon Historic Society. He previously authored the book “The History & Development of Portland’s Irvington Neighborhood” in 1997 and is targeting publishing his latest book in 2007.
Written by Carol Kennedy
The Eliot neighborhood, located in northeast Portland, Oregon, is locally significant as the original town site, of the City of Albina. Of the many communities that ultimately merged to form the present City of Portland, the City of Albina occupies a distinct niche in the city’s history. No other township contributed as greatly as did Albina to defining Portland’s present-day boundaries. The union of the City of Albina and the City of Portland in 1891 also added to the City of Portland’s sociocultural history by later fostering a diverse working class, immigrant, and minority community.(1)
Today’s Wonder Ballroom was built by The Ancient Order of Hibernians, a group committed to immigration reform, civil rights for those of Irish descent and the preservation of the old Irish culture. Designed by the architecture firm of Jacobberger & Smith, the hall was completed on schedule and the first meeting was held in the new building on September 10, 1914.