Maplewood Station

Maplewood Station on the Oregon Electric Railway, ca. 1913, from the Wendland Family Collection.

Maplewood Station on the Oregon Electric Railway, ca. 1913, from the Wendland Family Collection.

On May 14, 1906 the Oregon Electric Railway was organized “to construct and operate a system of railroads, either single track or double track, with power to change from one to the other, from a point at or near the north boundary of the City of Portland, Oregon, Multnomah County, in a southerly direction over and across the Willamette River to and through the city of Salem, Oregon, Marion County, to a point at or near the southern border of Roseburg, Oregon.” By January 1907 the line extended eight miles out of Salem towards Portland. Work went slowly and it was decided to start another line out of Portland to meet the Salem line. It went where I-5 is now, then along where Multnomah Boulevard is, past Maplewood to Garden Home, then south to Tigard and Salem. The stations along the raiload were given Native American names. Maplewood was originally Kuza, for a tribe of Indians from Alaska who lived on the central north Oregon coast. Passenger service began on January 30, 1908, and continued until May 13, 1933. At the railroad’s peak, thirty trains a day passed this station.

1913 USGS Map. Route of Oregon Electric, Multnomah Station, and Maplewood Station highlighted.

1913 USGS Map. Route of Oregon Electric, Multnomah Station, and Maplewood Station highlighted.

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5 Responses

  1. Paul Drahn says:

    Actually the second Red Electric line did not go to Salem, there was no bridge over the Willamette. It went SW to Newberg because my mother lived in Newberg at that time and told of riding the Red Electric from Newberg to Portland and going through Multnomah. I suspect the line continued from Newberg to McMinnville, etc.

  2. timlyman says:

    Hi Paul – The line to Newberg and McMinnville was a branch line, as was the line to Forest Grove. Service from Portland to Salem began in January 1908, and was extended to Eugene in 1912. The bridge that carried the railway over the Willamette River is visible to the west of I5 at its Wilsonville crossing of the Willamette. Passenger service in the Willamette Valley ended in May 1933. Freight operations continued and the railway survived into the 1990s, operating under different names. Operation as an electric railroad ended July 10, 1945.

    More information here:, and

    Oregon Electric Railway Route Map, 1914.

    • Paul Drahn says:

      True. And the tracks were all laid over the original narrow gauge line put in by the Oregonian Railroad. Maplewood Road was originally their right-of-way. That is why it has that long sweeping curve.

      The Oregonian Railroad was financed by the Bank of Scotland. They wanted to get to Salem and laid a line from Salem to the Willamette River opposite Fulquartz Landing. They ran a branch line from Dundee to Fulquartz Landing and tried to get the state to build a bridge there, but the cost was too great. It would have to be a draw bridge to allow for river navigation. Concrete piers were built on the Dundee side of the river, but no bridge was ever built. Passengers were ferried from one side to the other. All tracks were removed because the passenger traffic was so light.

      So, they never got direct service to Salem.

  3. timlyman says:

    Hi Paul – I reread your initial comment and realized that you were talking about a different line, the Red Electric (A Southern Pacific line opened in 1914 in response to the Oregon Electric). The Red Electric did, as you say, use lines from the Oregonian Railway. One branch ran along the west shore of the Willamette where the Lake Oswego trolley now runs, then along the current Portland and Western Tracks to Tualatin and on south. Another branch went west from Portland to Hillsboro and Forest Grove, where it turned south, connecting with the other branch at St.Joseph. This branch’s route was roughly current Barbur Boulvard to Capitol Highway, to Beaverton Hillsdale Highway, along the TV Highway to Forest Grove, then south along current Highway 47. Neither Red Electric route ever ran through Maplewood, that was the Oregon electric. Both lines (OE and Red E) paralleled each other until where Burlingame Fred Meyer is today. They split as the Red E headed up Bertha Blvd. and out (roughly) current Beaverton Hillsdale Highway, and the OE headed down current Multnomah Boulevard, turning NW towards Beaverton at Garden Home, and then south from Beaverton. I know you probably know all this, I’m just trying to make things clear for folks who don’t.

    For those interested in more history on the Oregonian Railway:

    There is info on all three RRs in the the Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History: Oregon, Washington, accessible online here: or at the Multnomah County Library.

    Here is a map of the Oregonian Railway, also showing the Oregon & California RR:

    Oregonian Railway

    Here is a map of the Red Electric Line:

    Red Electric route map, 1926.

  4. Jim Kahn says:

    I just happened to click onto this site. OMG…what memories…talk about a blast from the past! So…not one photo of Bill’s Home & Garden Center, now the location of Starbucks…no mention of John Steinbach’s Appliance Store that used to be next door…just curious if you have any photos. Bill’s went out of business in the very early 50’s due to places like Copeland, which was just down the street. We always bought our appliances from Steinbach’s…they were such great friends of the family…oh…Bill…who owned the hardware store…his last name was Kahn! Indeed…William Martin Kahn. Thanks for any information you might have stashed away!

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