Multnomah Crossing

Multnomah Crossing ca. 1915.

Multnomah Crossing ca. 1915.


Capitol Highway crossing the Oregon Electric Railway tracks.

Capitol Highway opened October 22, 1916, but the tracks of the Oregon Electric Railroad (today’s Multnomah Boulevard) remained unbridged until the viaduct opened October 1, 1927. This was an extremely dangerous crossing. Capitol Highway was a link in the Pacific Highway, the main automobile route between Canada and Mexico – the Interstate 5 of its day – and as many as sixty trains a day passed the crossing. The triangular building that most people think was shaped to accommodate the viaduct actually predates the viaduct.

Circus Advertisement on Building in Multnomah, ca. 1915

Circus Advertisement on Building in Multnomah, ca. 1915


An enlargement of the building on the left of the first photo shows the two Oregon Electric tracks, a circus advertisement, and the businesses wares – brick, tile, sand, gravel, lime, and cement. The brick may have come from the Hillsdale brickyard, located near the southwest corner of Capitol Highway and Terwilliger Boulevard.

Railroad Crossing Signs at Multnomah Crossing, ca. 1915.

Railroad Crossing Signs at Multnomah Crossing, ca. 1915.


Two railroad crossing signs, one placed by Multnomah County, the other by Goodrich B. F. Goodrich Company. The photographer’s (J. L. Campbell, Portland, Ore) mark is also visible.

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1 Response

  1. May 27, 2015

    […] From the time the Oregon Electric laid its tracks in 1908 until the viaduct opened on October 1, 1926, pedestrian, horse, wagon and automobile traffic crossed the railroad tracks (now SW Multnomah Boulevard) at Multnomah Crossing. The crossing was just to the west of the viaduct; the little one way lane in front of the Medley Tea Shop is a remnant of this crossing. This was an extremely dangerous crossing. Capitol Highway was a link in the Pacific Highway, the main automobile route between Canada and Mexico – the Interstate 5 of its day – and as many as sixty trains a day passed the crossing. For more on the crossing, see Multnomah Crossing. […]

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