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Just The Other Day

Boy rides trolleys, trains to frolic in the gorge in 1911
by: contributed photo A visit from Sen. Joseph McCarthy at the Multnomah County Republicans annual picnic led to criticism in 1951.

1911 - The new Mount Hood road 'is a very fine auto road from Cherryville to Rhododendron' The Outlook reported 100 years ago. The road was said to be wide and well-graded, and bridges had been rebuilt. Just how it was from Rhododendron on, the writer didn't say, but if you could make it to Government Camp, Ely Coalman was running the hotel there and Lyman Davis was acting as the guide to the top of the mountain.

In other discussions of transportation, 10-year-old Harold Lyman wrote about visiting the Columbia River Gorge by mass transit a century ago. He took a trolley car from Gresham to Linnemann Junction, then to Troutdale to board the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company train to Latourell, where he and friends got off and visited the falls. They picnicked, swam in the Columbia Slough near Rooster Rock and then caught the train and reversed the process to get back to Gresham.

1921 - The news items were smaller and didn't make the evening television news, but they were there even 90 years ago. A demented woman, who tried but failed to work in the local cannery, was running loose in Gresham and had escaped one caregiver after another until Dr. Adix declared her seriously ill and put her under the care of a nurse. Another man, dressed in a blue suit, straw hat and collar, was found near his home suffering from a severe nervous breakdown. He told officers he had lost his money and was of no further use at home, so he left. He was placed in a sanitarium. He wife had put out a description of him and offered a $100 reward for his capture.

1931 - It was an argument for the automatic turn signal 80 years ago when an auto rushing up from behind broke the outstretched arm of a Plattesville, Wis., man who was signaling for a turn.

1941 - Outdoor living was a relatively new concept 70 years ago, but the Ray Simpson home in Troutdale claimed third prize in The Oregonian's outdoor living contest with an expansive brick patio, a spread of Adirondack chairs (now back in style) and a big outdoor fireplace with adjacent cooking surface.

1951 - Prior to 1951, when the Legislature changed the law, auto drivers got one accident 'free.' A new financial responsibility law passed 60 years ago made accident reporting mandatory if there was property damage or personal injury and a driver was forced to establish financial responsibility for that accident. And Multnomah County Republicans were criticized for inviting Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy to speak at their annual picnic. Some thought McCarthy's tactics went too far. Others thought that any result that drove out subversives was worth it.

1961 - Publisher Lee Irwin traveled to San Francisco to the new baseball facility, Candlestick Park, 50 years ago. Everyone worried that it was the nation's windiest ballpark. During an All-Star game that summer, a pitcher was actually blown off the mound.

1971 - The kids in cars who used to 'drag Broadway' in Portland were dragging Gresham 40 years ago and the din on Powell Boulevard near the Mt. Hood theater from cars going down Powell, and making a circuit on Second Street, was driving Gresham residents crazy. Used to having the town close down at 10 p.m., irate callers phoned Publisher Lee Irwin, who stayed up late and drove to Gresham to view the chaos. At one point city officials closed Juniper Street to cut the circuit, but so far had not come up with a foolproof solution.

1981 - A retaliatory recall vote in the wake of a Gresham Grade School teachers strike failed 30 years ago and the school district retained four board members: Bunny Bartels, Dick Close, Steve Lewis and Tom Noonan.

The Troutdale bank was robbed that summer. The last robbery occurred just two years before. The final robbery at the bank, now the Troutdale police station, occurred on the day it closed for good.

1991 - A corporate takeover of Gresham's Fabricland by competitor House of Fabrics ended 170 jobs in Gresham 20 years ago. In Gresham, neighbors were unhappy with crowds gathering for a free lunch in front of Zarephath kitchen. Opened in 1985, Zarephath continues to feed the hungry today.

2001 - Fujitsu, the microelectronics plant that was to bring Gresham into the high-tech age, was threatening closure 10 years ago, with a loss to Gresham of $1.4 million. While the company was hoping for a turnaround in the semiconductor industry, they announced cuts to employee work hours and a 5-percent wage reduction.

In Troutdale, a smaller industry, the foundry at the studio of sculptor Rip Caswell, sold a $37,000 bronze bull elk to Maria Shriver. It was to be a surprise gift for her husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger. That marriage is kaput, but the elk is likely still at the couple's Sun Valley home.

2010 - Troutdale hired Craig Ward as city administrator at this time last year. In Bridal Veil, three Catholic nuns had scored 125 years of convent life. And the National Guard was helping to build the Jeff Lucas stadium in Corbett.

Researched and compiled from The Outlook files.