by: Outlook photo Sharon Nesbit

1911 - A new block of downtown buildings, which still stand on Main Avenue, opened 100 years ago. Called the 'cement block,' the structures replaced wooden buildings that burned in a fire.

One of the buildings was occupied by Sterling and Johnson Hardware. In the process of setting up in new quarters, the store was robbed of $60 worth of knives and revolvers.

The local reporter speculated so much on how the robbers might have entered the building, that his theories amounted to a course on how someone might do it again.

1921 - A Portland pastor, the Rev. Henry E. Giles of Hope Presbyterian Church, drowned in the Sandy River at Troutdale 90 years ago after saving one of the Boy Scouts with whom he had been camping for a week.

When one of the boys stepped into a deep hole in the river, Giles went after him, but the panicked boy grabbed him around the neck. Giles succeeded in getting the youth to shallow water but when the others looked back, he had disappeared.

1931 - Mrs. Jessie West of Farris Road near Gresham, mother of two sons who died in World War I, was one of the Gold Star mothers who got a trip overseas at the expense of the government to visit the graves of their children 80 years ago.

In her case, though, she would not see graves. Her sons were lost with the USS Cyclops, which sailed for Europe in 1917 and was never heard from again.

1941 - 'Curves were out' in terms of highway construction, the editor commented 70 years ago. 'Time was when many of us were enraptured by driving slowly over winding roads, drinking in nature's beauties and sighing with relief at the peace which crept over us as we slowly, aimlessly wandered along the main highways which were as crooked as a snake's track,' he wrote.

But by 1941, highway users were asking for straight roads that took the shortest possible time.

1951 - James Pounder, an early Corbett area farmer, died 60 years ago. He came to the Corbett area as a logger and began farming in Corbett in 1924. He was survived by two daughters and two sons. One of those daughters, Crystal Pounder Bayley, became a school teacher and died last month at the age of 98.

1961 - Outlook publisher Lee Irwin was a devoted sports fan and 50 years ago was watching closely as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris threatened to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record.

'We hope not,' Irwin said. 'He was 'the' hero of our generation. We hate to see his record minimized to any degree.'

Irwin wouldn't get his wish. Maris went on to hit 61 home runs that year.

1971 - Bicycling was growing tremendously, The Outlook reported 40 years ago, but with it came 'an almost unbelievable number of car vs. bicycle accidents on East County roads.' Things were different then. Sheriff's deputies suggested that bicyclists pull over to the side of the road when a car came by. The law, then, was that bicycles traveled against, not with, the flow of traffic. Deputies also urged, even then, that bikes be registered.

Bicyclists certainly deserve more rights on the roadways, even a lane of the road, The Outlook editor said.

1981 - Air controllers were still on strike 30 years ago in defiance of President Ronald Reagan's back to work order. Reagan said the strike was over, and his administration was in the process of rebuilding the nation's air traffic control system.

1991 - A performing arts center for Reynolds High School was on the drawing board 20 years ago. And at Reynolds Metals in Troutdale, three of the five production lines were shut down at the aluminum plant and 450 people lost their jobs.

2001 - Gresham's Central Point building, a mixed-use high-density development with businesses on the ground floor and 22 apartments above, won the 2001 Governor's Livability Award 10 years ago.

2010 - The Reynolds school board turned down an idea for a skateboard park at Reynolds Middle School at this time last year. Steve and Cherie Wallace started a cooking school in their historic Gresham home. Gresham's neighborhoods were seeing too many coyotes and calls to The Outlook were frequent.

Researched and compiled from The Outlook files.

Correction: A reader pointed out an error in the Aug. 10 history column, noting the death in 2001 of Gresham police Capt. Dwight Vicars. Our initial story in 2001 mistakenly reported that Vicars was a Gresham police chief. Vicars never made that rank, though he was a 'good captain.' We ran a correction. We made the error by promoting Vicars in 2001, and perpetuated it in 2011. So here's another correction.

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