Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Tax lists cause consternation with unheard of items in 1917

by: File photo, Anne Endicott

1917 - Even 90 years ago, tax laws were a bone of contention. Assessors had gone door-to-door during the winter, tallying up property values and the like, but it was the inclusion of the family dog (or dogs), cords of wood and pounds of potatoes that sent Outlook editors over the edge. 'The tax list is all about unheard of things,' they wrote, 'and is so far behind the times as to appear somewhat ridiculous.'

1927 - Portland Electric Power Co. was appealing to women 80 years ago by offering a 10-percent discount on a 'modern' Hotpoint electric range. Spring had sprung, the ad read, and there was no reason the lady of the house had to 'carry (your home) like a shell upon your back' when a new range would free her to 'have carefree hours with your family and friends.'

1937 - Another sure sign of spring 70 years ago: the end of spring training for the Portland Beavers in Fullerton, Ca. The 1936 Pacific Coast League Baseball champions were gearing up for their season opener against Oakland and were reputed to once again, 'have a good looking outfit.'

1947- Wonder what Multnomah County Sheriff Martin T. Pratt would think or do with the proposed Wood Village casino? Sixty years ago, Pratt fined two East County tavern owners, sending one to jail for 100 days, for violating Portland's no gambling law. 'Since gambling is reported to be closed down in the city, it is apparent every effort is being made by some gamblers to move into the country,' Pratt said. Most taverns offered wagering on punch boards, cards and pinball machines.

1957 - Gresham Fire took delivery of a new fire truck 50 years ago that boasted such new features as a two-way radio, 1,500 feet of hose and a 50-gallon pumper. The department's latest and greatest engine should arrive mid-April and will carry 3,000 feet of hose, a 390-horse power engine and a 1,500-gallon pumper.

1967 - Upcoming events and happenings from 40 years ago: the Gresham Rebekahs showed off their handmade Easter bonnets during a parade at their regular meeting; free knitting classes were offered at the newly opened Miracle Knit N' Gift shop on Southeast 221st Avenue; and St. Henry Catholic Church held its annual Fryer Tuck Chicken Dinner in the church hall.

1977 - Money was growing on trees 30 years ago, at least at Roth Volkswagen-Subaru on Southeast 182nd Avenue. Anyone with a valid driver's license could pluck a $2 bill for taking a test drive in any new 1977 vehicle. Kicking tires on new cars also provided registration for a cash drawing, with a top prize of $100.

1987 - Voters said 'yes' to reading 20 years ago when they approved a $7.5 million serial levy that designated $1.7 million for construction of a new library in Gresham. Ground was broken in 1988 for the new building on the corner of Northwest Miller Avenue and Third Street. Just before the library's grand opening in December 1989, volunteers stood shoulder-to-shoulder to transfer 14,000 books by hand from the old site at North Main Avenue and Fifth Street.

1997 - Remember these housing costs? Ten years ago, you could purchase a 2,126-square foot home in southwest Gresham, with three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen with an island, fenced backyard, deck and hot tub, for $179,750. Or how about a two-bedroom apartment, with basic cable services, for $465 a month?

2006 - Who says you can't fight city hall? At this time last year, Troutdale city leaders were forced to back down from an earlier decision, allowing an increase in building height along the south side of the East Historic Columbia River Highway. A commercial developer had sought to increase building height in Troutdale's core district to 45 feet, but residents dug in and won. The city council voted 6 to 1 to retain a 35-foot maximum height.

Compiled from The Outlook files.