Taking in some great spring weather, I took an urban hike around the neighborhoods near Mt. Tabor. I used the guide developed by Laura O Foster in Portland Hill Walks and her insights provided a few surprises that I’ll share here:
Most interesting, there are a number of obelisk stone markers across the City. These markers were used to measure the distance between locations and the center of downtown Portland. A marker (labeled P4) still exists near SE Stark and 61st. SE Stark used to be called Base Line Road and was a key eastern route to downtown Portland. More about how these markers were used can be found here.
Another interesting fact is that the entryway of a nearby building that was a fire-station in horse and buggy days (currently being used as a café) still has the stone paving designed to provide a horse’s traction on wet ground when pulling a fire engine cart. Cool stuff.
The stone marker is at one side of 61st and the café/historic fire station is at the opposite side of the street. For more Portland walks and nerdy historic facts, I highly recommend Laura’s book as a way to learn more about our hidden gems while walking the neighborhoods of Portland. You can find it here from Microcosm Publishing. Happy Walking.