Union Ave and Columbia Blvd in 1916

In 1916 Union Avenue (now Martin Luther King Boulevard) ended at Bryant Street — north of Bryant all the way to the Columbia Slough was the Lewis Love Donation Land Grant, owned by the heirs of Captain Lewis Love. The Vancouver line of the Portland Railway Light & Power Company had a right-of-way over Love land, but there was no paved road of any kind.

Ever since 1894 the good citizens of Piedmont and Woodlawn had asked the city to extend Union Avenue north to the city boundaries at Columbia Slough Road (now Columbia Boulevard). The piece from Prescott to Alberta was done in 1894, and the piece from Alberta to Bryant in 1898. But Lewis Love refused to let the road continue on his land. He died, however, in 1903, and his heirs were more malleable. The piece from Bryant to Columbia, was added between 1916 and 1918. A copy of the report of the city engineer on this last addition can be found at


And here is a picture of the intersection of Union Avenue and Columbia Boulevard in 1916, standing on the railroad tracks looking south on Union Avenue over the Love Donation.

Public Works Administration (Archival) - City ~ 008.110 Looking south from Station C with view of old Portland Railway Light & Power Company street railway trestle and intersection of Columbia Blvd and Union Ave.JPG

And another picture of the work being done, looking north on Union Avenue towards the Columbia River.

Public Works Administration (Archival) - City Engineer - City Engineer s Historical Subject Records - A2001-008.144 Union Ave [Martin Luther King Jr. Ave] looking north near Columbia River.JPG

Higher resolution version of these pictures can be found at




One response to “Union Ave and Columbia Blvd in 1916”

  1. Thank you for sharing your research and old photos. All very fascinating!

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