Special Features about Cemeteries Trolleys

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The Infamous Corbett Ramp

John's Landing is a flatland between the Willamette River and the base of the West Hills. Corbett Street runs straight north-south along the base of the hills. At the south end of Corbett, the Avenue is split into a ramp that goes up an incline (12.8% grade, or 7.3 degrees.).

Corbett Street and Ramp on December 9, 2020

Was this used by the Trolley / Street car? Probably Not. Probably Folklore. The ramp may simply be an artifact of a large retaining wall, similar to smaller ones on this east slope of the West Hills, above and around Barbur blvd, more related to creating terraces of buildable lots (ie Land $$).

Streets weren't paved in outer areas when the Fulton Trolley was running. So, the trolley likely traversed the hillside, and used trestles.

Definitive answer needed: When was the Corbett Avenue ramp built, and Why?

LIDAR imagery for Brier Trench

See Thin vertical purple line in upper right of image.

LIDAR imagery for Brier Trench

Could this just be a sewer line? I don't think so. Need to research the history of it.


The 1909 Sanborn map below shows a WOODEN TRESTLE FOR ELECTRIC RY. Sanborn maps were made by an insurance company in order to assess risk of fire for insurance purposes, ergo the wood structure is shown, but not steel rails. This is from Sanborn Maps, 1909, Sheet 179.

Sanborn Maps, 1909, Sheet 179, showing WOODEN TRESTLE in the location where the Red Electric line passed.

We think this WOODEN TRESTLE FOR ELECTRIC RY was for the Oregon (Red) Electric. Could it have been shared with the Fulton Park Trolley??

The Portland Paving Map

On this map published in 1894, one can see a line that corresponds to our 'Green Line' to Greenwood Hills Cemetery.

Ignore most of the streets on the map below! This early plat of South Burlingame is goofy/flat because they did it on paper without regard for terrain. Some of these streets never became streets!

Stephens Creek is not shown on this early map!

1894 Portland Paving Map showing a rail line to Greenwood Hills Cemetery (Green added by JM.)

The Green reference line was added to this Portland Paving Map, showing the Trolley line. MAINLY Note the line goes into and through 'Greenwood Cemetery' toward River View Cemetery.

The Alexander Ceres Diagrammatic Map

This Map appears on Page 72 of Labbe's Fares Please!. I added the red dot to represent my house.

Metropolitan Railway Route Map [Labbe,p72]. Schematic Map by Alexander B. Ceres

The map is correct downtown where it simply followed established streets. Reading from north to south, the line came out of Portland on Corbett Avenue to Hamilton. Just past Hamilton, you can see that it turns into tracks, and veers off to the west into what was the side of Portland's west hills, and it stayed below the SPRR line. In Fulton Park, where you see the Powerhouse and the little spur, it got more difficult to represent what the line actually did.

Compare this black and white map to the Portland Paving Map (above), and you'll see that the F Line curved around with the SPRR a bit before heading south. It would have been hard to show the spur, the line, and the powerhouse all in that Fulton Park area on this scale. I am tempted to draw a better version of it, but I'll leave it alone.

Unfortunately, some people read the map to say the trolley went up Corbett Ave the whole way, and then turned into Fulton Park. Also the map shows the F Line cutting across the the Jewish Cemetery, and that just did not happen. We don't fault Ceres for the representation, it's pretty good. We don't know what map or maps he worked from, although it would be nice to know. Did Labbe have a engineering map, or a feeling for where the line went, and just summarized it to Ceres in a sketch, who then abstracted it onto some working map of the roads and river?

Schedules of F and N-S lines

Text forthcoming, real soon. We do apologize.

F Line Ticket (find or Mock one up)

Thompson has a copy of an N-S Line ticket on Page 19 of Portland's Streetcar Lines. We'd like to find an F Line ticket, or create one in the same style.

Curious Cement Blocks in Fulton Park

Text forthcoming, real soon. We do apologize.

Wondering about the Terwilliger Bridge location

CROSSING Stephens Creek — There evidently was a trestle over Stephens Creek. Was that crossing made where the Terwilliger Bridge is now, before the 'Burlingame Bridge' was contructed in 1927?

  • 1891 Trolley Trestle somewhere
  • 1927 First Terwilliger Bridge built using recycled steel girders from original Vista Avenue Bridge which was built in 1903.
  • 1948 Terwilliger (aka Burlingame) Bridge - Structural Improvements made.
  • 1961 I-5 opened
  • 1990 State agrees to fund new bridge.
  • 1993 New Terwilliger Bridge completed.

The 1894 Portland Paving Map seems to indicate an different alignment for the Fulton Park Trestle, one that might line up with Crestline in South Burlingame today.

What else?

Text forthcoming, real soon. We do apologize.

I-5 Construction Notes

We intend to submit an information request to ODOT for any reports filed containing a pre-construction pre 1960 survey of the I-5 corridor from the Terwilliger curves through the Corbett Ave exit. What was topography before the construction? What written survey notes or inventory of the right-of-way were made? For example, we know there was a massive retaining wall constructed for the Oregon Electric railway along there. SO, a decision was made to leave the wall in place (till 2010 anyway). Perhaps older trestles piers were removed, and so on. A topographic survey should show what the land was like south of the Fulton Park community center and garden area. What TOPO did they use, or make for the project?

Massive Retaining Wall, rescued Date blocks?

See above about I-5 construction. Did one or both DATE BLOCKS from the massive Oregon Electric retaining wall get rescued? If so, where can they be seen?