H. Russell Albee House

Harry Russell Albee was born in Rockford Illinois on September 8, 1867. In 1890 he married June Lewis. In 1895 he sold his Michigan business, the Bay City Lumber Company and moved to Portland. He won a seat on the Portland City Council in 1903. In 1910 he was elected to the Oregon Senate. In 1913 he was elected as Portland mayor. He was the first Portland mayor elected under the new commission form of government (Portland had just switched over from the ward system). He led the efforts to develop the city’s public docks and supported measures to implement the expansion of parks.

H. Russell Albee, 1913 (www.gegoux.com)

In 1910 Albee purchased eight lots that stretched 500 feet along a ridge above the area that would eventually become Laurelhurst Park. He commissioned Portland architect A.E. Doyle to design a house, one of the first homes that would be built in the new subdivision that was developed by the Laurelhurst Company. Doyle designed a 120-foot-long house with an orientation and room layout that maximized views towards the park.

H. Russell Albee House, c1940 (Oregon State Historic Preservation Office)

The colonial revival house was built in 1912 and featured a solarium, living room, dining room, library, and kitchen on the ground floor and a sleeping porch, sitting room, and four bedrooms on the second floor. The house has undergone a few changes over the years. The kitchen was remodeled, a skylight was installed, and marble tile was installed in the solarium, among other things. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

H. Russell Albee House, 1912

Location of H. Russell Albee House:

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Cedar Crossing Covered Bridge

The one and only covered bridge in Multnomah County is not technically a covered bridge. It lacks traditional wood trusses so it is considered a “roofed span”. The 60-foot-long span crosses Johnson Creek on Deardorff Road and was built in 1982 to replace an older bridge that was too narrow.

Bridge over Johnson Creek

County Executive Don Clark had dreamed of building a covered bridge in the county for years. At one point he even considered moving a covered bridge from elsewhere. He was quoted in the Oregonian as saying “I’ve always thought they were very picturesque. They look like they belong in Oregon as part of the landscape and examples of a relaxed, more placid lifestyle.”

He got his wish when engineers decided to replace the too-narrow bridge over Johnson Creek on Deardorff Road. While the new bridge was under construction a contest was held in the David Douglas School District to decide a name. Ginell Lamont, a seventh grader at Alice Ott Elementary School, won the contest with her suggestion of “Cedar Crossing.”

Cedar Crossing Covered Bridge Sketch
Design sketch of covered bridge

The bridge was dedicated on a wet day in January 1982. Don Clark joked with the crowd that “If you’ve ever wondered why they put covers on bridges, if this weather doesn’t tell you nothing will.”

Today the bridge looks much the same as it did when it opened 30 years ago. My photos below, taken in April 2012, show the view from the north end of the bridge, then the south end.

Cedar Crossing Covered Bridge

Cedar Crossing Covered Bridge

Location of Cedar Crossing Covered Bridge:

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Johan Poulsen House

If you have ever driven south on Highway 99E (McLoughlin Blvd) out of Portland, you may have noticed a beautiful Queen Anne style house just south of the Ross Island Bridge (3040 SE McLoughlin Blvd). It is striking for its beauty and also because of its unfortunate placement by a busy highway and a busy bridge.

It wasn’t always this way, though. Johan Poulsen, along with Robert D. Inman, was part owner of the Poulsen-Inman Lumber Co. on the east bank of the Willamette River, just south of where OMSI is now. (Read more about the lumber company.) In the early 1890s (the exact date seems to be unknown) the two men built identical houses on the bluff above the Willamette River, on either side of Powell Blvd. Poulsen’s house had three carved oak fireplaces, cut glass light fixtures, and ornate tooled brass doorknobs. The westward view from the towers on the two houses was magnificent.

William J. Clemens, a prominent insurance broker (and later a state senator), lived in the house from 1902 to 1919. A. A. Hoover purchased the house in 1919. He made his fortune selling doghnuts and was called the “Doughnut King,” so the house became known as the King’s Palace. Dr. Gustav Huthman, who helped establish the Rose City Veterinary Hospital, lived in the house from 1923 to 1946 with his family.

When the Ross Island Bridge was finished in 1926 and McLoughlin Blvd finished in 1932, the appearance of this neighborhood was greatly changed. The beautiful lawn that surrounded the house was gone, and Dr. Huthman built up a concrete retaining wall below the house.

The photo below shows the Poulsen House sometime in the early 20th century. Notice the beautiful sloping lawn and small stone retaining wall.

Johan Poulsen House
Oregon State Historic Preservation Office

Here is the house from roughly the same angle in 2012. McLoughlin Blvd is in the foreground and the Ross Island Bridge is just behind the photographer.
Poulsen House

The photo below shows the house as seen from the Ross Island Bridge. The huge tree in front of the house is a Camperdown elm, the largest and oldest in the state and estimated to be 100 years old.

Poulsen House

The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, and in 1978 an Historic Preservation Fund grant helped restore the old house. It got a new paint job in 2008 (apparently that beautiful yellow color is called “beeswax”). But what became of the twin, Inman’s house across the street?

Inman House

Sadly, it was torn down to make way for a parking lot in 1958, an event captured by Oregonian photographer, Dick Farris. The photo below appeared in the November 26, 1958 issue of the Oregonian, under the heading “Grandeur of Bygone Day Topples”.

Fall of the House of Inman

The photo below shows the Inman House from the Ross Island Bridge, in happier times.

Inman House

The same view today:

Parking Lot

The first photo below (which was taken in 1948) shows the eastern end of the Ross Island Bridge and you can see the Poulsen and Inman houses on either side of the bridge approaches. In the second modern-day photo, you can see the Poulsen House circled in red and the parking lot where the Inman house once stood.

A2005-001.816 : Ross Island Bridge east end approach at SE McLoughlin Blvd (Highway 99)
City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2005-001.816

Ross Island Bridge
Google Earth

Location of Paulson House in Portland:

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