Portland's Streetcar Lines (Images of Rail Series)

Portland's Streetcar Lines (Images of Rail Series)

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by Richard Thompson
     
 

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Portland neighborhoods owe their location, alignment, and growth to a splendid, 19th-century innovation: the streetcar. This city still bears the imprint of the carlines that once wove their way out to suburbs in every direction, including Fulton, Portland Heights, Goose Hollow, Nob Hill, Slabtown, Willamette Heights, Albina, Saint Johns, Irvington, Rose City,

Overview

Portland neighborhoods owe their location, alignment, and growth to a splendid, 19th-century innovation: the streetcar. This city still bears the imprint of the carlines that once wove their way out to suburbs in every direction, including Fulton, Portland Heights, Goose Hollow, Nob Hill, Slabtown, Willamette Heights, Albina, Saint Johns, Irvington, Rose City, Mount Tabor, Montavilla, Mount Scott, and Sellwood. As routes developed, people used them for more than just getting to work; they also discovered the recreational function of street railways while visiting friends, parks, and shopping areas farther from the center of town. The time of the trolley peaked during the 1910s. In 1927, the local street railway system entered a period of slow decline that ended in 1950, when Portland's last city streetcars gave way to buses. This is the history of those classic lines.

The Images of Rail series celebrates the history of rail, trolley, streetcar, and subway transportation across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the people, places, and events that helped revolutionize transportation and commerce in 19th- and 20th-century America. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: Book Reviews

Author: JENNIFER S. LAWRENCE

Publisher: Tarrant County College

Date: 11/1/2010

Oak Cliffis part of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. As is customary in this series, the volume features numerous photographs documenting events, places, and people along with short bursts of text giving the reader brief historical background on the area. It is an addition to the more than seventy other works that deal with Texas locales available from this publisher.

Oak Cliff began as a small community prior to the Civil War along the south side of the Trinity River known as Hord's Ridge. Founded around the same time as its more famous northern neighbor across the river, Dallas, Oak Cliff grew steadily over the following decades. The community incorporated as a city in 1890, taking the new name of Oak Cliff-a name bestowed on it by developers. A lake, park, and hotel were soon built. Financial adversity followed later in the decade, and Oak Cliff was annexed by the city of Dallas in 1903. It has remained a suburb of Dallas ever since. In the twentieth century, Oak Cliff saw continued growth as new high schools, churches, restaurants, and businesses opened. It also faced an uncertain future as business closures in the last quarter of the twentieth century and the continued encroachment of Dallas threatened to erase what it viewed as its distinctive identity.

The volume is organized chronologically with chapters on the early history of the area, events in the early 1900s, the world wars and Great Depression, the postwar era, struggles through the 1970s, and the restoration efforts that began in Oak Cliff in the late twentieth century. The authors utilized donated photographs or images available at the Dallas Public Library. The stories included were obtained from interviews, but were fact-checked when possible.

The early chapters featuring the period when the physical separation from Dallas was most pronounced due to the small number of roads that crossed the Trinity River were the most interesting and provided the most focus on how "separate" Oak Cliff was from the larger city. The photos in these chapters also offer examples of the diverse interests of residents and the local influence of resident artist Frank Reaugh.

One of the noticeable items lacking in the work is photos of some of the historic or older homes that have been renovated by recent purchasers. Most of the chapter on restorations deals more with business revivals than the neighborhoods included in the chapter title. The later chapters also dwell slightly too much on the social activities of the local students. The book offers little historical analysis of the events it mentions and little comparison to other neighborhoods throughout Dallas. This is to be expected, though, when considering the aims of the publishers and the authors.

The authors certainly met their goal of reviving the stories and images of Oak Cliff and making them available for others. The book retains the nostalgic flavor of residents telling the reader stories from their youth and how things used to be. It is recommended for those interested in local history, the history of the Metroplex, or suburbs in Texas.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738581262
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
10/20/2010
Series:
Images of Rail Series
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,371,984
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author


Rail historian Richard Thompson has worked as an archaeologist, archivist, historical museum director, librarian, and streetcar coordinator. His large collection of photographs and memorabilia served as a resource for two previous Arcadia Publishing books, Images of Rail: Portland's Streetcars and Images of Rail: Willamette Valley Railways. The photographs in this volume take readers back to an era when the clang of the trolley bell was a welcome part of neighborhood life.

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Portland's Streetcar Lines (Images of Rail Series) 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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