Thursday, April 29, 2010
This is a less common view from the top of Skinners Butte. While most views of Eugene were taken of downtown from the south side of the Butte, this is taken from the west side looking northwest. The Washington-Jefferson Bridge now cuts across the farm land in the foreground while Valley River Center occupies the open land on the other side of the Willamette River. Not many years after this photo was taken The River Road/Santa Clara area would begin to grow up in the open fields just below the horizon.
This view was taken pre 1914 as the Oregon Electric Station building has not yet been built. Some surviving structures are the Shelton-McMurphy-Johnson house in the lower left, the Palace Hotel building, the Southern Pacific Depot and the brick retail building on the S.E. corner of 5th and Willamette. The old Post office stands in the shadow of the Palace Hotel thus out of view in this image.
The First Christian Church was built in 1910 at 1166 Oak Street literally in the front yard of the old Dunn house. It was at about this same time that the Dunn's moved the original home to build a new family residence oriented toward Oak Street. The two large locust tree's to the left of the church were probably part of the Dunn's original landscaping. These tree's, planted in the 1860's survived until about 1990 when they were removed. This view of the Church is a very early one as Oak Street is not yet paved and the tower has not been built. The tower was added in 1926 to house the first set of chimes in Eugene. The structure is in the Classical Revival Style with a large central auditorium under the dome that can seat 1,200 people, 2,500 when the side partitions were opened to the smaller auditoriums.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
This photo was taken by T. L. Graves circa 1889 in the front yard of the T.J. Craig home, which stood on Charnelton between 8th and Broadway, approximately where Pizza Pipeline is today. The neighbors immediately to the south were the T.G. Hendricks family. The Craig's were an other "Four Corners" family. The occasion of this gathering was the birthday of Ina Craig (second of the girls from the left). The others are: Zida Goldsmith to the left of Ina and then Hattie Nelson, Pearl Luckey, Elma Hendricks, Etta Peet, Leila Straub, Agnes Harris is seated in the hammock holding Eugenia Craig, next is Nettie Burr, Hennie Thompson, Ruby Henricks, Nina Wilkins and Rosalie Friendly. Seated are Ermine Church, Gertie O'Brien and Norma Hendricks. Nina Wilkins would later grow up to write with her sisters Lucia and Gladys "The Story of Eugene" the first major history of Eugene. This group of little girls was a wonderful representation of the daughters and granddaughters of Eugene's earliest settlers.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Here is an earlier view of the U of O campus taken by Winter's studio in about 1895. This view is closer to campus and from a more northerly point than the prior image. This photograph can be dated to 1892-1895 as it shows the new gymnasium after it was completed in 1892 but before the ivy started growing up the walls as it did for many years. It also illustrates how the west side of Villard Hall once looked before the 1940's addition of the Robinson Theater. It is hard to believe that this small building was the only athletic facility the University had until 1908 when a new men's gym was built and this became the women's athletic building. Notice all the empty "countryside" surrounding the seemingly isolated campus and how small the now huge tree's are that shade the campus.
This photo has me slightly puzzled. It is a view of Villard and Deady Halls taken from the West/North West probably about where the Phoenix Inn stands today. I assume the body of water in the foreground is the Millrace but it looks more like a pond or even a small lake to me. Perhaps that section was made considerably smaller when it was "canned up" under Broadway. It's such a shame that in the late 1940's when the Robinson Theater was constructed that it couldn't have been built away from Villard Hall instead of tacked on like a conjoined twin forever marring the once beautiful west facade.
This is one of my favorite photographs from my collection. It is probably a Winter's photo Though not imprinted with his studio logo it is mounted on the same card stock that he used. It was taken in about 1890 in front of the T.G. Hendricks house which stood on the N.W. corner of Broadway and Charnelton, and now the site of the Broadway Center complex. Through the 1880's and 1890's this area was known as "Four Corners" as four prominent Eugene families resided on the four corners of this intersection and others on the four surrounding blocks. Starting at the left the little ladies are: Ina Craig, Ruby Hendricks, Rosalie Friendly, Agnes Harris, Nina Wilkins with her sister Lucia on the specially constructed seat behind her and Greta Gill. T. G. Hendricks is shown standing on the porch with his eldest daughter Ida, at the gate holding Eugenia Craig. At the far left is Sam, the Hendricks coachman with the Hendricks team Jim and Barney hitched to the family carriage. The Wilkins girls tricycle was well cared for and was later donated to the Lane County Pioneer museum where its image was used for many years as the Museums logo.
This is a view of 9th Street (now Broadway) probably between Willamette and Olive, circa 1900. The photo was taken by Winter's Studio probably from the roof of a building on 8th Avenue. Some of the businesses who's signs can be read are Barker Gunworks, a Book and Stationary Store, and a Saddle Shop. A more prominent and recognizable sign is that of Ax Billy. At this time Ax Billy was a small general merchandise store. Later it would become one of Eugene's major Departments Stores at is new larger location at the N.E. Corner of 10th and Willamette (now the location of the Downtown Athletic Club). The only building in this image that can be determined to still be standing is the Smith House on College Hill, that faded little spot in the upper right of the photo. Notice the vast expanse of open land from the edge of town on to Spencers Butte in the background.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Since so many of the images I post here were taken by pioneer Eugene photographer John A. Winter I thought I would add photographs of Mr. Winter and his wife Susan Jane Hendricks (sister of Thomas Hendricks of Hendricks Park fame). Mr. Winter was born in Ohio in 1831 but moved to Indiana as a youth and then immigrated on to Oregon in 1854. In 1855 he married Susan who was the daughter of James and Elizabeth Bristow Hendricks, thus linking him to two early pioneer families. Winter fist supported his family as a house painter and carpenter. In 1860 he was made a partner to Eugene's first photographer Philip F. Castleman. By 1862 Winter was running the studio himself and would do so until his son Clarence entered the business in the 1880's. Winter Studio would remain in business in Eugene until 1906.
Here is a second view of the new bridge taken at the same time as the prior view. They are numbered consecutively 1028 and 1029, both being Winter Studio photo's. There is quite a turn out of Eugene citizens to admire the new bridge.
This photograph was taken in the late 1890's soon after the completion of the second Ferry Street Bridge which replaced the wooden covered bridge of 1876. The view appears to be from the north bank facing into town. Notice the familiar Oregon winter fog in the background. The earlier covered bridge had been compromised in the flood of 1890. The flood was so severe that the north approach to the bridge was washed away and the actual course of the river changed, necessitating the addition of a new span to the old bridge. One has to admire the young men perched on the cross beam, it has to be at least 20 feet above the road bed. Especially nonchalant is the young boy in the middle with both hands thrust in his pockets and his legs dangling precariously.
This beautiful Italianate house actually graced two locations in Eugene before its demise in the late 1960's. Blaine and Bessie Shelton Hovey originally built this large home at 722 Lincoln Street (approximately where the Chevron Station now stands on 7th) in 1882. It was two stories over a full basement. Each floor had five principal rooms with 12 foot ceilings and 9 foot windows. The first floor had double parlors, a dining room, library and a kitchen. Upstairs there were five bedrooms. All of the rooms on the first floor opened on to the others as all of the rooms had double sliding doors to enable the first floor to be used for large gatherings. The front staircase curved along the back wall of the entrance hall to the floor above. Sometime in the mid to late 1950's the house was moved to 340 West 7th Street where it stood for only a few years before it was razed to make way for a used car lot (500 Motors). It's former location is marked today by the two large cedar tree's in the parking lot of the old Hollywood video location.
I couldn't resist, here is a photo of the Daniel Christian house, which is still on its original site on the south side of 12th Avenue between Oak and Pearl(notice a pattern here?). This is the oldest image I could locate of the house, probably taken about 1960. The front windows have undoubtedly been changed and a half wall has been built around the once open porch but other than that the exterior probably closely resembles how the house looked 145 years ago when it was first built. The Christian house is of the first phase of Oregon homes, Greek Revival in style and sits on hand hewn timbers and is of all wood construction. Plaster walls were very uncommon in Oregon at this time so houses such as the Christian house had interior plank walls that were either painted, wall papered or in some cases left unfinished. Though a rental property for many years the house has always been kept in generally good repair. Recent owners have done some restoration and given it a spiffy new paint job.
Here is a photograph of the F.B. and Christiann Dunn house mentioned in my previous post. Mr. Dunn was a Dry goods merchant who came to Eugene in 1854 from Illinois. Mrs. Dunn was the eldest daughter of Daniel Christian (who's house still stands on 12th Ave. between Oak and Pearl and is the oldest house in Eugene remaining on its original donation land claim.)and arrived in Eugene with her family in 1852. The Dunn's lived in several locations in Eugene and Springfield after their marriage until building this beautiful home in 1867. The house faced 11th Avenue and the grounds were bordered by 13th Avenue to the south, Oak to the east and the alley between Willamette and Oak on the west. In general the house was in the carpenter Gothic style with five large rooms downstairs and four bedrooms and an attic upstairs. The house was furnished with beautiful mahogany furniture which had been shipped around the horn to Oregon from the east coast. The Dunn's were also known for the elaborate landscaping they maintained on the grounds. Mr. Dunn who was a former Mayor of Eugene passed away in 1892. Years later when the house had become outdated Mrs. Dunn and her unmarried daughter had it moved the the rear of the property facing east against 13th Avenue and built a new larger more modern house that still stands. The original structure of 1867 while currently divided into apartments, has been drastically altered over the years, losing its porches, original siding and sporting the addition of a store front off the kitchen wing.
This photograph was taken circa 1890 by the Winters Photo Company of Eugene. The image (looking east) shows the local unit of the National Guard drilling in a vacant lot on the south west corner of 11th and Willamette St. All of the structures in the photo are gone, except one. Barley visible in the grove of tree's on the right side of the image is the front porch and gable of the F.B. Dunn house. Though greatly altered the house now stands on the north side of 13th Avenue between Oak and Pearl. Not long after this photograph was taken the lot became the location of the Old Eugene High School which it remained until 1915 when the building was converted into the Eugene city Hall. Shortly after the new City Hall was completed in 1964 at 8th and Pearl the building was razed to make way for a building which has housed a series of Banks.