The Pillars of Hercules were one of the grand attractions of a train ride through the Gorge in 1902. The pillars are still there, but they don't seem quite so mighty now that the train tracks and the highway stay to the right. Next time you drive to Portland imagine this view.
And if you don't ever drive to Portland, the Google Streetview from I-84 shows the seemingly shrunken pillars today. I've shown them looking eastward since the westward view is obscured by foliage.
Grand view of so much, Foliage, water, The Pillars and that beautiful old train belching all that black smoke. Highlight of a childhood trip to Portland was encountering one of those old engines, throwing all the windows down to hear that now almost long lost sound of it whizzing along. Must open the windows so you could almost hang out to wave at the engineer, who generally saluted you with his whistle. Our youth miss so much of the .....good old days.
Charlott on 27th March 2012 @ 7:29am
The Pillars of Hercules. You can see the big one on the side of the freeway. Along the cliff edge. and the small pointy one in the middle is just along the east bound side of I-84 just before Bridle vale exit. I always wish I could have seen and experienced the River back then. I did have the pleasure of riding on the train. although it was an AM Track Train in the 1980's
Ellen Dittebrandt on 27th March 2012 @ 12:02pm
A GREAT photograph!!! I'll bet this OR&N locomotive crossed the 1888 Steel Bridge in Portland that I am just now writing about. Those trees on top the pillar are certainly a hearty lot. I wonder why the two power/phone lines; one along the track, one going around the pillar.
Any info on who took this photo?
Arlen Sheldrake on 27th March 2012 @ 7:32pm
The train just barely squeezes through there, doesn't it?
If a person didn't know this was the Gorge, they might think it was the Oregon coast.
The trees have survived the east wind.
Arlen....are you writing a book?
l.e. on 27th March 2012 @ 8:34pm
Arlen, the stereocard is copyright 1902, Underwood & Underwood Publishers. Sorry, no credit to the photographer. Not sure why there are two sets of lines, but frequently electric, phone and telegraph companies didn't play nice together so they installed their own lines.
Arthur on 27th March 2012 @ 9:33pm
Yes, a booklet. I am part of a team putting together a booklet on the Portland Steel Bridge for it's 100th anniversary this summer. It is the only double lift bridge of its type in the world and is owned by Union Pacific Railroad. The booklet is being published by the Pacific Northwest Chapter, National Railway Historical Society....end of sales pitch.......
And speaking of trains, the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation is building a home for Portland's three steam locomotives, one is the OR&N 197 built
in 1905 and ran in this exact spot taking passengers to the 1905 Worlds Fair in Portland.........
Arlen Sheldrake on 27th March 2012 @ 11:23pm
Congratulations Arlen. That is impressive.
I have a grandson who has not yet outgrown a love for trains, so, I will watch for the booklet.
My mother in law lived next to the tracks on the Washington side. It was always a continuous noise of whistles and rumblings.
But, one day about ten years ago, when she was 90 years old, there was a train whistle. My mother in law stopped washing dishes and said, "that's a steam engine!"
Out the back door she went, and sure enough a steam engine was on its way to Wishram.
It was impressive to watch her reaction.
l.e. on 28th March 2012 @ 1:18am
The old right of way fill is still evident from I-84 behind the pillars, I believe the tree is still on top.
Kenn on 10th September 2015 @ 7:31am
Track was relocated to the present alignment north of the pillars in 1907, both alignments still evident from I-84
Kenn on 10th September 2015 @ 7:39am