You've probably figured out this isn't Hood River, but it's a good "Presidents' Day" post. This spectacular image of Teddy Roosevelt's 1903 visit to Portland made its way into the photo album of a Hood River resident. The Oregonian covered this visit in detail.
The horses, the carriage, the police carrying a cordon, the weather, the President's tipped hat all match the detail of this May 1903 visit. But there's one problem: several of the flags have 48 stars. In 1903 there were only 45 states, as Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico had not yet achieved statehood. What's going on?
I'll give you a hint-- it had to do with recent history (in 1903)
For the bonus round: Where are we on the parade route?
I would guess in front of the telegraph office....
Charlott on 18th February 2019 @ 7:05am
There’s an interesting thread on the Vintage Portland blog from last month that eventually dates this visit to 1912 based on the flag and accounts of TR visiting during his Bull Moose campaign for president, and with a similar photo from what must have been the same procession:
Tom Kloster on 18th February 2019 @ 9:40am
good shot Charlott….I am highly disappointed that my city no longer has mounted police officers.
Arlen Sheldrake on 18th February 2019 @ 10:15am
Sorry, but I'm sticking with the 1903 date. With a little research you'll find a reason why people were flying 48 star flags in 1903, especially for a visit by TR. I'm surprised the folks at Vintage Portland didn't get this one...
Note all the wagons on the side streets are horse drawn, with no automobiles to be seen, and the president's "motorcade" precisely match the 1903 newspaper description. TR's 1912 visit didn't raise nearly this much attention. I'll post an explanation later if no one comes up with it.
Arthur on 18th February 2019 @ 1:22pm
Well Arthur, you have created an historical mystery. I have read the Oregonian newspaper article. Very long, with a lot of detail.
His 1903 Portland visit was quite an affair. A long list of interesting items that were placed in the box that was buried.
Tom Kloster seemed to have a good answer to the 48 star flag. But you say NO!
So far, I haven't found an answer to the flag nor what street they are traveling.
L.E. on 18th February 2019 @ 6:05pm
In case you doubt Arthur and his 1903 date, the newspaper description describes policemen walking on each side of the street, with a rope stretched out to prevent viewers from approaching TR's carriage. You can see that on both sides of the street.
L.E. on 18th February 2019 @ 6:38pm
Possibly something to do with the Panama Canal, or TR's exploits in the Spanish-American War? The three extra stars represented the U.S. territories that came out of that?
kmb on 18th February 2019 @ 6:39pm
Arthur, from my research it appears that 48 star flags were used as far back as 1898. Given the timing of the 1903 visit and the recent world events the three extra stars may have represented new territories acquired by the U.S., that being, The Philippines, Cuba and Hawaii. I need to do a little more work to verify.
LMH on 18th February 2019 @ 10:39pm
The lack of automobiles makes sense, Arthur - they dominated Portland streets after 1910, and TR probably would have ridden in one, right? Vintage Portland lists this as SW Third Avenue, but I’m not able to identify any of the buildings, notably the one in the upper left background. It does look like one of the wide avenues - Third or Fourth.
Tom Kloster on 18th February 2019 @ 11:16pm
ON THIS DAY IN STUMPTOWN HISTORY (1903)
President Teddy Roosevelt arrived in town on this very day in 1903 at Union Station to a twenty-one gun salute. Over 75,000 Stumptowners lined the streets to get a look at the President. Olds & King Dept store advertised full page spreads in the Oregonian with Roosevelt Specials! There was a trip to Salem and then the big event took place at Washington park where he delivered a speech in the rain (of course) and went on to dedicate the cornerstone of the massive monument. Roosevelt actually rolled up his sleeves and poured the cement with a sterling silver trowel. Beneath the granite cornerstone, a small copper box was sealed. A time capsule! Inside a scroll was inserted stating the purpose of the monument, a history of the Lewis & Clark expedition, stamps, pennies, the Portland city charter and a portrait of Roosevelt. He was then whisked away for a speech at the Portland Hotel (photo with the huge crowd attending outside) where the Pioneer Courthouse is today. The next event was a meet & greet at Holladay Park. Roosevelt made that trip in a motorcade crossing the Hawthorne Bridge and greeted by over 3,000 people. Teddy's voice was going out by this time and this was the entire speech given on this day in the park.
"It's a pleasure to be in your fair city, I'm in the Grand Father class now, I know you understand my attitude on the baby question. It pleases me to see so many children here. I believe in good citizens, but I believe that the best citizen is the one who carries in arms a little citizen. Goodbye and good luck to you all"
And then he could be heard on the loud speakers saying " Where next boys?" The handlers told him "Another park"....He would have no part in that, Roosevelt wanted some peace & quiet. They took him to the Oregon Hotel (now the Benson)
Teddy was astonished at the looks of the Hotel since it was near completion and a total mess. He finally settled in to his room and wanted to read a book given to him by his wife "The Second Roman Republic" by Paul Hermit. The book was gone. Someone had taken the book from his luggage in the room. Enraged he summoned the Hotel Manager and from press people who were there, took down his statement to the Manager.
"That book I prize very highly. You had no right to allow anyone in my rooms while I was out making speeches. I want that book advertised as lost in the morning papers. You get it and send it to me in San Francisco or Chicago, my next stops on the tour. It was a volume of essays by Paul Hermit- one that I value dearly. I think it was taken by some "JACK" and i want it back"
The lost book, heat & rain to go with it, the parks- Teddy was finished in Stumptown. He made one stop at a Moose Lodge the next day after finishing a massive breakfast in the Hotel. He then ordered his driver to take him to Union Station. His train departed to La Grande Oregon. In Stumptown the search continued. A mini-scandal erupted when it was suggested that Mrs. A.W. Nicholson, a prominent member of Portland society might have taken the book by mistake while Roosevelt signed items she had presented to him. That lingered until he returned to Stumptown in 1915. The book was never found.
In all the years at Powells Book Store, that title has never come over the counter.
Teddy Roosevelt died on Jan 6th 1919, but his final stay in Stumptown was at 1:00 in the afternoon on Friday October 13th 1922 when a gigantic crate was lowered off the steamship SS Ohioan at Pier #1 at the foot of 17th Street. The Theodore Roosevelt statue was placed in the South Park blocks donated by his good friend Henry Waldo Coe.
Today the exact location of the time capsule is unknown. The efforts of historians, stonemasons and even psychics were fruitless.
Patti on 18th February 2019 @ 11:19pm
Patti....that story is also credited to his 1912 visit.
L.E. on 19th February 2019 @ 7:50am
The May 22 1903 Morning Oregonian article describes this scene in detail: the carriage, the flowers, the horses, the secret service, the way the flags are hung, the fact they used flags instead of the more traditional bunting, the president's position on the carriage, and the other people in the carriage. It says Mayor Williams was to the president's left. The man to his left in the photo matches the portrait of Williams shown in the January 19, 1905 Morning Oregonian.
Roosevelt's visits after his presidency did not approach this pomp and circumstance. The Oregonian descriptions of those later visits do not match this photo.
Why the 48 star flags? The quick and decisive end of the Spanish American was met with a surge of nationalism. Some people made flags with stars for the new US territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines right after the war. They were not officially sanctioned flags-- this was a political statement. Roosevelt was of course a hero of that war and a proponent of "manifest destiny" so this statement is not shocking. I suspect with some more research we'll find out how these unofficial flags wound up on the president's parade route.
Arthur on 19th February 2019 @ 8:51am
L.E. and Patti, if he stayed at the almost completed Benson Hotel, which opened in 1913, it must have been an account of his 1912 visit.
Ellen on 19th February 2019 @ 9:06am
L.E. and Patti, if he stayed at the almost completed Benson Hotel, which opened in 1913, it must have been an account of his 1912 visit.
Ellen on 19th February 2019 @ 9:08am
@Ellen, I think the "This Day in Stumptown" post was worded awkwardly, but the Benson Hotel was built next to the Oregon Hotel as an annex. The Oregon Hotel was later demolished and replaced with an annex to the Benson. I don't think they meant to say he stayed in the Benson.
But this would be a good chance for you to remind us of the Doyle buildings in Hood River!
Arthur on 19th February 2019 @ 10:13am
My final word on the likelihood of this photo being from TR's 1912 campaign visit: there are ample photos and documentation of the visit in the September 12th 1912 Morning Oregonian. Roosevelt traveled in an automobile.
Arthur on 19th February 2019 @ 11:03am
This has been the most amazing example of how one can accept something as history, and be wrong. (48 stars on the flag so it has to be 1912 or later).
If it hadn't been for Arthur's sticking to the 1903 date, I would never have questioned the photo and dates, even though there are clues pointing to things not making sense.
Notice the flag has 48 stars but only 12 stripes. TR is riding in a carriage not a motorcade.
This is the only reference I could find of a pre-1912 48 star flag. Reference is at the bottom of the page.
There are still unanswered searches that will take time to research. What street? What buildings? Where did the streetcars run in 1903?
And where is that time capsule?
Some of the Portland history articles I came across have the Teddy Roosevelt visits mixed up.
Thanks Arthur. This has been eye opening.
L.E. on 19th February 2019 @ 11:41am
If anyone wants to do research on the Portland streetcar routes during the time of T. R's visit, this link has a 1904 map in the images, which you can enlarge and study.
L.E. on 19th February 2019 @ 4:40pm
Arthur, a shameless plug.... I'm saving my story of AE Doyle for my Sense of Place talk on the architectural heritage of the Gorge, April 10. Hope to see everyone there.
Ellen on 20th February 2019 @ 7:00am
I was hoping to find an address for Schwab Bros Printing & Lithography to tie this location to SW Third Ave., but was only able to dertermine that they printed the City Charter in 1893.
Tom Kloster on 20th February 2019 @ 10:00pm
The building in the background is Schwab Bros. Printing which was located on 247 Stark St. Possibly the large building in the background is the Market Theater which is still standing on Ash and Ankeny.
From the newspaper description of the route they followed, the closest they came to Stark and 2nd was in the area of 6th and Washington. Schwab Bros. printing seems closer than that.
Sixth and Washington did have streetcar rails and a Railway ticket office.
I am guessing the carriage is coming up 6th St from the Train Depot where Roosevelt arrived at 2:00 in the afternoon. It was a rainy day, and one has to appreciate the long carriage ride looping through downtown Portland, up Everett to Washington Park where at 4:30 pm he laid the cornerstone for the Lewis and Clark Monument, then wound their way back down through downtown Portland to the Portland Hotel at 6th and Morrison St. where Pioneer Courthouse Square is located.
I want to give a big thank you to Rebecca at Stumptown Printers who made a trip the Portland City Library to identify the building of Schwab Bros. Printing.
L.E. on 21st February 2019 @ 9:51am
I agree Tom about trying to tie this into Third Ave. but the newspaper description never places the route in that area. I am wrong about a Railway ticket office at Sixth and Washington. I don't know that there was one located there.
Richmond Schwab came to Oregon in 1870, his brother Samuel in 1875.
L.E. on 21st February 2019 @ 10:00am
Something else I would like to add since this is Black History Month.
Because of this photo, I was doing some research on Henry Villard. Villard was a journalist, financier and railroad man. He was a well known Oregon name, instrumental in getting the railroad up the Columbia River to Hood River, and starting the construction of the Portland Hotel where T.R. stayed during his visit. His accomplishments and failures are numerous.
Villard was married to Fanny Garrison, a daughter of well known abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. There is interesting history to read about the strong relationship between Garrison and Frederick Douglass which later deteriorated.
L.E. on 21st February 2019 @ 11:29am
There is a map in the May 11, 1903 Oregonian outlining the 3.5 mile parade route. Crowd estimate was 75,000, but probably larger, certainly the largest parade held in Portland up to that time. Parade route: Depot - Glisan - 3rd - Alder - 6th - W. Park - Hall - W. Park - Salmon- 14th - Couch - 18th - Everett - 23rd - Washington - City Park. Hotel route: Washington - 23rd - Everett - 17th - Couch - Burnside - 10th - W. Park - Morrison - Hotel
LMH on 21st February 2019 @ 11:48pm
Thank you LMH. You have rescued my inability to do a thorough research. The map clearly shows the route. I went back to the newspaper description and had totally missed the two paragraphs describing the turn from Sixth, down Glisan to Third.
"....On Third street a dense press of people was collected on each curb. The buildings from sidewalk to roof were dotted with human heads...."
"...The Worcester building was the first of the tall building in the line of the procession...a voice shrilled down from every window. So at the Chamber of Commerce building and the Abington and the Dekum...."
There is a mention that in front of the Portland Hotel the President rode under the first flag that floated over the City of Manila. As he went by, he saluted.
Under the Route Map that LMH referred to, there is a description and encouragement of how to decorate with flags. It is hard to read.
Thanks again LMH. I feel better now about the location of this photo.
L.E. on 22nd February 2019 @ 7:08am