Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Oaks - Portland, Oregon

The Oaks or Oaks Park as it is now known, is still a nice place to spend time on a sunny day, but this lovely boardwalk no longer exists. The Oaks Amusement Park was opened in 1905 and is still operational and a popular destination.  It's a great place, with a definite old-time charm.

There is also a roller skating rink in the park that has two very special features:
1. The wood skating rink can be detached from the foundation so that in case of a flood, the floor will float on top of the water. This technique was last employed in 1996.
2. The rink has a Wurlitzer pipe organ and a live organist to accompany the skaters on Thursday evening and all day Sunday.

If you're at all interested in the Wurlitzer, the people who play it, or the rink, you should check out this inspirational 10-minute documentary entitled Pipe Dreams by Mark Tunby.  It's just like being there.

The water slide doesn't exist anymore, but there is a great old roller coaster.
The back of this card is notable in that it was sent from Dothan, Oregon. I had never heard of Dothan before, probably because it is now a ghost town. It was located in Douglas County near Westfork, which doesn't seem to exist anymore either.

The message, sent in 1910, reads:

6/21/10 Dothan, OR
Dear friend received your letter to day and Mrs. Holcomb was here then (?)
she received your letter. I am glad to hear you are well and happy
West Fork and all its surroundings are the same as when you were here.
Yours truly
Mrs. J. Barry

Here's the back of the first card:


  1. I wish I could go back in time and visit it the way it was back then.

  2. Postcardy - me too. We'd have to wear those dresses though. Kind of hard to go on very many rides with one of those on.

    P.S. Note to all. Anonymous has reminded me that the roller coaster they have at Oaks Park is not old. So, I stand corrected.

  3. According to Oregon Geographic Names, Dothan was the Post office at the West Forks train station on the Southern Pacific Company railroad in Cow Creek Canyon.

  4. Christine, I just read a post re Cow Creek Canyon this week - synchronicity? The Oaks looks like a place to check out - just for the historical value if nothing else. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Thanks Rick and Amy! I occasionally drive between Portland to Ashland, and I've been looking for some good detours off I-5 along the way. This looks like an ideal one.

  6. Great postcards and great history - so interesting!



Related Posts with Thumbnails