Thursday, October 08, 2009

Milestone P4

Stark Street Milestone P4

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So I'd like to announce the achievement of another milestone. This time it's P4, at the corner of SE 61st & Stark. It's at the NE corner of the intersection, next to the Tabor Heights Methodist Church parking lot. I'm rather pleased about finally finding this one. I tried and failed to find it maybe 3 or 4 times before, albeit strictly from a moving vehicle each time. This time I noticed it right away -- seeing milestones gets easier after you've seen a few others -- and this time I stopped and took a few photos. The stone's not extremely prominent, and there are a bunch of juniper bushes around it, but someone was nice enough to trim out a cozy little niche for the milestone so passers-by can see it. Aww, how cute...

Stark Street Milestone P4

Across the street is Cooper's Coffee, which (according to one Yelp reviewer) also has a tasty beer selection. And wifi. So despite being 4 miles, or over 21 thousand feet from downtown, we still haven't exited the civilized world just yet.

Of course we're still on the west slope of Mt. Tabor at this point. All real Portlanders know for a 100% truthy fact that there's nothing on the far side of Mt. Tabor except meth labs and pit bulls as far as the eye can see, and you won't see another trace of the civilized world until roughly the Hudson River. And even then, there are a few parts of Manhattan we aren't too sure about.

Well, except for Montavilla. As I've already mentioned, Montavilla's quite cute. Which means of course that as soon as the real estate market comes back to life, we'll have to tear out large chunks of it to put up condo towers for the rich Californians, because that's just how it is, and resistance is futile.

Oh, and Ikea. Ikea's civilized too, although a bit less so of late. You have heard of Verdanagate, right? Right?

Stark Street Milestone P4

All snarkitude aside, I do have a few more links and items to pass along:
  • I just discovered that someone has put together a custom Google map pointing out all the milestones. So check out the "Baseline Road Mileposts" map, and send props to whoever put it together.
  • A couple of Gresham Outlook stories to pass along, profiling a local retiree who investigated the milestones well before we interweb folk ever heard of them: "Marking the miles of history" and "Retired administrator takes up local history".
  • And the latest two milestone posts over at the ZehnKatzen Times (although unlike this humble blog, he does actually cover stuff besides old rocks with numbers on them.) "The Stark Street Milestones" references my P5 post, so it's only fair to return the linky luurrrve. And "More Portland Milestones" mentions those Flickr photos of the other P7 on Capitol Highway.
  • At the end of my P7 post, I mentioned the existence of additional milestones along the Historic Columbia River Highway, suggesting them as a project for some ambitious soul out there. A commenter then asked if the numbers on those milestones might be a continuation of those on Stark. I was completely skeptical, but I just so happened to be out that way this afternoon, and just south of the Stark St. bridge (over the Sandy River) I noticed a mile marker with a "17" on it. Which meant it was at least plausible. And then, I just tracked down the nomination form for adding the Gorge Highway to the National Register of Historic Places. Right there, on page 5, is this tidbit:

    Historic Mile Posts (HMPs) on the Columbia River Highway
    Mileposts were established along the CRH at the time of construction. According to a “Mile
    Posting Data” log of the entire highway that the Oregon State Highway Department (OSHD)
    prepared in 1924, HMP 0.00 was established as the intersection of SW Washington Street and
    SW Broadway in downtown Portland. The route leading to the beginning of the CRH and
    nominated district, followed Portland’s arterial system for about six miles before picking up the Base Line Road (also known as Stark Street) or the Sandy Road (later known as Sandy
    Boulevard). Stark Street intersected the CRH on the Sandy River (Stark Street) Bridge, at HMP
    16.7. The Sandy Road crossed the Sandy River two miles downstream over the Sandy River
    Bridge at Troutdale before heading into the county’s road system. The roadway between the
    Sandy River Bridge at Troutdale and the Sandy River (Stark Street) Bridge was added as a
    second access route to the CRH, a few years after work originally began on the highway.[1]
    The Sandy River Bridge at Troutdale is 2.5 miles northwest of the Stark Street structure, so its HMP has been calculated as 14.2. For purposes of this nomination for the CRH, and the 1983
    NR nomination for the CRH Historic District, HMP 14.2 was determined as the western most
    point of the nominated property.

    [1]See the entire section of F. N. Drinkhall, “Field Notes: Mile Posting Data, Upper Col. River Hwy., Lower Col. River Hwy., and Old Oregon Trail,” Oregon State Highway Department, Salem, 1924, devoted to the “Upper Col. River Hwy.”

    It's not clear whether the document was written by the National Park Service or by ODOT, but either way it sounds fairly definitive. Although I'm still not sold on the fabled P0 point being located at SW Washington & Broadway. That would put it a few blocks north of the actual Willamette Baseline. Although I've never actually seen any reference saying P0 was on the baseline; I just keep assuming that was the case, because all the others line up so nicely, and it would be a shame to break up the pattern.
Stark Street Milestone P4 Stark Street Milestone P4 Stark Street Milestone P4 Stark Street Milestone P4 Stark Street Milestone P4 Stark Street Milestone P4

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