Welcome to Village Portland

Welcome to Village Portland, neighborhood news & actions in East Portland.

We’re here to bridge the gap between news & civic participation… and to encourage folks get involved with their community and support their neighbors. There are a million voices fighting for your attention, but we want to help you connect with your village, your neighborhood… where your power to connect and make change is the strongest.

Sign up at the bottom of this page to get email notifications from Village Portland. We publish a weekly news and events multi-media post to keep up up to date on what’s happening in the neighborhood. You can also follow us on Facebook / Twitter.

Support us and help promote your business or organization to your neighbors by having us tell your story. You can also get involved and tell stories from your community through our multi-media citizen journalist training program. 

There are Village Portland sites for Montavilla, Lents, and Brentwood-Darlington:

Village Portland @ Montavilla

Village Portland @ Lents

Village Portland @ Brentwood-Darlington

Village Portland @ Richmond

We’re most excited about the Village Portland @ Montavilla site. It has the space for more in-depth stories, as well as a neighborhood directory where neighbors can find and learn the story of local businesses and organizations.

Explore your Village with DuckDuckGo, the search company that respects your privacy.

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If you’re an organizer or writer interested in bringing a Village Portland to your neighborhood, contact Andrew Wilkins, Publisher / Editor:

andrewtaylorwilkins@gmail.com

Read more…
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This weekend

Every business, every organization, and yes— every person— has a story.

How a business develops and the role it fills in a market and community truly fascinate me. The amount of time, trouble, and resources that goes into building a small business almost always means it’s more then just about making money.

Talking with Village Portland contributor Pat Sanders one day about the intersection of neighborhoods, culture, and small business, she suggested a conversation with the owner of Fressen Artisan Bakery and Cafe, Edgar Loesch. His cafe and bakery, that just began its second year in Montavilla, is a beautiful example of how interesting it is to learn more about your fascinating, hard-working neighbors.

I bet the food will taste even better once you know Fressen’s story.

***

Another organization we profiled on Village Portland @ Lents, PNW Adult & Teen Challenge, is also worth a watch if you’re interested in problem-solving around addiction and homelessness.

The faith-based organization runs a thrift store to support a recovery program— the thrift store also teaches job skills to the program’s participants.

SATURDAY, MAY 18TH

Montavilla Spring block party:

Our 2019 Montavilla Spring Block Party will take place on May 18 from 3pm to 9pm.

“Join your neighbors for an afternoon/early evening of music, activities, and family fun. We’ll end the night with a DJ dance party.”

SE Stark St, near SE 76th Ave & 82nd Ave * 3 pm – 9 pm

Nature Fair 2019 (event):

Play games, work with plants, mask making, and pet goats, chickens, birds, and slug, ice cream, and hikes.

Music from: Possum 6-Pack & The Marian Street Ramblers

Leach Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave, Far East Meadow * 10 am – 2 am * free

Intercambio / Language Exchange (event):

Intercambio group

“Practice English or Spanish and help other learners in a friendly atmosphere. Participants speak half the time in English and half in Spanish. Beginners welcome.”

Gregory Heights Library, 7921 NE Sandy Blvd * 4 pm – 5:30 pm

SUNDAY, MAY 19TH

Sunday Parkways Southeast (event):

To encourage bicycling and non-motorized transportation, the City shuts down a ring of streets several Sundays a year, with booths, bands, and other interesting events.

This route will explore the neighborhood greenways of Ankeny, Clinton, Lincoln, Salmon, Taylor streets and more. While you’re at it, don’t forget to dance, grab a bite to eat and learn something new.”

Southeast Portland * 11 am – 4 pm

Oregon Sinfonietta concert (event):

“The award-winning Oregon Sinfonietta, now in its 46th season and conducted by Dr. Donald L. Appert, is a full symphony orchestra of about sixty musicians that draws together community musicians from the greater Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington metropolitan area.”

Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church, 10501 SE Market St * 3 pm * free

For the full list of producers and vendors, go here.

Montavilla Farmers Market, 7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

This weekend

Sadly, there was a hit & run near East Glisan Street Pizza this week. We don’t have a lot of information about those responsible, but you can learn more here.

***

The City of Portland is asking residents to its 2019 Portland Community Insights Survey. The survey is here.

“Insights from the survey will be shared with City Bureaus and Commissioners to help them make decisions… “

FRIDAY, MAY 10TH

Live music (event):

Showcasing the talented women in the local scene. Acoustic / Singer songwriters… hosted by Michel Strickland.

Tonight: The Juhalas

Eastside Bar & Grill, 2530 Ne 82nd Ave * tips for performers

SATURDAY, MAY 11TH

Earth Day:

Vibe Studio Earth Day!

Vibe Studio,5633 SE Division St * 12:30 pm – 6 pm

Native bee workshop (event):

Megachile Pugnacious leaf cutter bee.jpg

“Native bees are essential for pollinating 85% of the world’s flowering plants, and their conservation is vital to environmental and human health. They’re also fascinating and beautiful– well worth an up-close look. Join us for an overview of Oregon’s native bees, and an examination of some bees through dissecting scopes, followed by a chance to catch and release some as we take a guided tour through the Garden.”

Leach Botanical Garden * 1 pm – 4 pm * $20 general / $15 Leach Garden Friend

Chess club:

“Have fun playing chess! We provide the chess equipment. All ages welcome. First come, first served.”

Holgate Library, 7905 SE Holgate Blvd * 1 pm – 3:30 pm

SUNDAY, MAY 12TH

Vino Veritas Sunday Jazz / All Day Happy Hour:

“Come enjoy live jazz Sunday afternoon along with all day Happy Hour. A wonderful way to wind down the week.”

Vino Veritas, * 5 pm – 7 pm

Farmers market:

For the full list of producers and some of the special fall produce available, go here.

Montavilla Farmers Market, 7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

This weekend

It rained really hard earlier that morning, but when it was time for the parade to roll, the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade was blessed with dry and sometimes sunny weather.

Here’s our video from the parade… almost titled “We went to the 82nd Avenue Parade because you couldn’t (or didn’t want to)”. It’s great to see so many people out marching and enjoying the parade.

The current article from Pat Sanders about sidewalk stamps is especially interesting to me. In Memphis, where I grew up, my grandfather owned a concrete company.

So occasionally when I would walk around town, I would run across “WW WILKINS” stamped into the sidewalk. It was fun seeing part of his legacy still serving Memphians decades after his work was done.

These stamps are literally another concrete reminder— literally— to think about the people who shaped our cities and to compare their lives with ours.

A few Montavilla schools are in the running for a community building project award from OnPoint Community Credit Union. More info here!

FRIDAY, MAY 3RD

Canton Grill Degustatory Research (event):

Learn more about the history of Canton Grill, Portland’s oldest Chinese food restaurant. There will be samples to go with the story-telling experience.

“Investigating both personal and collective histories alongside the role of food in migration, this dinner is a sensorial ten-course tasting experience serving degustatory samples intermingling culinary art, performance, research and personal histories. It promises to be a beautiful, complex, fine dining experience that will tickle your palette and tease your soul.”

Canton Grill, 2610 SE 82nd Ave * 6:30 pm – 8 pm * free

SATURDAY, MAY 4TH

East Portland Neighborhood Cleanup:

“This event is organized by Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood association and supported by Mill Park Neighborhood Association, Hazelwood Neighborhood Association, and Centennial Neighborhood Association.

If you’re interested in volunteering please pm us (pgnaboard@gmail.com) with your email.”

West Powellhurst Elementary, 2921 SE 116th Ave * 9 am – 1 pm

SUNDAY, MAY 5TH

The wonderful Montavilla Farmers Market is having their opening day today! Check out their post about the opening here or the list of providers here.

New this season is a nutrition lecture series. And as usual, there will be music, activities for the youth, and the Everybody Eats SNAP/EBT match program that allows card holders to double their spending up to $10.

7700 SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

Makers de Mayo: a Decolonized Market & Celebration (event):

“This Cinco de Mayo, spend your day supporting local BIPOC makers at Makers de Mayo: a decolonized market and celebration hosted by Noche Libre and the Portland Mercado.”

Portland Mercado * noon – 6 pm


Montavilla’s history beneath our feet

By PATRICIA SANDERS

I’m sure some of you have noticed while walking around Montavilla that here and there you come across names and dates stamped into the concrete sidewalks.

These, in fact, are important clues to the early 20th Century development of our neighborhood.

So how do you find these clues and how do you interpret them?

Contractor’s Stamp, NW corner of NE 80th Ave & NE Oregon St
Photo credit: Thomas Tilton

If you look at the photo above, you can just make out a name, Bechell Bros., and a date, 1911. These indicate the name of the sidewalk contractor and when the sidewalk was poured.

Contractor stamps usually occur at intersection corners— this one is at the NW corner of NE 80th Avenue and NE Oregon Street. Less often you can find them somewhere between the intersections.

The coming of the first concrete sidewalks must have been such a blessing. Before that you could expect to dirty your skirts or trousers with dust in the summer and mud during our long rainy season.

In 1902, we find mail carrier Mr. Jensma complaining of wading through mud so deep it went right over the tops of his gum boots. He must have appreciated how some people installed wood plank sidewalks. Unfortunately these were prone to deterioration and needed frequent repaired.

In 1902, when Mr. Jensma was still wading through mud on his delivery route, the City of Portland— which Montavilla was not yet part of–planned to lay about 50 miles of cement sidewalks. But Montavilla, where many considered concrete too expensive, was behind in this respect.

As late as 1906, Hibbard Street (now 80th Avenue) was being “improved” with wooden sidewalks.

As for concrete ones, the earliest date I’ve come across so far in my Montavilla rambles is 1908. Perhaps some of you will find something earlier. If so, please add a comment below.

Meanwhile, I hope you all will have a good time learning to read the history of Montavilla’s as you stroll around our sidewalks. Maybe take the kids on a sidewalk treasure hunt?

editor’s note: Reader Kate McCarter added the following photograph and comment on social media. Thanks Kate, we love the feedback and help telling these stories!

“Before sidewalks and pavement came to Montavilla. This was taken from 82nd looking west up Hawthorne circa 1919. Note the shrubs in the middle of the road!”

Historical story ideas? Questions about Montavilla’s past? Also share a love for neighborhood history? Reach out to Pat Sanders at pat.montavilla.history@gmail.com.

This weekend

We’re happy to present another edition of Pat Sander’s column, “Montavilla Memories”. In this one, she researches the history of Montavilla’s original fire station— and the cataclysmic fire that convinced City officials it was needed.

One of the most interesting things about these articles is the community efforts supporting new programs and infrastructure in Montavilla. The neighbors that lived here before us were organized, focused, and willing to demand more from local government.

Read the article here.

I didn’t see any Earth Day events in this part of town, but down in Lents and Brentwood-Darlington, there are events with SOLVE!

SATURDAY, APRIL 20TH

MTPC egg hunt!:

“Join us for the annual egg hunt in the Taborspace Yard!”

Taborspace, 5441 SE Belmont St * 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Earth Day volunteering on the Springwater Trail:

“Join PGE employees as we clean up the Springwater Trail for Earth Day! The Springwater Trail winds through Southeast Portland is heavily used by families, runners, and bicyclists. Additionally, the surrounding natural areas along nearby Johnson Creek provide valuable wildlife habitat and help protect water quality.”

Sign up here.

8925 SE Flavel St * 10 am – 1 pm

Earth Day volunteering in Errol Heights Park: 

“Planting native plants & removing invasive species provides cleaner air for community members and cleaner water in Johnson Creek, which supports salmon and other fish. Picking up litter keeps our waterways clean. Keep your eye out for beaver, ducks, and other wildlife as you volunteer alongside other community members— everyone welcome, and no experience necessary!”

Sign up here.

Errol Heights Park, SE 45th Ave & Harney Dr * 9 am – noon

Reuse, Recycle: Displacement Electronic Recycling Drop-Box (event):

“Trash Bash, Haul-Away, Collection Event, Cleanup – whatever you call your event, this is your one-stop-shop for helping neighbors get rid of bulky items like old vacuum cleaners, mattresses, furniture, scrap wood, empty paint cans and cat castles upholstered in blue carpet taking up valuable space in their homes.”

Rosewood Initiative, 15126 SE Stark St * 2 pm – 6 pm

Live music at Eastside (event):

Creature Society / Tribe of the Outcast / Mojo Roller

EastSide Bar and Grill, 2530 NE 82nd Ave * 8 pm – 11:30 pm

SUNDAY, APRIL 21ST

Talk Time (event):

“Talk Time is an informal conversation circle for non-native speakers to practice speaking English. First come, first served.”

Gregory Heights Library, 7921 NE Sandy Blvd * 12:30 pm – 2 pm

How Montavilla Got Its Own Fire Station

By PATRICIA SANDERS

On April 30, 1913 there was a joyous celebration at the NE corner of E Burnside and NE 82nd Avenue, right where Cars to Go stands today. It was opening day of Fire Station No. 27, offering the fire protection which Montavillans had desperately sought for at least 11 years.

Despite a steadily growing population, and all-too frequent fires, it took community, persistent organizing, petition circulating and a devastating fire to finally make it happen.

The campaign for fire protection began before the people of Montavilla had voted to become part of the City of Portland in 1906. Before that election, Montavilla was just a suburb with no elected government, so it was up to private citizens and their organizations to help improve life in this section of Multnomah County.

As far as I can tell from articles appearing in the two main Portland dailies, The Oregon Daily Journal and The Oregonian, the effort to bring much-needed fire protection to Montavilla began in 1902. Although this suburb was growing rapidly in the opening years of the 20 th century, it did not have a volunteer fire brigade such as other Portland-area neighborhoods did.

So in 1902 the Montavilla Board of Trade, began to push for the formation of a volunteer fire company. After Montavilla became part of Portland in 1906, its citizens turned to the City for fire protection.

In 1908, the Montavilla Improvement Board joined the nearby Mt. Tabor and Center neighborhoods to petition the Mayor and City Council to provide fire protection. No luck.

In 1909, the Montavilla Board of Trade petitioned again, this time asking only for 1,000 feet of fire hose and a hose cart. But again, no luck.

Montavilla’s need became even more apparent on the morning of July 4, 1910. That day a huge fire destroyed an entire block of Montavilla’s main commercial district. The fire was started by a defective gasoline stove and spread rapidly, destroying 15 businesses as well as the attached residences on Base Line Road (now Stark) between SE 79th and SE 80th Avenues.

Citizens were able, with only garden hoses and bucket brigades, to stop the fire from spreading elsewhere. But by the time two fire engines arrived,
the block was almost entirely in ruins and $35,000 damage had been done.
Fortunately no one was seriously injured and most of the buildings as well as the goods inside them were insured. Business owners, undaunted, soon announced plans to rebuild, but this time most would choose inflammable materials, concrete and brick.

Clearly, however, it was time Montavilla had its own fire station. And immediately Dr. William DeVeny, one of Montavilla’s most energetic citizens, who looked and dressed like Buffalo Bill— we’ll see more of
him in future articles— sprang into action. It was petition-time again. Yet once more the City dragged its feet.

Another petition was circulated in 1911 and presented to the new City administration in July. By the following year a Montavilla Station had been approved. Now the project moved steadily forward.

By June, 1912, Portland Fire Battalion Chief Lee Grey Holden had drawn up the plans for a fire-proof station appropriate for both horse and motor powered engines. Construction was underway by August. On opening day, eight months later, citizens were invited to inspect the modern building, listen to the firemen’s band and hear short talks by Mayor Allen G. Rushlight and the intrepid Dr. DeVeny, among others.

The photo of Fire Station No. 27 featured in the “Montavilla Memories” masthead shows a hose cart drawn by two horses. The City, however, wanted modern equipment for its expanding fire department. The plan was to replace horses with motorized trucks— five times faster than horse— as soon as possible.

Portland was determined to have a superior fire-fighting force and the Morning Oregonian of April 30, 1913 in its full-page story on the fire department— the very day of the Montavilla fire house dedication— proclaimed that the City could boast of modern fire-fighting equipment superior to most other cities. “Even Chicago,” it said, “with its enormous [fire] department, cannot produce the equipment which can be assembled at a fire in Portland within a few minutes.”

Montavilla Fire Station No. 27 continued in service until 1953. Today Montavilla is served by fire station No. 27 located at SE 73rd and E. Burnside, between the old Montavilla and Mount Tabor Stations.

Please join me in this pursuit as a reader or as a contributor. You can send your ideas, memories, photos, scans of memorabilia or questions to me at: pat.montavilla.history@gmail.com.

This weekend

One of the best parts of publishing Village Portland is working with new contributors. People love creating, telling stories, investigating their world— and we love giving people a forum to share their work.

Please check out this essay from Drew Thorson about a Lents’ neighbor decision to push back from modern media. It’s called the “Brightest Distraction” and tells the story with his photography as well as words.

And below is another awesome contribution from Philip King.

I suggested casually: what sort of adventures would happen if a Pomeranian and a raccoon hung out? Here’s what they gave me.

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The process by which developers communicate with neighbors is being updated. The project’s website is here, and testimony is being accepted until April 24th.

The City Council accepted testimony on the issue this week, and you can watch the video of the meeting here. 

If you missed this month’s Montavilla Neighborhood Association meeting with a guest presentation on recycling, the video is below.

There also was discussion about the board’s preparation for the 82nd Ave Parade this month.

FRIDAY, APRIL 12TH

Jazz Friday:

“Ryan Meagher’s earlier work was self-described as “modern jazz for the indie rocker.” While he still wields the same attitude now-and-then, his vision includes influences from Irish traditional music, Indian classical music, Brazilian music, funk, and Western classical music.”

Vino Veritas, 7835 SE Stark St * 9 pm

SATURDAY, APRIL 13TH

Floyd Light Middle School, 10800 SE Washington St * 9 am – 2 pm

Women first responder career fair:

“This event is focused on encouraging women to pursue careers in public safety/criminal justice through hands on experience, facilitated conversations, Q&A opportunities to discuss topics relevant to women. Agencies participating will be focused on employment opportunities within the City of Portland.”

The event says its sold out, but you can check back on availability here. Portland Police are understaffed, and if you’re interested in applying, go here.

Portland Police Training Center, 14912 Northeast Airport Way 

Hula for the Family:

hula family

“We invite all family members to join us to learn Hawaiian language, songs and a simple hula dance in a warm, welcoming environment. You will learn some basic hula steps, easy-to-learn language and songs, hand motions, and then we will put our hands and feet together to perform a hula. Join us for a great time while spending time with family and friends.”

Gregory Heights Library, 7921 NE Sandy Blvd * 4 pm – 5 pm

Bunnies in baskets:

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“All the bunnies you can bet for $10. Our annual Petting Party at Taborspace in SE Portland is coming up on Saturday April 13, 2019 from 2 pm – 4 pm! We will have all of our friendly therapy bunnies on site for petting and holding, “bunny tail” cotton candy, and raffles!”

Tabor Space, 5441 SE Belmont St * 2 pm – 4 pm * $10

SUNDAY, APRIL 14TH

Live music, strings & brass:

“Combined concert: East County Community Orchestra and Portland Metro Concert Band”

David Douglas High School’s Horner Performing Arts Center, 1400 SE 130th Ave * 3 pm