Oregon History Portland History

The Barbary Coast at the Hoyt Hotel

If this post seems like deja vu all over again, it’s because I’m re-scanning many of the images that were lost when Stumptown Confidential took the dive.

The Barbary Coast Lounge at the Hoyt Hotel helped fuel the Roaring 20s revival back in the 1960s. With Harvey Dick at the helm, guests were treated to the nostalgic decor of the “Gay Nineties” and 77 custom-made gas lamps [that would definitely make me keep an eye on the fire exits] and Gracie Hansen’s fabulous review.

The restaurant was open 24 hours – and what I’d pay to see the 3:00 am crowd. Here’s a shot the Hotel at night – if you look at the ground floor in the middle, you can see the Barbary Coast. Click on the photos for a larger view:

The Hoyt Hotel [yeah, I know the sign says Hotel Hoyt] in all its nighttime glory.

The entrance to the Barbary Coast. It looks like an alcoholic ice cream parlor.

The entrance looks like an alcoholic ice cream parlor.

The old broad was kind of in bad shape - and showed signs of some wear and tear during the daylight hours [no offense to the old broad readers].

The old broad was in bad shape near the end- and showed signs of some wear and tear during the daylight hours [no offense to my old broad readers.

Read Isaac Laquedem’s piece on Harvey Dick and some of the personality he brought to an original Portland hangout. From Laquedem’s post:

The men’s room in the bar had a long urinal that could be used for target practice, of a sort: “When hit in the right place with jets of sufficient velocity, bells and sirens sounded, a noisy tribute to the aim and power of the beer drinker responsible.”

I’m with Isaac: “Portland could use another showplace like the Hoyt Hotel. No one takes their out-of-town friends to check out the lobby at the Hilton or the Marriott.”

135 replies on “The Barbary Coast at the Hoyt Hotel”

When I was a very little kid, my father would take me for breakfast on Saturday mornings to the Hoyt Hotel. They had talking birds in cages located in the lobby. Occationally they would utter various four letter words. I was later told that the “skid row” crowd was known to teach the birds the colorful banter.

Still it was great, I think a five or six year old was a fairly uncommon site for the folks at the Hoyt in ’71-72. Everyone was very nice.

Hi Zanderdog: I danced at the Hoyt ’70 thru’ ’72. You’re correct when you state that kids were a somewhat uncommon sight at the Hoyt…and you’re also correct when you say “everyone was very nice”. Some of the dancers, self included, lived in the Hotel on the top floor. Harvey supplied rooms and meals for we out-of-towners; the entire staff there, from chefs to busboys (persons) waiters & waitresses, doormen, & various celebrities were kind, helpful & ‘just folks’. Don (cannot recall his last name) worked as a Jack of all Trades for Harvey, & even went so far as to finding carpeting & other homey touches for the guys & gals on the top floor.

Doug Baker worked on our floor writing his column for the Oregonian. Many’s the early morning I awoke to the smell of his huge cigar, billowing clouds from his office & the sound of his clack, clack clack typewriter! Both he & his wife were wonderful to us, always a kind word or comment about last night’s performance, etc.

In a comment above, someone mentioned the 3:oo a.m. crowd. Yup, it was colorful to say the least! After the show a group of dancers, musicians & friends would gather in the Tiffany room, so named for the Tiffany lamps hung throughout the dining area between the restaurant/cafe & the Piano Bar. In would trapse a fabulous selection of night workers from all over town; One such character was a guy named “Chocolate Mess”. He always looked a little worse for wear, lipstick askew, perhaps a false, very thick eyelash missing, a run in the pantyhose. He was softspoken & had a smile for everyone, when he pulled up a chair & snuggled in between dancers.

Here’s one happy ending: I met my husband to be at The Hoyt. He played bass in the Roaring Twenties Room band, led by Leroy Anderson, drummer, Jack Elmer, Sax, Del Herrod (spelling?). Liasons like ours sometimes occurred, but never seemed to last very long. Even Harvey noticed our ‘hookup’ and asked me if I thought it wise & I assured it was, in the cocky response a twenty-something would. They all said it would never last. That was forty-two years ago!

If anyone reads this & wants to share memories with me please email me at:

For a number of years KLIQ Radio broadcast talk shows from a studio in the lobby of the Hoyt. I hosted a show from there for a few months in 1971. We always had to keep the studio door closed so none of the mynah birds’s obscenities would go on the air. (That would have been an interesting case for the FCC!) It was a great hotel! Harvey Dick was an interesting fellow and always very nice to me.

Hi Brad. Harry Bronston – aka Dave Collins was my paper route customer in the late 60’s and did the evening talk show for KLIQ. We would come down for dinner now and then and he would see me walk by the glass windows of the studio and say, “Hi-ho Stevereno!” then invite me into the studio while he plugged me on the air… I was 12 years old. He and his wife were the best. πŸ™‚

Yes, the hotel was knocked down in the late 70’s if I recall. I worked across the street when they demolished it.

Sorry to tell you that it was torn down many years ago, Tiffany. I think it was in the 70’s. As you can see, it was a great place

I remember Brad Eaton’s show, and occasionally called, as well as Harvey Dick’s, Jerry Dimmitt’s, and Pete Wheeler’s shows. I was young enough then not to know what the mynah birds were saying.

Always interesting to see stories on my grandfather’s hotel and club. I didn’t know him (Harvey Dick) very well, but my mother would tell me all the stories of the hotel, particularly the men’s restroom (you got points for ‘hitting’ a mockup of Fidel Castro) and my grandfather’s legendary row with Eartha Kitt. That’s actually my grandfather in the pic above, holding open the door to the Barbary Coast.


Steve Chappell

I wish I knew more of the details. But my mother recalled her father (Harvey, Sr.) getting angry at Kitt, because she stood her ground and wouldn’t be bullied … and then he called her a racial epithet. Oh, lord. Kitt laid into him in ways that my mother wouldn’t even describe. Huge blowup. I’m fuzzy on the deets after so many years, and now that my mom is gone, I can’t ask about it any more. My uncle Harvey, Jr., is still around, but might not know much about this. I’ll have to see …

I have an unopened sounds of the barbary coast record in mint from 1965 with frank elliott at the fotoplayer-Im taking offers-if intrested please call me at 503-2626697 afternoons only please thanks so much Daryl

Do you still have this record? Please let me know. If so, I’d like to buy it.

Art Miller

I remember the Hoyt Hotel going past the Rose City Transit bus windows and we went through “old town” when I was a kid back in the 60’s. I used to take the bus from downtown to the Lloyd Center to see friends and I remember that once you crossed Burnside everything was cluttered with billboards, almost blocking out the sky if memory serves me well.

Art Glass Windows to the Hotel Hoyt?

I am currently involved with a renovation of the original church of St. Mary Magdeline in Northeast Portland. Built in 1912 the church went through many changes through the years. Sometime in the past 30-40 years some (9) art glass windows were sold out of the old church. There is a rumor that the missing (sold) windows all went to the Hotel Hoyt and resided in the bar or possibly the Barbary Coast Lounge. If anyone has knowledge of this or if you know where these windows are I am very inteersted to talk with you.

Richard Larson 503-710-7638

I found out about the Barbary Coast/Hoyt hotel from watching Petticoat Junction. Where did the train fit in? In the credits to the show, they say the train was the property of the hotel?

I am always having fun learning about Portland since I moved here as a teenager in 77. So a lot of these places and things were gone by the time I moved here.

Actually it was the wooden studio mockup the Hotel owned & NOT the real train. It was built for the 1949 film Ticket To Tomahawk. All the scenes in Petticoat Junction involving the cast around the Train were using this “Fake” Engine. One of Petticoat Junctions Producers saw it as it was being prepared for shipping to Oregon in 1964. He made a deal with Harvey Dick (who was going to place the Engine on the Hotels roof)to use the mockup for studio use in the show, the proviso being that the Hoyt Hotel be credited as the owners in the closing titles. I am not aware whether Mr Dick actually did end up using his Train after the show was cancelled because I came across a Rail Road site with recent photos of the studio Engine on display under a makeshift tin roof. She looks GREAT & is STILL the same colour as 44 years ago. SO…Im thinking he didnt. Google California Part 2 & scroll down the page to see the MAJESTIC Property of The Barbary Coast Hoyt Hotel Portland Oregon – The Hooterville Cannonball. Hope this info helps.

Actually the locomotive was at the Hoyt for awhile (about 1965)

. It was at street level behind a huge picture window. My dad, who worked for the Southern Pacific, always took me by it so I could get a look before stopping at Union Station, a couple blocks North of there.

My dad worked at the Southern Pacific (PMT) too! When my brother and I were kids (β€˜60’s) we would go shopping with mom then meet dad for dinner at the Hoyt. I remember seeing the Train fairly often, but the really important thing was getting to eat in the β€˜dark’ in the Hotel dining room (?)

I just bought on Ebay 2 Swizzle sticks from the Hoyt. One is red in the shape of a lamp post with Barbary Coast in raised letters along its shaft & the other is white with a boy peeing on the top with Roaring Twenties along it. Very Funny & typical of the period. Little piece of History for only a few Bucks.

i RECENTLY FOUND a letter written on staionary from Hotel Hoyt, dated aug 7 1922 w/empossed pic on envelope.if anyone is interested. thanks DON BARKER CONOVER NC

My dad worked at the Hoyt Hotel for years and years. He has a million “Old Harvey Dick” stories. He has told me many times of the bells and whistles on the urinals. I need him to give me something else to share with you!

My stepfather was the bar manager or head bartender in the Barbary Coast for many years up until the hotel was sold/closed…His name was George Galik. He took my mother and my sister and I on a tour of the hotel early on a Sunday and we saw almost everything (except the men’s room)! And almost every day he had a new story to tell about his customers/co-workers or events. Portland really lost an icon…

My Mom, Melba Lynn, played the Barbary Coast room for years in the late 60’s to early 70’s for Harvey Dick. When the grand old place was torn down, we were able to keep a metal sign that was from the front of the hotel that was about its history.

All The Best,
Cory Cooper
Elvis Historian, Consultant, Technical Advisor

Does anyone remember the name of the large mechanical “band” that was in the bar? What happened to it? Somewhere I have a copy of a LP record with many of the songs from that “band”.

Wow, if you have an LP that would be amazing to see and hear. Have you located it? I’m writing a play about Gracie Hansen and this would be a great addition.

Hi Brian. No, I was too young to go to the Hoyt and now have made dear friends with a lot of the singer and dancers from the Hoyt…even the band leader! The play is about Gracie but I want to honor all of those from the past. Do you have the LP? I believe the “kids” (that’s what I call them) would LOVE to see/hear it.

The play opens on May 3rd 2012 and the new bio of Gracie is just printed and will be on sale next two weeks.

i have the record you are talking about. it is unopend in mint condition.cut by the hoyt recording co. 1965 called the sounds of the barbary coast. played on the fotoplayer by frank elliot. Im sure its a on of a kind and Im taking offers on it. if u or anyone u know is intrested please email or call me at 503-2626697 afternoons only please thanks so much daryl

When I was 19-20 a friend took me to the Hoyt where we stood outside and watched drag queens and kings arrive for (I think) the Empress Ball. They were picking that year’s new empress. I’d never seen drag queens before and was shocked at how real they looked. I was very naive at the time. I was sad to see the Hoyt torn down. It was a Portland institution.

I remember going there with my Mom when I was little, and the mynah birds in the lobby, and kind of recall meeting Gracie Hansen. Was the Hoyt Hotel named after Ralph Hoyt, the same park superintendant after whom the Hoyt Arboretum was named?

Correction: Hoyt Arboretum was named after Ralph Warren Hoyt, a county commissioner in the 1920s (found on Hoyt Arboretum’s website). So, same for the Hotel Hoyt???

My dad worked there when he was in high school as a bus boy. He said thats the place where he learned to like salad, lol I think his step-mom Gracie Hansen got him the job there.

Rachel, please send me an e-mail or have your Dad send me one. I’d absolutely love to have him get in touch with me!! I miss him!! LOTS of old memories. Does he still have a Chevvy Empala? You were tiny when I last saw you…..

I still have 4 of those “ROARING TWENTIES” peeing boy swizzle sticks; too bad the place is gone, they don’t have places like that anymore anywhere…

I grew up with those pearly white swizzle sticks in my home as my mother worked at the roaring twenties as a cocktail waitress.


I heard the old number three I was restored and partially funded by Clint Eastwood who loves trains and is now in Jamestown California

Great to see some people in Portland still remember her.

Keep Portland WEIRD!

For as long as she was married to my Grandfather I didn’t know she had any brothers or sisters. πŸ™‚

Grace had 2 brothers and 1 sister. My Mother is her sister.

Her little brother Carl Diana (same Father as Grace)died a couple years ago.

George Barner Jr her 1/2 brother and Jeanette Barner Gum her 1/2 sister both live in the Olympia area.

My Mother is trying to get in touch with either you or Thomas.. As Thomas if he remembers cousin Deanna..

Deanna Gum Gilmore

I am working on a play about Gracie. I think she is an untouched jewel and would LOVE to chat with family members about her.

I remember your Aunt Gracie Hansen. Not personally but as a local celebrity. I remember she drove around in a Rolls Royce that was either pink or gold. I have an old souvenir booklet from the ’62 Seattle World’s Fair and she’s even in that. Larger than life!

As I recall, the old Rolls was painted gold (with a mop. perhaps) and the interior was tattered faux leopard. I worked on it for her a couple of times just to help keep it running. There weren’t a lot of mechanics who’d play with old British cars back then. I’ve often wondered what became of the car after she passed away. A group of friends and I would get off work @3:30 in the morning and head down to the restaurant for a crab louis or breakfast. Several times Gracie was there & came out to sit with us & gab. She always encouraged us to “Go get an education!” (we were in our teens) and “Stay outta the bars!” What a gem of a lady!

My girlfriend, Osa, danced in Gracie’s review in 1967. I used to sit there and watch her. It was a beautiful place. I remember Gracie Hansen also. Ira

Hi Ira,
I don’t know if we ever met, but I have some specific information about the small plane crash in 1968 when Osa died. I talked to a pilot who was familiar with the plane. I don’t have any experience flying planes, so my language describing the event is second hand. Here is what I was told: There were some design flaws with the plane and the single engine test on a double engine plane was not supposed to have a third person in the plane, but this information apparently was not given to Ruth Wikander, the flight instructor. The Beech Aircraft plane was underpowered and the tail was too short. It did not have enough torque to keep the plane flying straight, during a single engine test, and the flight was doomed from the start the moment Osa got on the plane. She was the third person on the plane. The Oregonian was supposed to write a follow up story to not only this crash, but similar crashes by this plane. Eventually, the NTSB and the FAA banned this single engine rating test on this plane and the plane was redesigned to have more torque and double controls. When the flight instructor was instructing the pilot, the old design was a throw-over yoke or one control only. Since the pilot was the only one with the control, the flight instructor could not correct the actions of the pilot because she did not have a second control she could access. It is no longer legal to give instruction in a throw-over yoke or one control plane. What happened, because Osa was the third person, the plane never reached the minimum safe single engine speed (msses) and went into a spin. When you are flying a single engine, if you stall first, the plane just flips over and cannot recover. That is what happened based on what a pilot told me after offering to interpret the NTSB report for me which I found online. Did you also find the NTSB report? If not, I can send it to you. You can find me on LinkedIn and let me know if you got my reply many years after the event. I was a friend of Osa during the same time you were involved with her and I didn’t know you had posted this comment. I just found it. Osa had an iridescent quality about her and every time I read the last lines of the kaddish prayer “oseh shalom beemromav,” I am reminded of her. She explained to me that her name, Osa, was a variation of the Hebrew verbs “to do.” I also went to the Gracie Hansen review one evening, but Osa was not dancing that evening.

Ronald Subotnick
My email address is below, but I think you are the only one who can read it.
In order to find the NTSB report, look for NTSB Identification: SEA68A0051
February 11, 1968 General Aviation accident in Wilsonville, Oregon Beech B95.
The flight instructor was Ruth Wikander.

My girlfriend, Osa Woodside, danced in the show reviews in 1967. She was a petite blonde. Maybe you knew her. Ira
I remember you, Ron Subotnick. Osa’s passing was a great loss as she certainly was an iridescent personality as well as beautiful. Thank you for the follow-up. I hope this finds you well. I have been in Miami Florida for the past 50 years. Regards, Ira Jacobson

I worked in the show at the Roaring 20s in the 60s. Gracie was great. I remember her famous tour of the men’s room.

I remember going to a mid-nite show at the Barbary Coast, in the early 70’s. We were still in high school at the time. I was proud to find my ‘aim’ was good enough to light up the little boys eyes!

I remember going to the closing of the hotel with my folks when I was a young teenager… the last hurrah of the hotel featured many guest performers. My dad sent me over to a couple of them as they were seated in the lounge to get their autographs on a cocktail napkin. I still have the autographs of Connie Haines and Jane Russell. I was able to set off the sirens and a water fall in the mens room by hitting the open mouth of a frog while using the urinal… it was awesome!

The Fotoplayer from the Barbary Coast bar at the Hoyt Hotel is being restored in Southern California and hopefully will once again be made available to the public. I will post information about that on this site as we get closer to that event. In the meantime, however, as the curator in charge of this project I am searching for information from people associated with this hotel, the bar and the Fotoplayer (including its previous life at the Arcade Theatre in Hoquiam, Washington), and in particular for any photographs of it that may be out there. (We have the postcard image.) I would greatly appreciate hearing from anyone who may be of help with this.

It was my grandfather and grandmother that purchased the Arcade Theatre and after a little renovating moved into a large apartment that faced 8th Street. As a young kid in the late 40’s and 50’s I remember a large indoor garage the was probably where the theatre was located. My grandmother lived in the building until she sold it in the early 1960’s, and it was demolished for a commercial development. I learned about the photoplayer from my Dad, uncle and aunts, and went to see it one time when it was operating in the Hoyt Hotel. If Julio Vera is still looking or information on the building, I can supply what I know, including directing him to a couple of vintage photos. In exchange I’d love to know more about the current status of the photoplayer.

Way cool & thanks for the update, I always love to read them. I remember when ‘Uncle Harvey’ would come over to our house in Eastmoreland back in the 50-60s. One night I was amazed to be within 10 feet of Jimmy Durante while he played the piano and wagged that big nose at me and said “Ah Cha Cha Cha”. Sweet times they were.

The best Crab Louie in town. $1.25 for a half size one. I would guess about 1/2 pound of good Oregon crab meat. Lots of fun was had at different times. Even after a wedding where there was no food served we would head for Barbary Coast for drinks. Nothing but he best.

Like new:
I have a pink and white round pin with:
Gracie Hansins ROARING 20’S
Portland’s Paradise (printed on it)
and a feather hanging off of it.
Does anyone have any information.

Gary Do you live in Portland? I’ve been doing a lot of research on Gracie and the Hoyt as I’m writing a play and book about it. If you are near by…e-mail me so we can chat.

Sunday and nothing else to do, so I’m surfing around on the computer. Came up with the news this morning of Darcelle and his alteration with the OLCC, and it brought back so many memories of the Portland that I remember. When I turned 21, my folks always promised me a night out on the town and my first drink at the Barbary Coast for dinner and to see Gracie’s show. I took my high school sweetheart, and gosh, what a fabulous night we had!! Gracie singled me out in the crowd and wished me a happy 21st, making some naughty but funny and well-intended comments LOL The whole room clapped and congratulated me. Everyone looked so great in their nice dresses and suits. Those were the days you could actually dress up (1971) and make a night of it. The show was wonderful with Gracie’s beautiful and glamorous showgirls. The dinner was perfect, and my first drink, a Tom Collins, is still my favorite drink of choice to this day, reminding me of those wonderful days. If I won the lottery, I’d do my best to open a place like the Barbary Coast was…bring some good fun to Portland again, some celebrity culture, a place where you could dress up and made to feel like you were someplace special, if just for the night. We don’t have that anymore, and it’s so sad. When the Hoyt was taken down, it was a gloomy time. The Barbary Coast and Gracie are very missed. We need to appreciate Darcelle more. He’s the last. Who is left to fill his shoes? No one.

I, too, remember the mynah. I don’t remember when we went, but I do remember looking forward to talking with the birds.

So, I was real young & don’t remember much, but I think the old Hoyt Hotel was where Harvey’s Comedy Club is now across from the Greyhound bus station?

This is great, I’m learning more stuff! I enjoyed watching Petticoat Junction, too!

How true. Darcelle is following in Gracie’s shoes. Thank you πŸ˜‰

As a young boy, I remember walking by a hotel or restaurant in NW Portland that had silver dollars imbedded in the building. I believe the silver dollars were covered with glass so no one could get to them. I am thinking it was the Hoyt Hotel or the Barbary Coast Lounge. Can anyone help me. Does anyone else remember this.

I read your name on Petticoat Junction,Oct 04, 2011. Would you be interested n the Vancouver Island Raiway and building a Fast Train corridor into Portland from British Columbia Canada. I have also asked Russia to build their corridor to California. A Inter-continental rail service that crosses into Alaska, US, sold by them to you, along the coast, over, and connectig a few islands along the coast. To your Hotel that had Russian Settlers as well as French and British. the Orgegon Rail transportation infrastructure built the US, Canada. Russia is working on their infrastructure to support the Bridges and Tunnels to the US and Canada. Contact Vanciuver Island corridor, Graham Hill and Honourable Graham Bruce. The rail service is also partnered by the Aboriginal Community. A bridge wuld be built between Washington State and Esquimalt/Langford/Port Renfrew. P Anna Paddon@VanIsleDevelop Twitter

There is a tour train in hood river Oregon an hour east of Portland called the Fruitloop train but it is a diesel engine there is no comparison to the charm and majesty of the locomotive like the cannonball or trains that run in Durango Colorado please if there’s anyone out there that would like to contribute to bringing a locomotive to this beautiful countryside it would be an immense blessing

All I remember about the hotel is that, as a kid during the war, I got hired as a busboy. The very first day, when I was given my lunch break, I asked the cook for something to eat. He just gave me a dirty look and kept piddling around, although it wasn’t busy. After about fifteen minutes I took off my jacket and vanished. A kid could get really spoiled in those days because a block or so away, some other restaurant was waiting with arms out because all the able-bodied men were in the service. After the war I had to learn be a little less picky.
During that time I worked at the Town Tavern, Jolly Joan, Tik-Tok (and another little place the owner had on Sandy), the Hi-Mac Night Club, the Lo-Mac downstairs, Mannings, Leighton’s Cafeteria, The Broiler, the Hoyt, another nice hotel in West Portland whose name escapes me, and The Fifth Avenue Grille. I started as dishwasher, but convinced the chef β€” a wonderful woman named Mary Heigel (I’m not sure about the spelling) β€” to train me to be the sandwich/salad man and began to learn the business. She was tough, but kind. She taught me to make good use of my time in the kitchen. Then I got a real job with a detective agency, the thing I’d always wanted. Within months of that Uncle Sam came knocking on my door and I was headed to Texas for basic training.

As a young child in the late 60’s through the mid 70’s, I remember my mother working at the Roaring 20’s and the Barbary Coast as a cocktail waitress. My mom introduced me and my siblings to Harvey Dick and Gracie Hanson. I got to see the Rolls Royce collection and the Pettycoat Junction train running up on blocks. I loved the ornate marble restroom and the talking minor bird in the lobby. My mom still has a photo of Duke Ellington with his arms around her taken from a show he performed there. I have very fond memories of the hotel and the people that I met there as a child.

I have been looking for years for a girl that worked as a cocktail waitress in the lounge. Her first name Shrri or Sherry I don’t remember her last name. This was in the early 70’s. Maybe you can help me find her.
thank you

My father played drums in the band in the Roaring Twenties room. I’m pretty sure it was Monte Ballou’s Castle Jazz Band. I saw Duke Ellington’s Orchestra there in the early 1970s. I was told they wouldn’t allow minors in for the concert, so I wrote a letter to Harvey Dick asking if there was some way some of my friends from the high school band could see the concert. They rigged up some seating in the restaurant so we could see the concert. It was a nice gesture – something they didn’t have to do.

I have some paper drink coasters and some ash trays from the Barbary Coast room and the Roaring Twenties. I also have a brochure from the Roaring Twenties. I remember when I was a kid (when my dad played there) we used to have some of the swizzle sticks but sadly they are long gone.

It’s a real shame what happened to the Hoyt Hotel.

When they closed they auctioned off a lot of the contents. I wasnt there but my folks went and bought a old painting that had been hanging in the hotel. Anyone know how to get information about that auction and what was sold? I know nothing about the painting.

I actually just got the Hoyt Hotel auction catalog from my cousin (Harvey was our grandfather), and I plan on scanning it. Loads of Tiffany lamps, stained glass and paintings. Sme of the sale prices were noted by my aunt, Harvey’s daughter, Susan. I guess I could post the scans in PDF format somewhere when I’m done.

I’m wondering if you’ve done this and willing to share info.
I have come into possession of a chair that is rumored to have come from the Hoyt Hotel

It’s pretty grand and ornate. Working on tracking where it may have come from. So far, I’m researching the Hoyt, Paramount & Arlene schnitzel

I think your spell check auto-corrected Schnitzer to Schnitzel. If not search for Arlene Schnitzer.

Bryan, I gave the catalog back to my cousin, also Harvey Dick’s grandson. It was his mother’s copy, and had all of her notes on sales prices, et al from the auction dates. I made a digital copy and just came across it, but now can’t find it again. I’ll continue to look for it, but may just ask for my cousin to scan and send me another copy. There are a few people asking about what was in that catalog. I remember when this San Francisco entrepreneur purchased all of the Tiffany lamps from the hotel and put them in his ‘fern bar’ back in the 70’s. We lived very close by and drive by the bar nearly every night. The place was filled with hanging Tiffany lamps – quite a sight. I’m glad my grandfather got to open the hotel and have fun running it for so many years – he gave up his other family businesses (shipbuilding and steelworks, along with banking) when his third wife died of cancer, not long after they married. She was the love of his life, and he just wanted to enjoy life after that tragedy. Of course, the hotel wasn’t easy to run and eventually my grandfather had to sell everything. There’s still the restaurant/comedy club, Harvey’s, right next door to where the Hoyt used to stand.

My husband was the one who actually molded the head of Fidel Castro after I made a copy at the Portland Library. He was in dental school at the time and worked with his uncle who helped restore the old place including the kind and queen on the sides of the stage and ornate bathroom.
Any idea if the head was destroyed? Sure would love to know.


People these days don’t even believe the story when I tell it. No idea where any of the stuff is. What a bizzare time! Maybe we can make a new head of RAUL.

HI Linda! My name is Don Horn, I wrote a book on the Hoyt and on Gracie Hansen. I’d LOVE to see the auction book you have. I have the actual auction booklet that the Kennedy auction house had to do the auction with the prices that each piece was sold for. Wanna chat?

I have a nude painting that is rumored to have come from the Hoyt Hotel.
Does the catalog have photos? If so I would love to be able to match the photos to the painting.

My dad bought several items at the auction. Including the Cannonball express. He had planned to put it in our front yard by the Multnomah Dog Tracks but got an offer to sell the next day. Great memories and still have photos of us kids climbing on the train before tear down.

I’m Harvey Dicks niece but was never old enough to ‘enjoy’ the Barbary Coast/Roaring 20’s while it was open. I remember being taken on tours during the day that included the men’s room and the long urinal, with the bust of Castro, and cupids. In addition to the Petticoat Junction train he had what he said was an authentic 17th century chastity belt, with lock, hung on the wall. I seem to remember that it was hung behind a curtain that he would draw back for effect. I was also told the mahogany bar and mirror in the Barbary Coast room was one piece of wood from an old west saloon (I don’t know where) and that it still had bullet holes from gun fights. I seem to remember the Petticoat Junction train on the roof where he also had installed a gas ‘eternal’ torch (where it came from I don’t know).
He’d also managed to purchase an Electric Chair from an Oregon prison and intended to put it on display in the lobby of the hotel. I think he was even going to allow people to sit in it. I remember seeing the chair but I don’t think it was ever actually on display.
I was told that when the profits of the business started declining that he simply stopped paying taxes but continued to run the business. After a few years the business closed. I understood that after his death his girlfriend opened a restaurant on or near the site that was called Harvey’s Place.

Hey, Bea – I guess you’re my mom’s cousin (she’s Harvey’s daughter, Virginia ‘Ginger’ Dick – now Ginger Chappell). Yes, Harvey’s girlfriend Joanna opened Harvey’s next door to the old Hoyt Hotel. I think she now has the bar from the old hotel. My cousin and I were just discussing this. I need to check out Harvey’s.

I just spoke with Ginger on the phone after I’d heard Susan passed away. I hadn’t seen either of them for years. I don’t think I’ve seen you since you were in diapers. I was forwarded an emailed flyer originally from Brad for the April memorial and will try to make it (along with other family members).

Bea, Harvey Dick would have been my Grandfather,Robert L Dicks brother. They were the sons of Paul Stephen Dick the chairman of the board of the United States National bank along with their other brother Philip V. Dick, a major in the us army. I haven’t been able to find much info on Harvey or Philip’s children or grandchildren. If you have any info on that please let me know. Thanks Deborah

I just returned from the memorial for my aunt Susan in Depoe Bay, Oregon. Bea, thanks for calling my mom – were you there? I met so many family members that I didn’t know I had. It was a blast.

Deborah, so you’re Robert’s granddaughter? Via which of his kids? As I recall, he had two sons, Harvey and Paul (those two names crop up all over the place – gets confusing). I’m Harvey Dick, Sr.’s grandson. If you want to see a ton of info on the family, you can visit my tree, as I’ve got a *ton* of info. If you start with Paul (the original one) Dick, you can trace up and down the tree: If you need special access, I can grant it to you, if you get me your email address. Bea, same goes for you.

I can certainly answer a lot of questions about Harvey Dick, Sr. and his kids and grandkids. I also took pics of a ton of old family photos when I was up in Oregon, so I’m slowly adding them to the tree. You’ll be surprised at what I’ve got. If either of you have great photos of Philip and Robert and their spouses and kids, that would be perfect. I’ll add ’em in.

Philip’s kids from his second marriage were at the memorial, and I spent a lot of time with his daughter Barbara. His son Douglas really looks like his dad. They didn’t really know him because he died when they were so young.

Dear Bea,
I remember the chastity belt behind a curtain. My other memory of the Barbary Coast is from a floor show at the time Richard Nixon was running for election (1968, I think). One of the female entertainers came out on stage wrapped in an American flag, looking visibly pregnant, and wearing a sign that said, “Nixon’s the one.”

One of the best times I had at ‘Uncle Harveys’ RTR was when I stood right next to Jimmie Durante while he was playing the piano and was ‘schnozzing’ everyone in the room.! My dad was a friend of Mr.Dick and we all called him Uncle Harvey. Along with other hoteliers he befriended, like Al Gentner of Mallory & Imperial fame, and Arnold & Margaret Blitz, the beer makers, it was a pretty neat crowd for a young kid. Back then we could go up and down the streets of Portland and get great food, like custom carved corned beef sandwiches, oysters at the Oyster House, and desserts at Roses’. We lived in Eastmoreland and pop was the consummate car salesman who wanted to know everyone (Gypsies included) and wanted them all to buy cars from him….he sold ALOT of cars. The weirdest night ever at the RTR was when I left the ice cream shop and went to the restroom to find grown men all tanked up on beer and trying to pee (at a 50 degree angle !) in an open mouth of FIDEL CASTRO !!! Lights would flash, noise makers would go off and fountains would flush. WOW. The good old days.

Really fun reading all the stories and people that are connecting through this blog! I looked it up because I found an old postcard at an antique shop and thought it was kind of cool! I’m an architectural historian so I collect postcards of old buildings. Anyhow, thanks for the great stories, sounds like quite the place back in the day! Loved Petticoat Junction as a kid too πŸ™‚

Hi Bea, I am Paul’s daughter. He had two children. I never really knew him though. He died when he was in his early 50’s. My father Paul had two brothers, one that was actually named after my Grandfather Robert’s brother, your grandparent, Harvey. I have some info on the family though my Mom. She new Susan and Ginger but never met Harvey Jr. She did know Harvey Sr. though. I have the obits of both Great Grandfather Paul and Great Grandmother Emma and a pic of their house in Portland….it is a current one. I don’t know if you use facebook but if you do you can go to Deborah Killebrew of Joshua Tree, Ca or you can email me at

Deborah – I’m assuming that you took pics of the Portland White House, which was my (our) great-grandparents’ house. I’ve got a bunch of pics showing Harvey, Sr., Robert, Philip, Harvey, Jr., Susan, Ginger (my mom) and of course Paul and Emma Dick in front of the house. I’m just starting to add all of these pics right now. I’ve got three pics of your father at the age of about six and sixteen. One was at the Dick’s home in Portland, and the other two were in Hawaii. We were all discussing him this last weekend, as I was trying to understand what happened with everyone. Your dad died young, but his brother Harvey died even younger (abt age 21).

If you want those pics of your dad or your grandfather Robert, or your great-grandparents, I’ll be happy to email them – or put in a drop box for you to retrieve, as the file size might be large.

Bea, I’ve also been emailing with another cousin of ours, Daniel Coyle (Dick), Harvey Bennett Dick’s son, and Robert Dick’s grandson. Like a few others in our family, he changed the last name to his mother’s maiden name. Sometimes, having Dick as a last name is less than an asset in life.

Don – my mom (Harvey’s daughter) just gave me this book a couple of weeks ago. She has a copy of her own as well. It brings back a lot of great memories for her. Great job. My mom feels that Harvey created the hotel due to his third – and most loved – wife dying just a few months after their wedding; he walked away from his very successful businesses because he wanted to do something he would love doing. He did love it – even though it ultimately failed. Better to have done that than wish you had done it while on your death bed …

They had a heck of a time tearing down the Hoyt Hotel as the building was built with reinforced concrete. I worked across the street at the R.H. Brown Company at 604 NW 6th. Late one afternoon they managed to drop a huge chunk of the building and the shock broke a rafter on the second floor in our circa 1860 building. The next day crews were in reinforcing our building. When I started at Brown in about 1972 the hotel was already closed. People arriving on the train would stop in our building quite often and ask when the hotel had closed.

1860? When I plug in 604 NW 6th, it drops the peg right in front of the train station’s front door. There used to be a building in the train station’s round-about area, which is basically a small parking lot with some gardens now. Here’s a shot of the building. I think it was torn down sometime in the 1920s, so it would have been fairly shortly after this scene. I remember reading somewhere that it housed at least one restaurant and bar, which were popular with train passengers.

The same view, around 1901.

This photo dates from 1948 and is actually the same flooding that destroyed Vanport. The Hotel Hoyt is in the foreground and there’s a parking lot between it and the station. Note the elevated walkway that connected the bridge ramp to the train station’s foyer!

604 NW 6th was torn down to build the new transit center. It was on the corner of the 6th block off Burnside. That street doesn’t exist any more.

Sent from my iPhone


OK, I was there you’re looking at a map of now. On the opposite diagonal corner across from the Hoyt there was an entire block of buildings. They are gone now, replaced by the transit center. As the street corner no longer exists the map takes you to the closest address it can find. Hoyt street no longer exists between 5th and 6th thus the address disappears from modern maps. 604 NW 6th would have been one block closer to Burnside on 6th than the train station. I was there every day for well over five years. Bank on it.

I was one of the dancers in the Roaring 20s Room in 1965-66 and later after I returned from NY just B4 the Hoyt closed its doors. I met my husband there. He was singing in a trio with Dean Gordonair and Carl Manning. I still have a lot of the Barbary Coast and Roaring 20s stirring rods…some are the “Little Pissers.” It was a great experience. The band was the Johnny Reitz Band. Not sure whether I spelled his last name correctly. The first choreographer was Gordon Malafouris and the next one was Rene De Haven. Later, in the early 70s, it was Jack Card.

Charlene I saw your photo on line from the Copa and you were trying to find other girls in the photo, and you found me. Do you have any other photos to share? I would live to see them.

Wendy Hillier

I have some, I think, but we just moved. Send me your e-mail. You can go to Facebook and look under Charlene Choate and send a message, and I’ll send you mine. It’s a picture in a blue shirt holding a white dog. Wow! How amazing to see your name here. I ran into Patty Holly many years ago in Glendale, Calif. Blew me away, She asked me if my nickname was Zelda (remember Zelda Zit Lip?) and if I ever lived in NY and worked at the Copa. Hope you see this. Char

Hello Charlene, in 1966 I dated a lady who also danced in ‘Gracie Hansen’s Roaring 20’s, Portland’s Paradise in Harvey Dick’s HOYT HOTEL, 614 N.W. Hoyt St. 228-2304. I have copied this directly from an ad listed in the SEPTEMBER 1966 issue of The Portland Greeter, Guide to Portland. The picture included in this ad has Gracie Hansen & I believe the gentleman is Harvey Dick on the right side. The picture on the left side of the ad contains five dancers posing in costume. The beautiful lady on the right is the wonderful lady I was blessed to know for unfortunately too short a time. Her name was Janice Stromquist, she had been married to a gentleman named Henry, they had a young son named Stephen or may have been Steven. I would very much appreciate any advise or assistance in my attempt to locate her. She has a place in my heart which has never left me. I would be blessed to reconnect with her to discover how life has been for her and her family. If you can find the kindness in your heart to assist me in my quest you shall gain a truly grateful life long friend. My name is Ronald Walker e-mail, cell phone # 425-314-7017. I know I should not put my personal info in open forum, however as I am now in my 70th year, learning “how life has been for Janice” would fulfill a dream I have had for a very long time but never had the courage to pursue. I discovered this blog re. the Hoyt Hotel, began reading through all the wonderful stories and upon reading your story realized maybe Charlene Cordes Choate will be willing to be my guardian angel. I would be ever so thankful to hear from you.
Bless you and yours,
Ronald Walker

I wish I could help you. I don’t see what picture you’re talking about. The only Jan I knew was also in a band, and I can’t rememmber her last name. I left early in ’66, I think, and went to NYC.

I was a college kid working nights at the Oregonian. Once every couple of weeks or so I’d scrape up $4 (a lot of money back then) and after work go over to the Roaring 20s. The restaurant was deserted at that hour — around 1:30 or 2 a.m. — and as I was only 20 years old couldn’t be served in the bar. But usually one of the barmen took pity on me and would go into the kitchen between customers and make me a fried oyster and baked potato dinner. It cost $3.50 as I recall. To this day, I’ve never had better oysters, and I’ve eaten at a fair amount of the “famous” places on the California coast. And keep in mind, these weren’t chefs or regular cooks but bartenders. Harvey Dick had taught all of them the basics. I shed some tears when I heard the place had finally closed.

All good things must come to an end. However, I can guarantee you that the love and correct preparation of oysters and clams is a big part of our family history. I know that my grandfather Harvey did love his oysters – but, given that the family was in Oregon, razor clams are the top passion for cooking for all of us! I live in Los Angeles, and I’m constantly jonesing for fried razor clams. I can only get them when I go up to Oregon to visit the Dick family.

My dad dug clams commercially for a while, and would drop off a package of them (cleaned) to ‘Uncle Harvey’ now and then. If you still eat them, check out the status of Demoic Acid when you are here. Is the DICK family also in the business of writing fiction books? I met a woman in Marin county that has the same name and her husband wrote science fiction.

Try Dan and Louis’s Oyster House in Portland near where the Hoyt Hotel was. They may have them.

I played piano and arranged some of the show music
for the Johnny Reitz band during the Twenties’ big years, 1966-1968. Met and married
my wife Charlotte,, a gorgeous cocktail waitress there.. And after 46 years we are still hitched
and happy in North Carolina. Seeing this site brings back a lot of memories and faces.but at age 85 I’m afraid I won’t see them again. It was a wonderful gig for sure!

Do you remember a dancer in 1967-1968 named Osa, a beautiful blonde? She was my girlfriend but got killed in a plane crash in 1968. I don’t have a picture or anything.

my mother was hostess in the restaurant in the last years of the Hoyt Hotel. I have such fond memories and I will never forget the Myna bird. I even have matches post cards and stir sticks from the hotel. it was the saddest day of our lives when we heard the hotel was going down. Well at least I have memories.

I have been looking for years for a girl I met at the Hoyt, She was a cocktail waitress in the lounge her name was Sherry she was blond. I don’t remember her last name maybe you can help me find her?

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