Lost Oregon is a combination of two blogs I previously did : Roadside Oregon and Stumptown Confidential wayyyyy back in 2005.

Content for Stumptown Confidential was lost when the host flipped some switch. I’m saddened that all my work from 2004-2008 is gone for good. Thankfully I still have the photos and put them up on a Flickr account.

The goal of Lost Oregon was the same as Stumptown Confidential’s —document lost and found Oregon through old postcards, newspaper ads, photos and words.

This site’s goal has changed since its beginnings. It’s less about people’s personal memories. Lord knows, there are plenty of online avenues to share how much you enjoyed going to downtown Portland as a kid or how much you miss that one restaurant that had the best fries ever.

Lost Oregon is now more focused on the architecture of Oregon, some buildings lost to time, others being repurposed, recast, and reused.

Oregon has a ton of great old commercial buildings with great bones. Let’s be creative with them instead of tearing them down.

Various media mentions

Over the years Lost Oregon has been mentioned and featured in various publications. Here are a few:

The Guardian in the UK named Lost Oregon as one of the Best Blogs for Travelers.

Here’s a cool piece that Peter Carlin from The Oregonian wrote about my obsession.

Lost Oregon (when it was still Stumptown Confidential) was named in Willamette Week‘s “Best of” issue in 2005 (with the infamous Greg Oden cover).

Thanks for reading! Get in touch at lostoregon@gmail.com with any questions.

32 thoughts

  1. Wow. From a professional standpoint, I can tell you I have reservations on hosting WP. But my 2 month old blog cannot compare to freaking 4 years of material/history lost. That just sucks.

  2. Oh no, it did go! 😦 If its possible, consider keeping a backup on your own computer this time. Thanks for uploading the pictures to Flickr, though.

    And thanks for the pictures like the one on this page, as I am interested in how the ramps from the west end of the Steel Bridge were laid out when e.g. there was Harbor Drive.

  3. Hello,

    I came across your blog and think that you will find a Portland story project that I launched to be of interest. The project, essentially, is a book that is made up of contributions of images and text from Portlanders about Portland. It will be part yearbook, part coffee-table book, part insiders travel guide. I am seeking contributions right now and I am looking for entries from Portlanders of all walks of life, to help make the story of Portland complete. With this project, I hope to create a greater sense of community identity and pride in Portland and capture the spirit of the city at this point in time.

    You can find all the juicy details here: http://www.ourportlandstory.com.

    I would love for you personally to consider submitting an entry since you already have a plenty of images and material to pull from. I was also hoping you can help get out the word about the submission effort. Anything you can do would be appreciated.

    Thanks for you help!

    ~Melissa Delzio

  4. Your piece on the Castle Restaurant was just forwarded to me. We were neighbors to the Castle (until we moved in 2002) just down Glen Echo Ave. and were disappointed at its demise. It was popular through most of the 1980s and had a noted developer (McMinimans?) that wanted to restore, reclaim, and improve it. The County had other plans and mounted continual roadblocks, as I recall, until he finally gave up.

    1. I was interested in any info on the Castle. My dad used to go there in the 50’s. My family has a funny story about my dad, the Castle and a great Dane.

  5. Just found your site via @lostfortcollins. Re your Stumptown Confidential loss, have you ever tried searching for the site (better yet, individual post titles) in Google and then click the ‘Cached’ option in the search results? You might be able to recover some of the posts.

    1. Thanks Paul – I’ll check it out. Welcome to the site – thanks for coming by via Lost Fort Collins.

  6. You folks might want to consider connecting with me and Carter Case sometime. He has been
    designing restaurants/hotels in PDX for 30 plus years (Heathman, Belinda’s -now Kell’s-Paragon,
    Teardrop,100’s more. We can fill in just about all the restaurant info you can handle from the
    old days-1950’s to the present! I still due consulting and food service projects;boy are there lots
    of irons in the fire now! I always thought a reunion celebration/dinner of the old days for a good charity would be a big hit in PDX…..highlight the pioneers who started & lit the way for what is one of the best food cities/states in the US. Maybe the world;according to the 2/24/2012 article in US News/World Report- “World’s Best Street Food” (#12: Paris, France, #6:LA,Ca.,#1 PDX!!!!)

  7. Hi –

    I’m putting together a project to promote Portland neighborhood histories. Would you please contact me?


  8. I am not sure where to ask this question, but I am trying to remember the name and location of this tiny Italian restaurant which seemed to be located on the west side of the Willamette, sort of south of town center. When I was a student nurse (1959-1962) it was a place we went to often. The spaghetti was served on huge platters which you ate from one side of the platter and your friend ate at the other end. The last time I was there was around 1971. If anyone could tell me the name and location and when it closed, I would love that.

  9. Calling all Oregon History Buffs! Arcadia Publishing is looking for new authors!

    Due to the great demand for titles on local and regional history, we are currently searching for authors to work with us on new photographic history projects. Arcadia works with many first-time authors, as well as seasoned writers. Our editors are seeking proposals on local history topics and can provide potential authors with detailed information about our publishing program as well as book proposal submission guidelines. Please contact us if you are interested.

  10. Not sure how to connect to you by email but I was interested in seeing the copy of the Anic Dope from the late 60’s that John Chilson references in posts from August and September 2008. I live in a historic house in the area was wondering if it or any neighboring houses were in it. Can someone email me at greenerpasturesnw@gmail.com

    1. Hi,
      I am looking for anyone with information on a woman who drowned in the great flood of ’64, her name was Evelyn Sam, she was also with another woman, Nettie White. They lived on the Warm Springs Reservation and I’ve tried contacting them with no reply. If anyone can help put me in contact with someone at the reservation or knows family of these women that I could contact, I’d be more than grateful. The reason is almost beyond explanation.

  11. I’ve been looking for a Portland historian as a recurrent guest on my weekly Portland-centric podcast, The PDX Beat (www.thepdxbeat.com), and I believe you have the expertise to help make it happen. I would love to discuss possibilities with you. Please email me at thepdxbeat@gmail.com, and I’ll be happy to provide you with my proposal. Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you!

  12. I love this blog! As a historian and native Oregonian, I can’t believe I just discovered this. I’m the Editor-in-Chief of “The Adventure Tribune” and we publish stories and photos about/from Oregon frequently. Please let me know if you want to collaborate. We’d love to have you as a guest writer, and let us know if you have any desire for one of our contributors to guest-post with your website. Visit our website at http://www.TheAdventureTribune.com. Email me at editor@theadventuretribune.com. Keep this up! It’s great stuff.

  13. We have an old family photo of a couple standing in front of a restaurant in Portland. We can see a sign that says, “Portland’s Original Smorgasbord”
    The building looks like a house. It has a big front porch and the house number is 1744.
    On the back of the picture is the date Aug 1950.
    I know that’s not a lot to go on, but do you have any idea where this was?

    1. Hi Greg,

      I did a bit of Googling just now and found a link to a matchbook cover that says the Swedish smorgasbord restaurant called “A Bit of Sweden” was located at 1744 N.E. 42nd St. in Portland. Here’s the link:


      The building is still there but is now a dentist office! http://www.maychangdds.com/

      I hope this helps!


      1. My Great Grandma Emmy Robinson was from Sweden and was a cook at A bit of Sweden. I cannot find any pictures of it, other than a photo of a matchbook cover! Would you mind sharing a photo of your photo?

  14. I would like to use the Palias Ballroom photo (external building) in a book I am writing. Anyone know how I can get permission? Thanks.

  15. Need help: first date March 1974. Odd shaped restaurant on Beaverton Hillsdale or Canyon just East of 217. Second one later East Portland in Stark. Now a strip joint.

  16. Hi, I am on the Clackamas County Historic Review Board and we are going to do a review of the Whiskey Hill School within its redevelopment. There are a lot of important historic properties and buildings in Clackamas County that need to be listed and protected. My wife and I live in an 1880 Vernacular Fram House in the National Register Historic District of Canemah. We bought it from Grandma, who was born in the house and lived in it most of her life to 103 years of age. We carefully rebuilt it, bringing it into the 21st century, without doing appearance changes that altering the look and feel of the structure. We need help in encouraging people into helping save our history, so that generation in the future can experience and see elements of how we evolved in building Clackamas County into what we have now

  17. I’m looking for interior photographs of the old Golden Dragon Cafe that used to be on S.W. Alder street. Recently purchased an antique advertising poster featuring a “Shanghai Girl” from the 1930s. Manager of the Cafe was Lee Wing, and the old number was Beacon 9669. Would like to know what the interior looked like! Thanks for any info anyone might have. I saw a posting on Facebook dated 2011, thoroughly enjoyed it.

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