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[maps] Portland to Salem, from the Official Oregon State Map of 1956

Tags: road salem oregon
As a companion to the Portland-Salem map I posted a few days back, which see, I give you this clipping, which is from a circa 1956 Oregon official state map.

And what a visual difference there is.

... and what a difference there is, yes? This is handcrafted, a thing that went out of style in the Pacific Northwest for about half-a-century before coming back into vogue with the coming of the microbreweries. A steady, practiced, passionate hand accomplished this work. 

All the place names we know so well are there, including one that not longer is (note the "To Valsetz" director in the lower-left-hand corner of the map, a little south and west of a small place called Falls City). The footprint of the City of Salem was appropriate for the city limits during the 50s, but seemed to survive on Oregon state maps well into the 70s, after the city had annexed much territory (as noted in that entry on that map).

While the roads are largely where they were going to be, a few reroutings strike some intrigue. 99E and 99W area still US highways at the point. Longtime Salemites will no doubt be delighted by the old routes of Hwy 22 going west and east - particularly Hwy 22 to the east, a great diagonal expressway reaching out to just east of Stayton, follows a much more circuitous route. That can still be followed today, if one cares to, by going south on Lancaster Dr SE until it becomes Aumsville Hwy SE. Follow that back Road to Stayton and you'll get a hint as to how our grandmothers and grandfathers got out that way.

You'll also find US 99 north from Salem in the familiar alignment of today's I-5. The Interstate highway system was just aborning at that point. The bridge over the Willamette at Wilsonville was, at most, only a fraction of a year old by this point (it opened sometime between 1956 and 1958). Also, State Hwy 217 in the Beaverton-Tigard area followed a route that still exists today as SW Hall Blvd to Tigard and SW Boones Ferry Rd from Tigard south to Wilsonville.

And, while well-served by paved roads, a great deal of the mid-Willamette Valley could only be gotten to by gravel roads. Modern times were still a few years off for some of these places (and indeed could be argued they still haven't gotten there - modern times being what they are, that might actually be an asset, these days)

This post first appeared on The ZehnKatzen Times, please read the originial post: here

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[maps] Portland to Salem, from the Official Oregon State Map of 1956


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