Portland Police History Museum

Dear Liza,

Pretty, old-fashioned streetlights near downtown

Well, the one story I was working on has split into two, and I am doing some more research, so Grandpa Nelson and I walked downtown yesterday. We headed down Yamhill to the Morrison Bridge though the neighborhoods, enjoying the bright blue sky and the occasional “I’m gonna get you!” cloud.

Home of paninis and bonus cookies

After we crossed the bridge, we stopped for lunch at the “food district” under Pioneer Plaza, and had some yummy sandwiches, fries, a milk shake, and even a yummy cookie from Bridge City Cafe. We were pooped, having walked nearly three miles, and wanted to get our strength up for….

The Portland Police History Museum! It’s in the Police Station on 2nd Street, just off the glittery marble lobby. When you see this fellow, you know you are there.

I was there to learn about police procedures that would have been in place in 1903, and to answer some questions.

Call Box…if you have a key
  1. How did you call for help or report a crime? You would need to find a policeman walking his beat, that’s how. The Police Call boxes, these wonderful cast iron inventions were installed every few blocks, but they were locked! Only police officers had keys.
Oh, there’s the key!
  1. Couldn’t you call on the phone? Nope. Even though many businesses and even homes had telephones as early as the 1890s, the Portland Police station didn’t have a switchboard until 1905.
  2. How did Police Officers get their prisoners to jail? There were no Police Cars yet and the Police Department didn’t send officers out with wagons. So, once an arrest was made, the Policeman walked his prisoner to the nearest station.

The answers to these questions should help me tell an interesting, historically accurate story.

The Museum had other interesting exhibits, as well. I’ll tell you about them tomorrow!

P.S. Yes, I know the numbers are wrong. I can’t get them to line up properly.


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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