1936 Aerial Photos of Garden Home area by Army Corps of Engineers

Garden Home History Project researcher Bob Cram contacted the US Army Corps of Engineers and obtained a series of six 1936 aerial photographs of the greater Garden Home area. These photos provide a fascinating glimpse into the greater Garden Home area as it existed in 1936. See the end of the article for details on how to obtain historic aerial imagery.

Below are annotated versions of each the aerial photo paired with the original (unaltered) aerial photo, presented as six pairs.

Click on a photo to view a larger version of the photo.

Intersection of SW Garden Home Rd and SW Oleson Rd

Notable landmarks include the original Garden Home station of the Oregon Electric Railway, Nicols Riding Academy, the Hunt Club riding oval, Frank Farm (and its smaller riding oval), Alpenrose Dairy, and the Portland Golf Club.

Portland Golf Club to SW Maplewood Ave

Notable landmarks include the Portland Golf Club, Nicols Riding Academy, the Hunt Club riding oval, Frank Farm (and its smaller riding oval), Alpenrose Dairy, SW Maplewood Ave (original single-track for the Oregon Electric Railway 1908-1911), and SW Multnomah Blvd (upgraded double-track for the Oregon Electric Railway after 1911).

SW Allen Blvd to Portland Golf Club

Notable landmarks SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, SW Allen Blvd, SW Denney Blvd, Portland Golf Club, and the west-end of Garden Home Road.

SW Walker Rd to Portland Golf Club

Notable landmarks include SW Walker Road, SW Canyon Rd, SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, SW Allen Blvd, Raleigh Hills Golf Club, and the Portland Golf Club.

SW Canyon Rd to Alpenrose Dairy

Notable landmarks include SW Canyon Rd, SW Scholls Ferry Rd, and Alpenrose Dairy.

SW Hall Blvd and SW Pacific Hwy (99W)

Notable landmarks include SW Hall Blvd, SW Pacific Hwy (99W), the future path Interstate 5, and the future site of the Portland Community College Sylvania campus.

How to obtain historic aerial imagery

We obtained these images directly from the US Army Corps of Engineers by following the instructions on this US Army Corps of Engineers website page. They charge $24 per hour for labor and $2.50 per photograph. The files are very high resolution. Aerial imagery is available at various dates back to 1936.

USGS (United States Geologic Service) has aerial photography spanning back to 1952. Use the EarthExplorer.USGS.gov web application to view aerial photography. Downloading high-resolution images requires registering and creating an account, free, but it takes a couple of minutes to answer their survey questions. You can wait until you find an image you want to download, then register, and after you confirm your registration, it will take you right back to the download page. Finding and dowloading historic aerial imagery is a little confusing at first, so I’ve created a brief step-by-step tutorial below.

HistoricAerials.com has the same historic aerial imagery that is available on USGS, spanning back to 1952. It’s easier to figure out and navigate than USGS, but it isn’t free like USGS. Browsing the photos (with prominent water marks) is free, but they charge $10 to $90 per image to download images without water marks.

Google Earth Pro (desktop version only) has aerial imagery spanning back to 1994. You can download it here. Free. Click View on the main menu bar across the top and select Historical Imagery.

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8 Responses to 1936 Aerial Photos of Garden Home area by Army Corps of Engineers

  1. peter A, Gertsch says:

    I can see there were maybe a lot of oak trees in garden home at that time , My dad Fred Gertsch told me of them having a lot of swiss picnic under the tall oaks on the Gertsch Farm .

    I remember Hunting around those trees in the early 1960 for game.

    • peter A, Gertsch says:

      my dad Fred Gertsch my brother Robert and also I lived only 9tenth of a mile from garden home school so all of walked too and from school . It was a safe place to grow up in at that time,

  2. James Winkler says:

    Funny, I was just out in Canby where Oak trees are everywhere. I was just commenting on how the SW side has mostly evergreen’s, big leaf maples, but don’t see a lot of oak around. By the way, it’s still a safe place to grow up at now.

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