“From the Archives” feature of an image along the Columbia River in 1948, as seen from Groutage Avenue. Photo: Trail Historical Society

“From the Archives” feature of an image along the Columbia River in 1948, as seen from Groutage Avenue. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Trail Blazers: Columbia River and Groutage Avenue circa 1948

Trail Blazers is a weekly feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

“Every now and then some photograph donation catches my eye and this is my pick for the month,” begins Addison Oberg, collections coordinator with the Trail Museum and Archives.

”It is a spectacular snap, often we do not see too many photos from this angle with the river, the docks and the Esplanade wall.”

The old black-and-white frame shows Groutage Avenue looking up the Columbia River towards the smelter after the high-water flood of 1948.

Houses along this street made use of the river for transportation and for fishing, as can be seen from the boats and the docks.

The Esplanade river wall was constructed in attempts to combat the high river water following the flood of 1948. (Incidentally, that same impenetrable wall acted like a pool keeping water inside the city following the Trail Creek flood of 1969, and had to be blasted through. To read that story online see: ‘Trail Stricken By Flood,’ 50 years later.)

“With the addition of dams further upriver, Columbia River floods became much less of a threat,” Oberg adds. “But the Esplanade still remains a lovely viewpoint.”

Read more: Trail Stricken By Flood, 50 years later

Read more: Trail Blazers: Remembering the flood of ‘97



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