The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, September 27, 1890, Page 101, Image 5

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school buildings, one of which cost $40,000, supply superior facilities for
the education of the large number of school children, of whom there are
about 2,500. The schools are well graded and splendidly managed. There
are also a number of private and denominational schools. The Willam
ette University is the oldest as well as the leading educational Institution
in the state. It has a large and well equipped structure and ample grounds.
The Orphans' Home is another institution of the city that is doing good
work. There are ten churches, one of them being brick structure that
cost (60,000. There are also two hotels, a fine opera house and more than
half a mile frontage of substantial brick business blocks.
Salem is pulsing with life and energy. The rich blood of enterprise
and prosperity is flowing in the arteries of trade and industry. New enter
prises are on foot that will aid materially in promoting the growth of the
city. The leading street car line, extending from beyond the depot through
the city and to the fair grounds, will soon be converted into an electric ''
line, making the second electric motor line in the city. Engineers are now
making the permanent location of the line between Salem and Silverton,
and the indications are that this most valuable feeder to Salem's business
will be finished and in operation by the end of 'the year. New and desira
ble suburban tracts will be prepared for residence purposes and transporta
tion facilities provided. The legislature will be In session next winter, and
the thousands drawn to the capital biennially by this cause will have an
opportunity to see what remarkable progress it has made during the paBt
two years, and will return home prouder than ever of the Capital City.
The question of a free bridge over the Willamette river at Portland is
one which has been discussed
for years, and that such a struc
ture ifl a necessity Is conceded
by everyone. All over the east
ern states turnpikes, or toll
roads, were at one time owned
by corporations, and maintained
for the revenue to be derived
from them. These roads proved
to be a heavy tax upon the resi
dents of the rural sections, in
asmuch as they were compelled
to use them whenever they mar
keted their products, and were
unable to get a corresponding
increase in the price of what
they had to sell. The discus
sion of the question finally re
sulted in many of .the counties
buying the franchises and im
provements of the road and
levying a general tax upon the entire taxable property of the counties to
defray the expense of their purchase and maintenance as free highways.
As a consequence, sections which for any reason failed to do away with the
burden imposed by these roads soon found their business slipping away to
the live and enterprising communities which bad grasped the situation.
Of the same nature is the situation confronting the citiiens of Portland and
East Portland to-day. Because Portland is at present the principal market
of the northwest is by no means an assurance that she will always remain
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such. Burdens will have to be removed and Inducements superior to those
offered by other places will have to be held out or the trade will gradually
seek other points. An incident bearing on this point was presented last
week In a band of 1,200 sheep which was being driven to the Portland
market from Eastern Oregon. At the rates charged by the bridge and ferry
companies the toll on this band would have amounted to $.10. The owner
of these sheep could, of course, get no more per pound for his stock than if
he had not had to submit to the tax. By taking advantage of the enter
prise of our neighbor on the south, however, this item of expense was
avoided. Clackamas county has a free bridge over the
Willamette at Oregon City which la maintained at the
expense of the county, and stockmen and others com
ing to Portland from east of the
mountains find it convenient to
make a slight detour in that
direction to avail themselves of
its advantage. Seven years ago
the Columbia river furnished
the only outlet for the products
of Eastern Oregon and Wash
ington and the Willamette val
ley, and Portland was the point
of meeting and transfer from
river to ocean craft. Heavy
tolls were exacted from this
traffic in the form of freight
charges on the upper and lower
rivers and towage and pilotage
to the sea. Repeated demands
for a reduction of these charges
were ignored, and as the Income derived from the traffic was enormous
other companies began the construction of rail lines across the mountains
to other harbors, and at the earliest possible moment the producers of the
inland empire took advantage of the competition thus provided, and the
business which had been provided as belonging to this city was largely
diverted to other ports. The railroad along the river now takes the place of
these boats, but it Jitters from them In that where the boats then secured
all the traffic the railroad now gets only a part. The failure of Portland to
grasp the lituation presented in the free bridge
problem may possibly not result as did her
foimer failure to grasp the shipping situation,
but it tends strongly In that direction.
Reports from the Soloman Islands show
that the slave trade is flourishing there under
the French and English flags. During the past
few years 10,000 men have been carried Into
industrial captivity on the plantations of the
New Hebredes, Fiji islands, New Calldonla and
Sneers at Nevada because of her lost of
population must be expected, and yet the agri
cultural possibilities of that state are enormous,
and some day Nevada will have a large and
prosperous population.
-V" V
Flee from the wrath to come, but do not
neglect to keep a sharp lookout for the wrath
that is here already,