Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mile marker

A few months ago, while watching Oregon Public Broadcasting's Oregon Field Guide I saw an interesting piece about Portland archaeology and unique historical landmarks. One of the highlights was a little concrete marker near my apartment, so I decided to take a picture of it.
While seemingly insignificant, this stone on Stark Street that Portland was a distance of two miles from this point further down the road.

Draped in ivy coming off of the crumbling concrete walls holding up boundaries of the Loan Fir Pioneer Cemetery, it is easy to miss this spot. For years I have walked past this mile marker and never noticed it. In fact I never knew that it was it was there.

Portland is really a young city. But it is kind of refreshing to see that some of these tiny pieces of its past still pop up here and there. For example, when the asphalt is scraped up on some of the major road ways, the original cobblestones and trolley rails are often uncovered for a few weeks. While it would be nice to see some of these restored, the age of modern convenience has made it so most people prefer smooth roads over historical curiosity. This little mile marker reminds me to keep these small pieces of the cities history in perspective, from the tiny iron rings in sidewalks to used to tie up horses, to the street names once imprinted in the concrete of street corners that showed old spelling of street names. Small things...

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