images and stories of our neighborhood then and now
Willamette Street Trolley Stairs
A century ago Eugene’s hospital (Eugene General) was located on College Hill. To connect the closest College Crest trolley stop on Willamette Street to the hospital, stairs were constructed in 1910. Though both the hospital and the trolley disappeared in the mid-1920s, the stairs remain across Willamette from Civic Park.
The stairs, perhaps the last of their kind, connected to one of Eugene’s trolley routes, part of a streetcar system that was once described as the greatest for a small city in the United States. The pioneer railway is remembered for having employed Wiley Griffon (in picture above from Lane County History Museum), Oregon’s first black trolley operator, also the first African American employee of the University of Oregon.
Gwynne McLaughlin is currently spearheading an effort to paint a mural on the stairs to honor their history while preventing the graffiti that has plagued them. Grant funding has been secured and artists will soon be selected. To volunteer to prepare the surface or cheer on the project, email email@example.com.
The Outreach Team is looking for local historians, writers, and art lovers to write articles for our new blog. Topics should cover the rich cultural, artistic, or historical diversity of the Friendly neighborhood, including photographs, stories, and profiles of artists, poets, and writers. Please contact us to express your interest in contributing articles.
We also have an archive of dozens of history articles that need someone to copy and paste into our blog.
Basic knowledge of how to use a web browser, copy-paste, and solid grammar and spelling skills are the only requirements. Training will be provided and takes no more than thirty minutes.