Terwilliger Center and Corner History

This article attempts to compile a history of the property bounded by what is now Terwilliger Blvd on the west, Taylors Ferry on the north, and Beth Israel Cemetery on the east and south, as shown by the blue rectangle.

Location of topic area on modern map. Credit: Open Street Map, 2023.

Our history begins in the 1890's, and runs through 2023. Any earlier history of the general area, such as land settlement, development, early roads, etc, is beyond the scope of this article.

If you know a missing piece, a question asked in this history below, please share your facts on social media, or drop us email - history @ newcollinsview.blog. Enjoy!


Imagine, if you will, what the land must have been like when it was a quiet summit, and less of a crossroad.

Graphic depiction of the corner in 1890s

Terwilliger Blvd had not yet bridged over from the north. The original name for Terwilliger was likely Maple St.

Taylor's Ferry Road history is old, and odd. We know when the ferry over the Tualatin River was established, south of present day King City. A road went from the ferry to Tualatin — but when was it extended to our neck of the woods?

The Fulton Park Electric Trolley Line came from Fulton Park, (over a 900' trestle!) traversed 'Carson Heights', crossed Taylors Ferry (perhaps on a smaller trestle) and ran along the western edge of Beth Israel Cemetery. When the Trolley was first being built, it ran only as far as Beth Israel for some months. People got off and walked "a stone's throw" to the other cemeteries. Read the account from the Morning Oregonian, Saturday, May 30, 1891 - Memorial Day:

"The track of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company has been extended out to the Hebrew Cemetery and the cars will be running out there today for the accommodation of persons wishing to visit the cemeteries. They will land passengers within a stone's throw of the Masonic cemetery and only a short distance from the western boundary of Riverview (sic), and persons going out this way will be saved the long walk up the hill in the cemetery."

End quote.

Explanation - At the time, Greenwood Hills Cemetery was a Masonic Cemetery. Several cemeteries were established around 1882. Beth Israel was established in 1871.

The Red House in the drawing was built by a man who worked on the Fulton Park Trolley. He lived in the house. Folklore says that the back side of the house has a Veranda adjacent to the trolley line so that the man could step on/off! (There was a car barn and dormitory over at Fulton Park, so there was no need to park the trolley at the house overnight.)

The Metropolitan, AKA Fulton Park Electric Line, ran only through 1899, when it was abandoned and removed. See the Trolley Project in the References for complete rundown of the F-Line.

The red house was lived in through the 1970's and became the 'Crane's Nest' gift shop for a few years. The Red House was demolished to make way for the Terwilliger Center annex in ~2003. See later in this history.


Here you can see the Red House set back on the property, and also a large house in the upper part (green square). It's unclear what is on the very corner, or hidden in all those trees.


Beth Israel Cemetery is well-defined at Lobelia, at the very bottom of image. The cemetery seems to have a fence or wall along its boundary.

Deeper research is needed to divine the state of the land at the time.


By 1960, we see some sort of building at the very corner. Who knows when that was built, or what it was?? We see both houses sill standing in 1960. You can also see at the south end a U-shaped apartment building, next to the tree-shaded red house.. The apartments were brick. Unknown whether there were 2 units or 4.


The middle ground of the property appears to have been cleared

The date of the air photo is 1960, but it could be some time in the 1960's.

Brian Reho and family (?) lived in the Red House from 1958-1960.


Now we see the Terwilliger Center and other buildings. The red house and apartments are sill standing.

A spurt of development resulted in:


Crown Cleaners was there for a very long time, till about 2021 or 22. The same space recently became ProCleaners

One of the first occupants of the south end of the Center was a PLAID PANTRY convenience store.. with a video shop at the very south end. Plaid Pantry (and the video store?) gave way to Crane's Market & Deli. (Year?)

Crane's Market & Deli was a full service butcher shop that also sold wine and various goodies. The Deli was created by Paul Crane and his family. They later opened another shop at the Salishan resort at the Oregon coast.

At one point, Paul's wife (name?) turned the Red House into "Crane's Nest" a gift shop (I think).

There was a bicycle shop between the cleaners and Crane's. (It occupied the lower area that currently is the video game room at the Tryon Creek Grill.) The space may have housed other businesses before or after the bike shop. ?

Calico Corners closed in XXXX. ? Did that space become something else for a while?

Original Bark opened in same spot, 2003.

The UNION OIL Station became a used car lot for a while, and eventually a Starbucks, which closed suddenly in 2017. Sol Station Metaphysical Cafe struggle for a couple years and closed during the pandemic. Now TOKY ROLL!

Robbi's 1995

After Crane's Deli closed the space was converted into Robbi's Family Dining.

The bicycle shop became an entry / waiting room for Robbi's. You checked in and waited there before going up the steps to be seated. Unknown if there was another entrance for public.

The owner of Robbi's was a model train enthusiast. He installed an elevated track that exists today, and is operational!

The Model Train

The control box for starting/stopping the train must have been re-mounted when Robbi's became Tryon Creek Grill. Why? It's currently upside down. LOL

Start Stop button! (Image rotated 180° for readability.)

It's crazy that two of the model train cars look like old-fashioned trolley cars! DO you suppose the owner knew the story of the F-line passing behind Terwilliger Center 100 years earlier?

Robbi's Caboose

According to folk lore, the model train used to go off the track frequently — that would have been exciting! (Note the railings.)

2000 ???

Tryon Creek Grill opened when?? This section to be developed.

Trivia night. Any good stories about The Grill?

Patrons can start the train anytime they want via buttons on a control box on the wall at the far right of the bar. I was told no permission is needed to do this.


The Terwilliger Center Annex was built 2004, significantly expanding the parking are for the center. This meant demolishing the Red House, and the apartments.

The Tryon Creek Grill needed a bigger parking lot, so that was a main factor in development. The cemetery did not want any tall building looming over the cemetery grounds. A retaining wall was built in order to allow the Annex to be 2 stories, and to create a flat parking area. Note that the first storie of the annex is actually below the grade of the surrounding cemetery.

The annex consisted of general purpose business offices, which have changed over time.

Originally, there was a SUBWAY at ground level on the westerly end. To this day, people refer this the building as 'SUBWAY', because it was so distinctive. (Peeps also refer to STARBUCKS, LOL)


See the Collins View Business directory in References.


Editor's Note

We uncovered some of the story while researching the Trolley Project. My recent article on traffic issues related to the intersection made me contemplate the history of the Center. EG: When Toky Roll was a Union Station -- such cut through would not have been tolerated. But mostly, it occurred to me that I've seen a lot of changes at the Center since coming to Portland in June, 1972, and it would be nice to have a record of changes. Plus, when I found out that the model train was still working at the Grill, I thought it was a nice combination of old and new.. The model train has two cars shaped like trolleys! So, I committed to starting this article and calling for recollections.

The other corners have similar stories. North East Corner: The post-war Burlingame Feed Store that became a grocery. Did you know the Burlingame Grocery had a lunch counter across the front, back in the day? North West Corner: The barber shop, and other businesses.

I should cite where all the air photos came from. Sorry! Someday?

A good infographic would show what businesses were in each location year by year. That would be fun to make.

Writer/Editor: John Miller

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Here is what we'd say on Nextdoor: For a Weekend read, check out: Terwilliger Center and Corner History. Covers the period from 1891 to present! Did you know an electric trolley cruised just behind the Terwilliger Center for 10 years? Do you remember the Red House? Robbis? Calico Corners? This is a work in Progress. Comments, corrections, additions welcome! [LINK]