By Kathy Eaton with photos by Judy Nelson
See our Facebook album with more of Judy Nelson’s Beaumont photos here.
The first plat for Beaumont, a French word meaning beautiful mountain, was filed in 1910 by Rose City Park Association, owners of was then open land. The plat covered Fremont Street from Northeast 39th Avenue to Northeast 45th Avenue. Two years later, the association added Northeast 37th Avenue to Northeast 39th Avenue from Fremont Street to North Brazee Street. According to Rod Paulson, from May 1910 for 25 years, only single, detached dwellings were allowed, and no structure could cost less than $3,000. All precautions were taken to maintain Beaumont as purely residential, and severe penalties were imposed for deviations.
Wilshire auto campground
North of Beaumont, the Wilshire subdivision, initially platted in 1921, included the area from Northeast 33rd Avenue to Northeast 42nd Avenue between Northeast Fremont and Prescott streets. The property bordered by Northeast 33rd and Northeast 37th avenues between Northeast Skidmore and Northeast Shaver streets was almost converted in the 1920s to a KOA-style automobile campground. The community protested, and in 1940 the Kamm estate sold the 15-acre tract for $28,500 to the city to create a public park, today known as Wilshire Park.
In 1979, residents formed the Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Association, sharing the Beaumont Village commercial district on Northeast Fremont Street between Northeast 33rd and Northeast 50th avenues.
Nancy Tilton, owner of Dee’s Golden Door, 4209 N.E. Fremont St., has been in business for 40 years and remembers when The Arrangement, 4210 N.E. Fremont, was Gas Town USA. “They pumped gas and sold milk there. It was quite revolutionary,” said Tilton. Demographics have changed in four decades, too. “On Northeast 43rd Avenue, nine widows in their upper eighties and one gentleman lived on the street. Now younger families have moved in,” said Tilton, although she still fixes hair for a 100-year-old client.
In January 2013, Nicole Whitesell who co-owns Shop Adorn, 4120 N.E. Fremont St., with her husband, Ethan, was elected president of the Beaumont Business Association (BBA). Shop Adorn attracts local clients seeking casual and comfortable clothing and accessories.
“We know 90 percent of our clients and still maintain an on-line business working out of the basement of our Beaumont home, Nicole Whitesell said.
Their blog features models who are customers and friends of different ages and sizes. “Adorn didn’t fit into the Pearl or Mississippi Avenue,” said Nicole Whitesell. “We’re not that hip, but we offer apparel for your mom, businesswomen and younger clients, too.” For more information: Visit shopadorn.com or call (503) 505-7424.
Two years ago, Whitesell’s half-sister, Rachel Robichaud, opened Bridgetown Mercantile, 4759 N.E. Fremont St., during Fremont Fest. Robichaud grew up in Rocky Butte, but now lives in nearby Concordia. She sells unique home and garden gift items, both in store and on-line. For more information: See bridgecitymercantile.com or call (503) 267-8892.
Lonnie Henry’s store, Found on Fremont, 4743 N.E. Fremont, sells vintage, resale and new merchandise. Henry emphasizes “upcycling” which she defines as refurbishing old things such as a 1920s dresser in need of love and new knobs. For more information: Visit foundonfremont.typepad.com or call (503) 282-2533.
Beaumont Market, 4130 N.E. Fremont St., is family owned and managed by three siblings: Linda Harris, Pam Garcia and Matt Marcott. The siblings agree that the best part of Beaumont Market is, “It’s truly a neighborhood store. Many people have been shopping here for ten to fifteen years and continue to support local businesses.”
The BBA sponsors four events annually: Holiday Festival of Lights, Fremont Fest, Hip Hop into the Shops and Golden Ticket. A grant from Venture Portland enabled BBA to launch a new website in June. For more information: See beaumontvillagepdx.com.
Fremont Fest means fun
The BBA unanimously voted to close Fremont Street from 42nd Avenue to 50th Avenue on Saturday, August 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as they expect to draw 20,000 visitors, according to Fremont Fest coordinator Jennifer O’Leary.
“There’ll be four stages with live music appealing to a wide range of interests,” said O’Leary. Green Dog Pet Supply, 4327 N.E. Fremont St., will sponsor the tenth annual pet parade. There’ll be plenty of fun activities for all ages, according to O’Leary.
“Fremont Fest is the only fundraiser that helps make other events throughout the year possible,” said O’Leary who lives in nearby Dolph Park. A classically trained musician who was the front singer for a jazz combo for five years, O’Leary graduated from Beaumont Middle School and Grant High School.
Restaurants, pubs and mini donuts
Cha Cha Cha, 4727 N.E. Fremont Street, general manager Jonathan Pugh, who’s also known as JP, educates patrons about three tiers of tequila, in addition to serving Cha’s own label wine and Cha Blond beer.
The site of a former bakery, Cha’s Northeast Fremont Street location was the original headquarters for their commissary kitchen. Their flagship entree is Molcajete made with Painted Hills grilled steak, and the popular Relleno de Marciscos, a poblano-stuffed chile with a variety of seafood satisfies customers. According to JP, Beaumont Cha’s menu will change slightly to be more consistent with those in other Cha locations. The tenth Cha venture is a to-go counter and bar located along the Southwest waterfront, near Bridge Tillicum. For more information: See chachachapdx.com or call (503) 595-9131.
Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Association board member and long-term resident Roger Price’s favorite neighborhood pub spot is Alameda Brewhouse, 4765 N.E. Fremont, which opened in 1996. “The beer selection is good, and outside seating affords a great street view,” according to Price. For more information: See alamedabrewing.com or call (503) 460-9025.
Named after the Charles Dicken’s character in Great Expectations, Pip’s Original Doughnuts, 4759 N.E. Fremont, opened in February 2013. Seasonal doughnuts are made to order by a doughnut robot, a small machine that makes mini doughnuts seven days a week. Co-owner Jamie Snell makes Chai Teas in-house with spices from an Asian market and kid-sized hot chocolate costs $1. For more information: See pipsoriginal.com or call (503) 206-8692.
The word on Fremont
Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood is conducive to selling books and producing authors who create them. John Field, fine arts illustrator and graphic artist, and co-owner of Paperjam Press, 4730 N.E. Fremont Street, has written a children’s book. The working title, Beware . . . Don’t Breathe the Air, is a rhyming story geared toward 10- to 12-year-old readers. Twenty years ago, Field’s son, Myles, helped launch their business, BabyFace, which later became Take Notice Card company. Five years ago, John and his wife Deborah started Paperjam Press, a printing and design business. “Local graphic artists and illustrators can print everything here,” said Deborah. “We were one of the first printers printing photos digitally at a retail level.”
A Children’s Place, 4807 N.E. Fremont, recently celebrated 40 years in business. Nearby resident Mantu Joshi, whose children visit the bookstore weekly, asked the owners if they’d host a book reading and discussion of his newly published book, The Resilient Parent. Written for parents of children with special needs, Joshi’s book is not a how-to book or guide to parenting, but offers advice and tips to parents of special-needs children. A stay-at-home dad, Joshi listened to other parents of children with sensory processing disorder and wrote a book about it. “It’s not a novel,” said Joshi. His top three take-away messages are: be the calm you want to see, give grace to your partner and give up on perfection. The Resilient Parent has been adopted by numerous clinics for children with special needs and Joshi has co-taught a sensory seminar for Providence Hospital. For more information: see drtpress.com/the-resilient-parent.
Infill and transportation issues
Increasing density by subdividing lots to site more homes, demolishing existing homes to put up larger houses that don’t always fit the flavor of the neighborhood and impact the affordability of homes in Beaumont-Wilshire are of concern to John Sandie, newly elected president of the Beaumont Wilshire Neighborhood Association (BWNA). Sandie understands the development angle, but like BWNA board members, he wants to ensure neighbors have a forum to provide input to city planners.
In 2010 TriMet slashed one-half of the Fremont bus line’s weekday service and eliminated all weekend service, according to BWNA board member Roger Price. The BWNA recently endorsed a letter to TriMet requesting to reinstate more frequent bus service to again serve as a vital east-west link connecting nine north-south lines. Price grew up in nearby Alameda and has lived in Beaumont since 1970 with his wife, Susan. “We stayed because Beaumont-Wilshire is a fabulous neighborhood with friendly people who look out for each other,” said Susan Price.
“Beaumont is a stable neighborhood; houses don’t go on the market very often. It’s a great neighborhood for raising families with nearby schools,” said Roger Price. “It’s centrally located; you don’t have to drive. The neighborhood has all the amenities within walking distance.”
Beaumont SUN Community School
Portland Parks and Recreation partners with Multnomah County to co-sponsor 11 of 64 Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Community Schools throughout the metropolitan area. Since 2007, Sue Coffman has worked as the site manager for the Beaumont SUN Community School. Formerly employed in the fast food industry, Coffman enjoys working with middle-school kids; and during the school year, she coordinates after-school programs offering music and robotics from 4-6 p.m. and evening classes for adults.
The Beaumont SUN School, 4043 N.E. Fremont, offers a summer camp program that operates daily from June 23 through August 15 with half- or whole-day programs for kids age 6-12. There are a few specialty camps that include middle school kids up to age 15. The morning program, from 8 a.m. to noon, features “love-to-learn” projects based on different themes. Week 5 features “Make Believe Playhouse,” when students write scripts, decorate stages and act in performances. The afternoon session from 1-4 p.m. offers fun activities and playtime. Popular programs include: cheerleading academy, dance and sports camps (including fencing.) For more information: Visit portlandparks.org or call the SUN office at (503) 916-5615.