By Marty Pinz
Roseway Barbershop owner
The building where the barbershop is located was built sometime in 1913. I assume businesses moved in by 1914 or early 1915. There is a piece of sidewalk in front of the shop with the name E.A. Wright 1914. One of my customers, whose name was Homer Wright, told me that his dad owned the concrete company that poured the sidewalks around the building.
I did some research at the City of Portland Archives and Records Center for the address of the barbershop and found that the first business was listed as Sandy Boulevard Barbershop in 1916 in the city directories. The researcher there told me that the city directories were usually a year or two behind so I believe it opened sometime in 1915.
The first owners name was James D. Woodman who also lived upstairs in this building with his wife Estella. The upstairs was first apartments and then later office spaces for rent.
The second owner on record is Willard Bramble in 1921. He owned the shop until Monday, January 10, 1949 when Mr. Bramble’s car stalled on the railroad tracks near his home off 147th north of Sandy Blvd. and was hit by a train and later died at the hospital.
At the time he had a barber working with him named Richard Damman who took over the shop. Richard changed the name to Dick’s Barbershop. Richard, the third owner had the shop until my dad; Joseph Vann Pinz bought it from him in 1956.
The fourth owner, Joseph Vann Pinz changed the name to Roseway Barbershop. Joe ran the shop by himself for 4 years without even taking a vacation. Tired and burned out he sold the shop in 1960 to Warren Orton.
The fifth and sixth owner was Warren Orton and his son. Warren was an instructor at Moler Barber College in downtown Portland. His son had just graduated from there and they were going to run the shop together. I guess things didn’t work out. Warren sold the shop to Lee Sharp in 1962.
The seventh owner was Lee Sharp and in 1964 he became business partners with Bob White (eighth owner). They sold the barbershop in 1968 to Maurice “Mick” O’Grady.
The ninth owner, “Mick” O’Grady was the one I believe had the big Roseway Barbershop sign installed. Mick also sold the original three Koken barber chairs and bought two new Belmont barber chairs. He later regretted getting rid of the Koken barber chairs because he liked the old ones better. Mick owned the shop until my dad; Joseph Vann Pinz bought it back in 1981.
The tenth owner, Joseph Vann Pinz ran the shop by himself for awhile then Howard Palmer who had a barbershop just east of this shop closed up and decided to lease a chair from Joe.
Shortly after that Dave Touchine who was working at a barbershop in the Hollywood district approached Joe about working at his shop. My dad had known Dave for over twenty years, knew he was a good barber with a lot of clientele so; my dad put Dave to work on the second chair. Dad and Howard split time on the first chair.
Then, a barber named Charlie Brown who had a shop on Broadway for a long time wanted to work one day a week. So, dad (Joe) started opening the shop on Mondays. Howard and Charlie worked Mondays together for a long time. The shop now had 4 barbers working two chairs 6 days a week through most of the 80’s.
In 1989, I was 30 years old, failed at everything else and realized that I was too lazy to work and too scared to steal so I decided why not become a barber! I graduated from Moler Barber College in June of 1990 and started working in my dad’s shop and later becoming the eleventh owner. One of my best friends, Pat Shaw was my first customer on July 24th. He gave me a plaque with my first dollar bill as a barber that I have hanging in the shop.
Joe bought a third chair for me from Howard Palmer who had an old Koken in his basement. The chair came from the Imperial Hotel barbershop in downtown Portland that closed up in the 1950s. This is the same chair I’m still using today. So, now there were 5 barbers working 3 chairs/6 days a week.
Charlie Brown retired in the mid 90’s and Bill Melton an old friend of ours started working Mondays in Charlie’s place. Charlie passed away in 2011 at 91 years old. In the late 90’s Dave Touchine had health problems and had to quit barbering. Then we hired Roby Hunt to take Dave’s place. Dave passed away in 2002 at 63 years old. Howard Palmer worked right up to the time he passed away in 1999 at 71 years old but, his elk antlers live on hanging on our wall.
B.J. King closed his shop on 130th and Sandy Blvd. in 2005 and started working three days a week, Thursday through Saturday in our shop. Dad worked Monday through Wednesday until August and passed away October 19, 2007 at 83 years old. We worked together for 17 great years. It’s still my dad’s barbershop; I’m just running it for him while he’s away.
Bill Melton retired in 2013 and B.J. King retired in 2014. That leaves Roby Hunt and me today. Now the two of us keep the shop open Tuesday – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm and on Saturdays 8:00am – 4:00pm.
All the barbers I first started working with in 1990 have passed away and probably most of their clientele. We don’t have quite the volume of customers we had 15 – 20 years ago, but we still have plenty to keep the two of us busy 5 days a week.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
(The Roseway Barbershop, 7220 N.E. Sandy Boulevard, will be celebrating its centennial anniversary on Saturday, August 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The shop’s owner, Marty Pinz, researched and wrote this history for the event and was kind enough to share it with the Star.)