Farmer Plympton Kelly worked the soil near what later became Southeast 96th Avenue between Division and Powell, a largely deforested Mount Tabor in the distance. Today, this soil is under Interstate 205, just a half mile from what's now the corner of 82nd and Division.
Photo: Oregon Historical Society, Photo #96321
Strawberries were fresh when the proprietor of this fruit stand stood in the June sun at 82nd and Division in 1930. Behind him, a small Shell gas station offered "new gas" to drivers at pennies per gallon and an orchard grew across Division, where the buildings of Portland Community College Southeast rise today.
Photo: City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2008-001.70
Just a few years later, looking south, the old fruit stand had been replaced with a full Piggly Wiggly grocery store, a mobile library parked out front. The store still stands; after service as a furniture store, it closed several years ago but was revived in 2014 after Metro's Transit-Oriented Development Program purchased the building and leased it temporarily to the Jade District for use as a community center.
Photo: City of Portland Archives, A2005-001.764.
Three more views from 1937
This aerial shows 82nd and Division before the intersection was realigned in the 1960s to connect Division straight across the intersection. By this time, 82nd Avenue was functioning as the primary north-south highway serving the growing Portland region's east side. Portland city limits had reached 82nd Avenue, and suburban developmetn was picking up in the unincorporated fields and forests east of the road -- an area we know today as East Portland. The Piggly Wiggly/furniture store building is visible at the top center. Where Portland Community College now sits at the upper right of this image was then still an open field.
Photo: City of Portland Archives, A2005-001.769
In 1963, the intersection was straightened, Division was widened, a traffic signal had been installed, and traffic was growing -- and growing more dangerous. A caption on this photo, from Portland City Archives, noted that it was "the No. 2 accident intersection for 1963." A Bazar grocery had developed the field where PCC Southeast now sits, at the right of this photo. And Low's Furniture store had taken over the old Piggly Wiggly.
Photo: City of Portland Archives, A2005-001.771.
By the mid-1980s, the area was dominated by auto-oriented businesses and heavy traffic -- with a distinctive 1980s style -- with no bike lanes and narrow sidewalks for pedestrians. A view today from Google Street View shows a bit of how the neighborhood has changed in the last 30 years -- while the tire shop in this photo is now an auto body shop, the auto parts store to the left is now Chang Fa Supermarket, one of dozens of Asian-owned businesses in what is now called the Jade District.
82nd and Division remains busy. Tens of thousands of motor vehicles pass through every day. It is one of the busiest TriMet bus transfers, with a near-constant flow of people crossing sidewalks or waiting for the 4-Division or the 72- 82nd Avenue, headed for downtown Portland, Gresham, Clackamas Town Center or North Killingsworth. The old Piggly Wiggly/furniture store is now in temporary use as the Jade/APANO Multicultural Space, or JAMS, as it awaits redevelopment. Just out of view in this image, Portland Community College has built its new Southeast Campus to connect more people in the community to opportunity.
The Jade District visioning process, led by the local community, came up with a vision for the future of the intersection of 82nd and Division as a hub of culture, community, business and transportation. Local leadership and regional investments could help make it happen.