Portland Curb “Art”: Horse Rings

This afternoon, I was in NW Portland walking out of a hospital. I noticed the street sign (NW Northrup St.). I recalled that 75 years earlier, my Aunt and Mom had lived nearby in a boarding house. I gazed down at the old sidewalk and thought ‘I bet they walked this very sidewalk’. Then I noticed the curbside and a telltale sign of history, a horse ring. There’s no doubt in my mind that the ladies walked this very stretch of Portland sidewalk.

Horse Ring PortlandBy virtue of their name, ‘horse ring’, it’s obvious the rings were to tether horses as the riders tended to business or offered their goods in attached wagons. Of course, in true Portlandian fashion, some find their own unique way to stage these horse rings. I have seen such displays throughout the city where horse rings still exist. I like to envision the old days of produce and freight wagons pulled by horses.

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