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.
By 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.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be
satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”