Brazee Street

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As printed originally in the Oregonian, November 18, 1921[1], origin of Brazee Street's name.

The name of Brazee stands for one of the first engineers in the city of Portland and the construction engineer who was in charge of many of those early engineering projects which opened up navigation and transportation and meant progress for the state.

J.W. Brazee was born in Schoharie country, New York, in 1827 and was educated for a civil engineer and draftsman, also learning carpentry and masonry before he came to California in a sailing vessel in 1850, where he engaged in mining until 1858. In that year he came to Oregon.

Shortly after his arrival the contract for building a trail between Vancouver, Wash. and Fort Simcoe east of the Cascades, was awarded him. This was thought to be an impossible task, but Brazee built it in 30 days at a cost of $4000 and over it were transported all army supplies sent from Vancouver to the fort.

The first railroad to be built in Oregon was the portage around the Cascades of the Columbia on the Oregon side. This was built for J.S. Ruckle by Brazee in 1862, and later he also built the portage on the Washington side for The Dalles and Celilo railroad. Another engineering project he had cahrge of was the building of the locks at Oregon City.

Afterwards he gradually dropped out of engineering life and made his home in Portland for many years. He was one of the organizers and directors of the Portland Savings bank.


References