Mayors Square, c2019. Photo credit City of Troutdale
Mayors Square, 1996/97 - the City developed a public town square on the corner of Dora Avenue and the Historic Columbia River Highway; officially becoming a city park November 25, 1997. The Downtown Task Force and the Parks Advisory Committee recommended the name "Mayor Square." It was approved by City Council April 1996. Three years later, Mayor Thalhofer recommended that the name be changed to "Mayors Square."
The area of 7500 square feet offer walkways, open space, lighting, a fountain, benches, picnic tables, drinking fountains, and sculptures by local artists. In the summer, it hosts vendors during the cities First Friday events, cruise-ins, and the annual SummerFest parade. During the winter holidays, a tree is adorned with lights.
Mayors Square became a popular luncheon spot for local take-out food during the COVID-19 pandemic summer of 2020.
Mayors Square, 1996
Francis Fox (wife of the 1st mayor of Troutdale, Aaron Fox) owned this site and built a Chevrolet garage in 1926. Charles Richard (Dick) Knarr operated the business. At 2am on a Thursday morning in March of 1927, neighbor Laura Tiller heard the "crackling of flames" and sounded the alarm of a fire at the Chevrolet garage. Several used cars were destroyed by the fire and "the new Chevrolet which was moved through the plate glass window was lifted out by three men."
At some point it was rebuilt and became the location of the McGinnis & Parsons Chevrolet Company. John McGinnis originally owned a garage with Maxine Del in the same building. Dale Parsons came to work as a mechanic upon his return from serving in World War II. John and Dale eventually became partners in McGinnis & Parsons Chevrolet. They sold cars from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s. During this time the new car model of the year was "revealed" to the country at the same time. Mary McGinnis Bryson (John's daughter) remembers going with her parents to the rail yard to pick up the new model of the year. They went "in the dark of night" and hid the car in what was Larsson's garage (located a couple of blocks east) until the big reveal at their dealership.
The dealership was torn down after the Security Bank of Oregon bought the property. Their bank was on the backside of the block (2nd & Dora Avenue) where a parking lot was constructed in 2019.
A colorized portion of a panoramic view of Troutdale c1930. The McGinnis Garage was on the lot that is now Mayors Square.
Mayors Square Mural, 2016 - located on the eastside wall of the historic Helming Saloon building. The Troutdale Historical Society commissioned Dwayne Harty and Tammy Callens to create a mural of Troutdale when it was a one-sided railroad town. With many photographs for inspiration, Dwayne depicted Troutdale as it may have looked in the early 1900's. Dwayne and Tammy spent the month of September creating this mural. Notice there is every mode of transportation for that time period (train, horse & buggy, automobile, bicycle, freight truck, freight wagon), local townspeople, children and historically accurate buildings appear in the mural. The background shows Broughton Bluff as the sun is beginning to set.
This mural was funded by the Community Enhancement Project through the City of Troutdale.
Completed Mural - Photo credit Chris Marinsik. Postcards are offered free of charge at City Hall and the Troutdale Historical Society.
Creation of Mayors Square Mural, 2016 - Muralists Dwayne Harty and Tammy Callens
Dwayne Harty in front of the sketch on the wall of the mural.
Mural beginning to take shape. Buildings and Broughton Bluff now visible.
Dwayne Harty and
Dwayne Harty adding details to the mural.
Tammy Callens navigating the scaffolding.
1923 - Dick Knarr delivering a load of celery. Photo was the inspiration for the delivery truck in the mural.
Mural at Mayors Square
Thank you Frank Card, owner of building in 2016.