Portland Street Names – November 5th, 1921 – Hawthorne

Portland Street Names – November 5th, 1921 – Hawthorne

The general impression is that Hawthorne avenue was named in honor of Dr. J.C. Hawthorne, but it is also true that the country road was known as Hawthorne road before Dr. J.C. Hawthorne came to Portland in 1857, and the story can be found in the Oregon Farmer for July 1859.

The land claim of Dr. Perry Prettyman extended on both sides of the road and in 1853 he sent to England for hawthorn seed, which were planted inside the following spring and in 1856 a hawthorn hedge was planted on each side of the road through the Prettyman farm. These were the only hawthorn hedges in the country and the road originally got it’s name from them. Dr. Prettyman is also responsible for the dandelions in Oregon. He was an her doctor and needed dandelions for the making of certain medicine, so he sent for seeds and planted a few patches. We now have a plentiful supply as a direct result.

Portland Street Names - November 5th, 1921 - Hawthorne

Dr. J.C. Hawthorne later became well known in Portland. His land claim bordered on the Hawthornw road. He was born in Mercer county Pennsylvania, March 12, 1819. Living first in California and other parts of Oregon, he came to Portland in 1857 and in 1858 took charge of the county hospital under contract. Although an eminent physician in general practice he was best known for his work with the insane, and for 20 years had charge of the state insane asylum.

A lively interest in public affairs gained him several political positions, but preference for medical practice caused him to decline a number of high public stations.

The letter “e” was later tacked onto the name of Hawthorn road, which has become an avenue with the development of the city, and this is conceded to be in honor of Dr. J. C. Hawthorne.

More information about Dr. Hawthorne and his sanitarium can be found on The Portland Waterfront History Blog.

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