"America's Most Wonderful Drive" -- Early Auto Tourism
Scarce pictorial map of the Columbia Highway showing the course of the highway from Portland to the Hood River and Astoria.
The map includes photographes, including pre-1915 automobile travel and roads.
Artist Fred Routledge's pictorial style captures the dramatic topography of the region.
The verso includes promotional information for "in and around Portland" and features of the drive.
Issued by the Portland Chamber of Commerce, the map touts the first scenic highway in the United States, the Columbia River Gorge Highway, built between 1913 and 1922.
The credit notes that it was "Reprinted from Annual Edition Portland Oregonian, January 1, 1915."
The map is extremely rare. We note only the copy in the David Rumsey collection.
Fred Routledge (1871-1936) was an Oregon artist and pictorial mapmaker, who spent much of his professional life as a correspondent for the Morning Oregonian. His career lasted from the 1890s to the early 1930s. Routledge was a well regarded artist, who received awards for his paintings, including a first prize at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. His ephemeral work as a pictorial cartographer was also very well regarded.
Routledge was born in Abilene, Kansas, raised in Rockford, Illinois, and settled in the Portland area in 1886 with his family. He began working as an illustrator with the West Shore publication before its demise in 1891, thereafter finding wor at the Oregonian in 1895. The January 1, 1896 "Where Rolls the Oregon," is his first work of significant note.