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April 06, 2020


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Notice how Beaverton and Hillsboro have the same telephone prefix? Not so fast. MI in Beaverton was the MItchell exchange while MI in Hillsboro was the MIdway exchange. When a kid, every phone in Beaverton had the prefix MItchell 4. Then they add MItchell 5. Woo Hoo.

As a kid we had PR for Prospect

Grew in in NE. We had ATlantic-4 and ATwater-5. I even remember party lines and ol` farts telling us to get off the phone line.

In 1950 N.E. 63rd and Prescott was MUrdock.Then we moved to N. Washburne St. in St.Johns wher we got TWinOaks. Then a few years later another number was added and TW became BUtler 9. In 1963 we moved again. This time it was way out east to 181st and Glisan which is now Gresham. There we got MOhawk5. I don't remember what year the letters were dropped but MO just became 665-.

Mine was the best: CH for Cherry!

And it was a "Party Line" CH-3947 (Metzger)

Yeah, we had PR. I remember CA was capital, BE was belmont...that's all I remember.

Parkrose area had GR for Garfield.

Wikipedia has the complete list of Telephone Exchange Names, and they indicate that the move to numeric prefixes began in the 1960's. Looking at old Wigwam ads from mid 1966 they had 4 stores with 3 using numeric telephone prefix's, and Beaverton still using MI.

Interstate and Alberta area had Butler, and I remember CApitol, too.. and party lines.. one Polish woman, really nasty person, even her hubs said 'old bitch crazy!!!', she would NEVER get off the phone!

DG, Beaverton was West Coast Telephone which could explain why everywhere else was all numbers but Beaverton still used the name. Most of the Portland area was Pacific Northwest Bell.

Because Beaverton was West Coast, we had to make toll (operator)calls for everything that wasn't MI 4. My mother's parents lived in Beaverton so my mother's mother could call her every morning to chat. But to call my dad's mother on NE 39th (oddly now renamed Cesar Chavez) and Burnside or my dad's father in the Mount Tabor area it was long distance.

Back in the day, Lake Oz was MErcury 6.

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