1870-1890: 16th Avenue SW near the Cedar River began as an approach road to a new iron bridge built over the river in 1875 to connect the west side to the area on the east side that was close to the old Sinclair meatpacking plant. Originally known as the “James Street Bridge”, it allowed easier access for farmers to bring animals to the slaughterhouse from the western areas of Linn County and beyond. As traffic increased in the late 1870’s and early 1880’s, several small commercial storefront buildings began to appear on the street. One of these old frame storefronts from the late 1880’s still survives today as part of the Artisan’s Sanctuary building at 45 16th Avenue SW. In 1884, James Street was renamed 16th Avenue SW.
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