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J.W. Sweeney Construction Company photographs

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: PH 317

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains 111 photographs. All are black and white prints. They are of construction projects that the J.W. Sweeney Construction Company undertook throughout Oregon.


  • Creation: 1904-1926


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Biographical/Historical note

John W. Sweeney was born in May 1861. He lived in Portland, Oregon. He worked at the fire department in Portland, then as a roofing contractor. Later he went into the contracting business for himself. He held the first contract for highway construction in Oregon when he built a road across the Siskiyou mountains in Jackson County, Oregon. Later he put the culverts in the Oregon, Washington Railroad and Navigation Company between Hood River and The Dalles. In 1905 Sweeney's company quarried rock for Columbia River Jetty. In 1909 Sweeney won the contract to build the final 53 miles of the Pacific Railway and Navigation Company. From 1909 to 1911, J.W. Sweeney Construction Co. built the Tillamook Line S.P.R.R. In 1912 J.W. Sweeney Construction Co. won First and Second place in the Rose Show Work Horse Division Parade. In 1914 the company built Pacific Highway no.1 - Siskiyou Mountain Section. In 1926 the company built the Roosevelt Highway in Curry County.


1.25 linear feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of 111 black and white photographic prints of road and railroad construction projects that the J.W. Sweeney Construction Company undertook throughout Oregon from 1904 to 1926.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of May Steele Downey and Helen Steele Hill (deceased)in 2004.

General Physical Description note

1 container, including 111 photographs

Processing Information note

Collection processed by Megan Dazey.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the J.W. Sweeney Construction Company photographs
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Normandy Helmer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA