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Why did the dead men do what they did?

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This is a 1909 home in North Portland (at the time, a humble, working class, neighborhood). This picture shows the side of a front porch. As far as I can tell, someone cast what looks like a nice, curved, tapered concrete channel in the soil next to the porch. It's clearly designed to channel water under the porch.


I thought at first that it had originally been placed to drain water out from under the porch and that it had settled over time to drain in the "wrong" direction. But after looking at it very carefully, there's no evidence to back that up. It really looks as if it was meant to direct water under there.

I see no evidence that there was ever a cistern there.

Behind the porch is a full basement.


- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Maybe they had a beloved basset hound with a weak metabolic rate (and correspondingly large belly) so they added a way for him to retire to the shady spot under the porch without dragging his belly through the dirt.

Actually, my guess would be water collection for some unknown reason.

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