In 1845, two developers (Asa Lovejoy of Boston, Massachusetts and Francis Pettygrove of Portland, Maine) owned the site of pressent-day Portland yet could not decide on a name for the area. Each wanted to name it after his respective hometown. The name was decided by a coin toss. The rest, as they say, is ... included in this guide about historically significant places in Portland, Oregon.
Explore Oregon history from when indigenous tribes roamed the Pacific Northwest to the impact of the great storm of 1962 over three floors in downtown Portland. A special tax revenue bond that recently passed allows free entry to Multnomah County residents.
Union Station has, for over 150 years, been paramount to Portland's interstate travel. Amtrak remains an overwhelmingly cheaper option than flying to either Seattle or San Fran, provided you have the time. The din of travelers reverberating off the marble walls is still less hectic than taking off your shoes and divvying up your vodka into 3.4 oz. plastic bottles at PDX.
Long before gluten-free diets, bike commuting to work, and the arrival of the "creative class," Portland was a lumber town. There exists no greater reminder of this than Pittock Mansion, built by Henry Lee Pittock. Pittock was the ultimate businessman, owning newspapers, logging companies, and paper mills, and this mansion, bulit in for him in 1914, stands as a testament to his wealth. The exterior grounds are as breath-taking as the English, Turkish, and French-inspired interior. Explore the interior for an affordable fee, or picnic in the gardens for free.
Portland is home to two rose test gardens, Peninsula Park remains the original, opening in 1909. Wedding parties are often photographed in front of the impressive gazebo or spectacular fountain, yet a visit to the park can be a special day for anyone. Tennis and basketball courts, softball field, walking trail, jungle gyms, pool and picnic areas make this one of most entertaining city blocks in the Rose City.
Once home to an amusement park (1907-1929), today Council Crest boasts panoramic vistas, hiking trails, and picnic areas. While the streetcar line bringing visitors to the hilltop and the wooden roller coaster are now gone, the stunning view of Mount St. Helens remains.
More than an antique store, more than a hardware store, Old Portland offers homeowners the opportunity to install Portland history into their homes. Wall sconces, fireplaces, and door knobs--all recovered from turn of the century Portland buildings--are available for purchase. Also, don't touch the stuffed hyena.