History

PDXplained: Why Portland is called Stumptown

What’s in a name? Or rather, what goes into the making of a name?  Portland has earned its fair share of nicknames over the years, from the City of Roses to Bridge City to Rip City.  But one of the earliest iterations comes from the area’s early days in the logging industry: Stumptown — long […]

/ November 20, 2020


Finding Love at Oaks Park

Oaks Amusement Park in Sellwood has hosted everything from roller derby events to competitive beer miles to holiday festivals. And along the way, the 114-year-old park has helped more than a few Portlanders find love. We’ve tracked down three local couples who ended up getting married after meeting at “The Oaks” roller rink. Check out […]

/ November 21, 2019


How Waterfront Park Brought the Water to Portlanders

The pace of change in Portland can be maddening sometimes, but as we wait for the Albina Vision, the Green Loop, and the Duckworth Dock of our dreams to become a reality, it’s worth remembering that most local gems weren’t created overnight. Take Waterfront Park. The idea for a riverfront park in downtown dates back […]

/ August 28, 2019


Swift and Union Pays Homage to ‘Cow Town’ Kenton

Portland is considered one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the U.S., but once upon a time, the area now known as Kenton was actually a company town built around meat. Today, the legacy of the Union Meat Company — which was purchased by Swift and Company in 1906 — lives on at a popular […]

/ July 1, 2019


A 108-Year-Old Fraternity Lives On at the Kenton Masonic Temple

The Kenton Masonic Temple in North Portland is either the home of a clandestine fraternity that secretly runs the world, or it’s a good place to get a haircut. It just depends who you ask. The historic building was renovated in 2011, and it now doubles as the home for Bart’s Barbershop, Kenton Cycle Repair, […]

/ June 25, 2019


A Bridge and its Park

The St. Johns Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in Portland, but the area below it has its own history. It was home to Native American tribal grounds and a Lewis and Clark landing site before it became Cathedral Park. For decades, it housed junkyards and factories. But “honorary mayor” Howard Galbraith and […]

/ May 2, 2019


How the Pearl District Became the Pearl

THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The Pearl District THE PLACE: In the early ‘90s, the Pearl District (then known as the River District) was a sparsely populated neighborhood “as rugged as any in the Pacific Northwest.” There were warehouses and railroad yards and other symbols of the area’s industrial roots, but the industries themselves — lumber and manufacturing […]

/ March 28, 2019


PDXplained: Why Isn’t Lower Albina an Official Portland Neighborhood?

(📸: Library of Congress, via the Volga Germans in Portland blog) “Lower Albina isn’t one of the city’s official neighborhoods. Why is that? What’s the history of how Portland’s neighborhoods were formed?” That’s the winning question from this month’s PDXplained audience vote. Here’s what we learned: ALBINA’S ORIGIN STORY About a century before neighborhood associations […]

/ February 25, 2019


Meet the Railroad Bridge

The original Railroad Bridge was the longest bridge of its kind in the world. (📸: Library of Congress) WHAT: The Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge, built in 1908 and rebuilt in 1989 FUN FACT: The original Railroad Bridge swung open around a central “pedestal” — and ships had a heck of a time avoiding it. The worst collision happened […]

/ October 12, 2018


Portland Loves Its Bridges. Here’s What Makes Them Special.

These are the most unique, fun facts we learned about each of Portland’s iconic 12 bridges.

/ October 11, 2018