Though many of the following fun facts about Portland are relatively unknown, they are all extremely interesting. A city is defined by its people, and at one point in time, thousands of individuals who lived in the area called themselves citizens of Portland.
For example, few people are aware that an early-day mayor was responsible for creating the beautiful rose garden located on the grounds of City Hall.
While there has been a lot of political change in this small town over the years, there are still some things that have remained unchanged.
What follows are some extraordinary but true facts about Portland Oregon.
Fun Facts About Portland
1) Many tourists visit downtown because it is filled with many outstanding art galleries. They also want to see all of the unique street performers who call the area home. If you want to be a part of the vibrant downtown arts culture, all you have to do is visit the City Center Plaza on the first Friday evening of each month.
2) Portland is the home of the world’s most compact park – Mills End Park, located close to Mills End Park, which is located near the Willamette River downtown, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most compact park in the entire world. The grassy area is a size of 0.6 meters and covers a size that is 0.29 millimeters. The park was initially intended to be the site of the light pole, but after it was not able to be constructed, Oregon Journal columnist Dick Fagan planted flowers in the hole. It was designated as an official park by the city in the year 1976.
3) Before Portland became an official city, many people lived along the banks of Johnson Creek. For this reason, some people called the area “Junction City”, which is how this community got its name. It was eventually changed to Beaverton by early-day city planners, who wanted to honor the beavers that were so prevalent in this area.
4) The first three Portland Mayors all died of illness while they were still living in the White House. Mayor #1 lasted just eleven weeks before he passed away, and Mayor #2 made it for about two years. Only Mayor #3 managed to remain healthy for eleven years, but his death came as a result of an accident at sea.
5) Many people move to Portland because they are fascinated by urban planning initiatives. Most, however, fail to realize that there are many different types of homes here, and not all of them were built by famous homebuilders such as Henry weinhard and Bill Naito. It is no secret that Portland has a long history of the wealthy living alongside the middle class, but it is surprising how many downtown residents were able to afford high-quality housing for them.
6) As time passes, more and more cities around the world are beginning to copy Portland’s urban planning initiatives. There are now major cities in China, Brazil, and Australia that have followed this pattern; however, there is only one U.S city whose growth was influenced by Portland: Salt Lake City. Some people believe that today’s Salt Lake City would not exist without knowing about Mayor #3’s impact on his hometown.
7) Portland is known for its amazing Powell’s bookstore, but many people do not realize that the business actually began in a small store on Hawthorne Avenue. For more than 100 years, this building was occupied and run by the same family and it still stands to this day.
8) The death of an early-day Portland resident inspired scientists to begin work on developing vaccines for preventable diseases such as smallpox and yellow fever. This man was one of three founding members of the Oregon Medical Society. One organization he helped establish still exists today: The Willamette Falls Hospital Association.
9) Before bridges were built over Willamette River, everyone who lived west of Johnson Creek took a ferry boat across into downtown. Those who wanted to go to the eastern part of town would use a rowboat, and there were also steamboats that regularly transported people from one side to the other.
10) Contrary to what many people believe, Portland is not located in Oregon. It sits on top of Multnomah County, which is located along the Columbia River’s southern shores. While only a small portion of Portland falls within this county boundary today, all of it was once under its jurisdiction.
11) Throughout most of Portland’s history, the city was governed by a series of commissioners. They were responsible for governing both the city and county at the same time, so it is not surprising that they made some unpopular decisions. A few examples include charging people to watch public hangings and prohibiting anyone from hitching their horses outside of certain shops.
Do you ever visit Portland? If not then you have missed a lot of amazing things about it, but you can enjoy the facts about Portland as love of coffee, greenery and beer, and explore the magic that is Portland.
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