You’ve been in the group where one person explains Portland from the ground up.
Everyone listens while they down HUB beer.
They tell historical stories like an OPB documentary.
You’re impressed until you find out they moved here six months ago.
Still, give them credit for trying to fit in. If you’re a baby boomer who’s lived here a few decades, or your entire life, resist the urge to go one-up on them.
New and old alike need to get their facts straight. For that you’ve come to the right place.
The next time you’re struggling with good manners and civility in the face of someone explaining your turf, relax.
The following comes from no open text book, though you may check for accuracy and make corrections in the comments.
Early pioneers came off the Oregon Trail hardships to find a helping hand from the boss of Fort Vancouver. Dr. John McLoughlin cast a big shadow over the new people in every way. How tall was the good doctor?
- Hint: Think Abraham Lincoln.
Two men flipped a coin in a clearing to decide what to name the place. One was from Boston, the other Portland, Maine. What was the monetary value of the coin?
- Hint: It’s called the Portland Penny.
Before the pioneers arrived, old growth forest was called a forest, and the were in the way. Removing trees created a Portland nickname. What was it?
- Hint: It wasn’t Branchtown.
Answer these three questions correctly and you’re on your way to becoming more than an anecdotal marvel. The right answers lead to more questions and more research.
You’ll know you’ve succeeded when your friends stop inviting you out, or when they do they are armed with their own version of local lore.
Come back to boomerpdx to reload.
For bonus points:
- Where is the hull of one of the last WWII Victory ships on the Willamette River?
- What was the stone trough near the west end of the St. Johns Bridge on Hwy 30 used for?