Portland Trivia

I have been doing a lot of research on Portland lately, and I have listed some of my findings below. I had pictures to post with these, but for some reason Blogger is not accepting them at the moment. I will try to post the pictures at a later date.

  • At the top of Mt. Hood is the Palmer Glacier. Mt. Hood is 11, 239 ft. tall.
  • Portland has the smallest park in the world, Mill Ends Park. It is two feet across and resides in the middle of a crosswalk on Front Street and Taylor. The land was set aside for a colony of Leprechauns.
  • The now famous Nike swoosh logo was designed in 1964 by Carolyn Davidson, a University of Oregon Student. Supposedly, she was paid $35.00 for the design.
  • Goose Hollow was an area of town/country where the women stayed home and raised geese while the husbands farmed or searched for gold. This area of the city is still referred to as Goose Hollow.
  • Abraham Lincoln was supposed to be the territorial governor of Oregon, but he turned it down. His wife refused to move to the west coast and leave the eastern cities. What a life changing, and country changing, decision.
  • Portland used to be known affectionately as “Stumptown.” In fact, they used to whitewash the stumps in the road so that they would be more visible.
  • The oldest piece of public art in Portland is the Skidmore Fountain, 1888. Skidmore was a druggist who left $5,000 in his will for the construction of the fountain. The total cost of construction was $18,000.
  • The current Macy’s store used to be a department store called Meier and Frank. Clark Gable sold ties there before he went to Hollywood and made it big in the movies.
  • At the turn of the century, Portland had some incredible amusement parks. They were Coney Island’s Dreamland, Luna Park, and Steeplechase Park. The pictures are very cool, and I want to research these a little more.
  • Simon Benson was a timber baron and businessman who didn’t approve of his laborers drinking alcohol during the day. In fact, he didn’t like people drinking alcohol at all. Therefore, he gave the city enough money to construct 20 outdoor drinking fountains. He felt that people should be able to have free water throughout the city. His idea worked; beer consumption dropped by 25% in Portland the next year. Their are currently 40 Benson fountains in Portland, and one in Portland’s sister city, Sapporo, Japan.
  • Portland was almost named Boston. Asa Lovejoy and William Overton flipped a coin, and the name Portland won.
  • The Shemanski Fountain is located between Madison and Salmon on the park blocks. Joseph Shemanski was a polish immigrant who ended up being a very successful businessman. He gave the city the fountain in 1926 because he wanted to “express in small measure of gratitude for what the city has down for me.” One interesting feature of this fountain is the continuously running fountains and basins that are located near the sidewalk. These were constructed so that dogs and small animals could have a drink of water.
  • The park block between Madison and Main is referred to as Lincoln Square. It sports a 10 foot tall statue of Abraham Lincoln on a granite base.

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