Share this article! The history of the Port of Portland is inextricably woven into the story of how Portland came to evolve – from its early years as a center for river trade to a gateway to the world for travelers and products. This month the Port kicks off its 125th anniversary, observed on Feb. … Read more
The history of the Port of Portland is inextricably woven into the story of how Portland came to evolve – from its early years as a center for river trade to a gateway to the world for travelers and products. This month the Port kicks off its 125th anniversary, observed on Feb. 18, 1891, when the Oregon Legislature established the organization to maintain a 25-foot shipping channel in the Willamette and Columbia Rivers through dredging.
“Marking an anniversary like this provides a moment to reflect on the decisions, actions and plain hard work that helped shape the port, city and region we are today,” said Bill Wyatt, executive director of the Port of Portland. “The Port’s mission may have evolved over the past 125 years, but our commitment to serving the people of Oregon has remained constant. We are very proud of our history but equally dedicated to ensuring our future actions are aligned with statewide needs, expectations and values. Through the Port’s three airports, four marine terminals and five business parks, our goal is to help create jobs and get people and products where they need to go.”
Portland’s trade and transportation history has shaped the city’s legacy, according to historian Chet Orloff, director emeritus of the Oregon Historical Society.
“The Port of Portland has put the ‘port’ in Portland,” Orloff said. “Its facilities have connected the industries and services that provide a large percentage of our jobs. And, as consumers, an even larger percentage of us rely on those connections, which make Portland the livable city it has become.”
Throughout the year, the Port will celebrate its past and future with a series of 125th anniversary events:
Timeline in PDX Tunnel – February 16
Historic images and video in a multi-media display will greet travelers in the Portland International Airport tunnel beginning in February. The launch of the great “wheat fleet,” the Port’s critical role in the WWII shipyard years and the dawn of the jet age are some of the Port milestones featured in the 125th anniversary display.
Port Employee Volunteer Week – April 11-15
During volunteer week, you will see Port employees out in the community working for a number of local non-profits.
Online Port Trivia Contest – May 16 through August 13
Answer all the questions correctly and be entered to win a jet boat tour of Portland’s working waterfront for you and one guest on September 10.
$5 Jet Boat Rides – June 11, July 9, and September 10
Didn’t win the contest? Enjoy a discount on Port sponsored rides to see the sites of Portland’s waterfront.
Seaport Celebration – August 13
The annual family fun event at the Port’s Terminal 4 will feature special elements to coincide with the Port’s 125th anniversary. The Port will also offer reduced-price jet boat tours of Portland’s working harbor.
Runway Run – September 24
Registration is now open for a one-of-a-kind opportunity to run or walk a 6K on Portland International Airport’s north runway on Saturday, Sept. 24. A key community event of the Port’s 125th anniversary, the race is limited to 2,500 participants age 12 and older. A few lucky entrants will receive a piece of the iconic PDX carpet. For registration information, visit http://htcraceseries.com/event/pdx-runway-run-2016/.
For more information on the Port’s 125th anniversary, visit www.portofportland.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for fun Port history facts and updates using #Port125.