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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Kenton District, Portland, Oregon"
Includes ... Kenton District ... Portland ... Vanport ... Force Lake ... Union Stockyards ... Paul Bunyan Statue ... Kenton Commercial Historic District ... Portland International Raceway ... Portland Expo Center ... National Register of Historic Places ...
Image, 2016, Historic Kenton sign, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Historic Kenton sign, Portland, Oregon. Image taken June 15, 2016.


Kenton District, Portland, Oregon ...
Portland's Historic Kenton District is located north of downtown Portland, south of Hayden Island and the North Portland Harbor, east of the St. Johns neighborhood, and west of Interstate 5. Portions of the Columbia Slough flow through the Kenton District. Also located within the Historic District are Force Lake, Heron Lakes Golf Course, the Portland Expo Center, the Portland International Raceway, and the Vanport Wetlands. In 1948 a flood destroyed much of the Kenton community including the community of Vanport, which at the times was Oregon's second largest city.

The Name ...
According to "Oregon Geographic Names" (2003, McArthur and McArthur):

"Kenton. (Multnomah). This post office, established in May 1910, is a branch of the Portland main post office. Kenton community was established by Geo. F. Heusner. Heusner plattted this addition to the city of Portland for an industrial section in 1905. He originally intended to name the addition Kenwood but found he could not do this ecause there had been an addition to the city dedicated with that name. He selected the name Kenton. He told the writer that the name had no particular significance."

Image, 2016, Historic Kenton Neighborhood sign, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Historic Kenton Neighborhood sign, Portland, Oregon. Image taken June 19, 2016.


Early Kenton ...
"The land that is now Kenton was sold to the Associated Banking & Trust Company which had been organized in 1892 for the purpose of investing in and developing real estate. The corporation became indebted to the Ainsworth Bank, and on October 28, 1897, the tract was sold to cover debts by the Multnomah County Sheriff to J.C. Ainsworth for $15,000. The tract remained relatively undeveloped for years, and owes its development to the evolution of the meat industry.

Cattle were herded down Kenton’s main street (Denver Avenue), with the last drive taking place in 1928. Originally an independently operated business model, butchers Adolph Burckhardt, Thomas Papworth, Morton M. Spaulding, James and John O’Shea, and Emanuel Masy joined together in 1893 to form the Union Meat Company. In 1906, Swift & Company purchased the Union Meat Company, though the company continued to be known locally as the Union Meat Company. The next year Swift sent C. C. Colt to Portland as president of their operations, and Colt immediately formed Kenwood Land Company in order to purchase acres of land along the Columbia River for a new meat packing plant, as well as adjacent land for a company town. Planners hoped to name the company town “Kenwood,” but this name was in use elsewhere in Oregon, so they settled for “Kenton.”

The area along the Oregon Slough became increasingly inviting to factories. By 1911, there were no less than twelve major manufacturing firms located along the slough, making this area second only to St. Johns as a manufacturing center. Swift & Co. was the catalyst for this development, with a plant that included the Portland Union Stockyards, Portland Cattle Load Company, Columbia Wool Basin Warehouse, Kenton Traction Company and others. Swift employed over 1500 workers, and by 1911 Portland had become the central livestock market in the Northwest.

Kenton was distinct because it was one of the few examples of a complete company town. Denver Avenue, originally Derby Street, became the main street of the new community and was its “Executive Row” with the fashionable homes of the Swift officers located either on, or east of, Denver Avenue. Rows of smaller, nearly identical houses were constructed on the side streets west of Denver Avenue for the workers’ families. In 1909 the Kenton car line opened, and on June 27th of that same year, the 40-room Kenton Hotel was opened. The hotel was intended to provide lodging and meals for visiting cattlemen. ...

Within what is now the Kenton area was the second largest city in Oregon – Vanport. According to Kenton resident, Marge Davis, “Vanport City had a terrible effect on Kenton. The demise of Kenton was due partially to the highway — Interstate Avenue. Highway 99 used to come right through Kenton.

The 1959 Oregon Centennial celebrations were held in Kenton. A large statue of Paul Bunyan was built at the intersection of North Interstate Avenue and North Argyle Street (just north of Kenton’s historic business district on North Denver Avenue) as a reminder of those centennial festivities. The statue now stands at the corner of North Interstate and North Denver, across from the N Denver Light Rail station and is considered a symbol of the neighborhood. The Paul Bunyan Statue was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 28, 2009."


Source:    History of the Kenton Neighborhood, by Alta Mitchoff, courtesy Kenton Neighborhood Association website, 2016.



Kenton District, etc.

  • 1948 Vanport Flood ...
  • 1959 Oregon Centennial ...
  • Columbia Slough ...
  • Force Lake ...
  • Heron Lakes Golf Course ...
  • Kenton Commercial Historic District ...
  • Kenton Hotel ...
  • Paul Bunyan Statue ...
  • Portland Expo Center ...
  • Portland International Raceway ...
  • Stockyards Commerce Center ...
  • Vanport Wetlands ...


1948 Vanport Flood ...
[More]


1959 Oregon Centennial ...
(to come)


Columbia Slough ...
Two miles of Columbia Slough meanders through the Kenton District.
[More]

Image, 2016, Columbia Slough, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Columbia Slough as seen from Denver Avenue, Kenton District, Portland, Oregon. View looking west. Image taken July 6, 2016.


Force Lake ...
Force Lake is a small lake located within Portland's Columbia Slough watershed, at approximately Columbia River Mile (RM) 106. The Vanport Wetlands lies to the east and Smith and Bybee Lakes lie to the west.
[More]

Image, 2016, Force Lake, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Force Lake, Portland, Oregon. Image taken June 19, 2016.
Image, 2015, Force Lake, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Green Heron, Force Lake, Portland, Oregon. Image taken July 10, 2015.
Image, 2010, Force Lake, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Common Merganser, female, Force Lake, Portland, Oregon. Image taken October 24, 2010.
Image, 2013, Force Lake, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Violet-green Swallow and Cliff Swallow, Force Lake, Portland, Oregon. Image taken May 17, 2013.


Heron Lakes Golf Course ...
Heron Lakes and the Heron Lakes Golf Course lies west and southwest of Force Lake. The location was once part of the historic Vanport, the Portland city which was wiped out during a 1948 flood along the Columbia River.

The Floodwaters Receded and Heron Lakes Was Born.

"Heron Lakes Golf Club is a public, municipal golf facility that is owned by the City of Portland and operated by Portland Parks & Recreation. ... With two full 18-hole golf courses, Heron Lakes is one of only a few public 36-hole golf facilities in the Pacific Northwest. Both the Great Blue and Greenback courses have been consistently rated among the top public golf courses in the region and have also received several national awards.

Before being dramatically transformed into a popular destination for golfers in Portland and Southwest Washington, the present 340 acre site was once part of Vanport City, which at the time, was the second-largest city in Oregon. The construction of Vanport began in 1943 to house nearly 40,000 workers who came to work at the Portland and Vancouver shipyards during the height of wartime production. Following World War II, the population reduced by half due to many wartime workers leaving, although the newly built Vanport College (present-day Portland State University) attracted a large number of veterans and their families.

On May 30, 1948, excessively high water levels caused a 200-foot break in the dike that held back the Columbia River, resulting in massive flooding that killed 15 residents and virtually destroyed the entire city.

It would be almost another two decades before initial construction began on the first of the two golf courses at Heron Lakes. Designed by Robert Trent Jones II, the first 18 holes (present-day Greenback) and clubhouse were opened in 1971, under the name West Delta Park Golf Course. Along with the name change to Heron Lakes, another 9 holes were added during the 1980s giving the facility three 9-hole courses called the Red, White and Blue. An additional fourth set of 9 holes were added in 1992 to form the present Great Blue Course. ..."


Source:    Heron Lakes Golf Course website, 2016.


Image, 2016, Heron Lakes Golf Course sign, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Heron Lakes Golf Course sign, Portland, Oregon. Image taken June 15, 2016.
Image, 2015, Heron Lakes Golf Course, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Heron Lakes Golf Course, Portland, Oregon. Image taken December 9, 2015.
Image, 2015, Heron Lakes Golf Course, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Heron Lakes Golf Course, Portland, Oregon. Image taken December 9, 2015.
Image, 2016, Heron Lakes Golf Course, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Heron Lakes Golf Course, Portland, Oregon. Image taken July 6, 2016.
Image, 2012, Heron Lakes Golf Course, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Cackling Geese and Gulls, Heron Lakes Golf Course, Portland, Oregon. Image taken January 1, 2012.
Image, 2012, Heron Lakes Golf Course, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Snow Goose, Heron Lakes Golf Course, Portland, Oregon. Image taken January 1, 2012.


Kenton Commercial Historic District ...
The Kenton Commercial Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 (District, #01000934). The District is roughly along Denver Avenue, from N. Willis Street to N. Watts Street, Portland, Oregon.

Bingham Building:
The two-story Bingham Building was built in 1911 and is an example of the Streetcar Era Commercial concrete block style. This building located on N. Denver and is located just north of the Dupey Block Building.

"This building was constructed for both residential and commercial purposes. The View Apartments occupied the top floor, while the first floor housed an ice-cream manufacturing establishment and a shake shop. Fred Marsh, one of eight known barbers that worked in Kenton from 1910 to 1950, also ran a shop at this location. This building is considered contributing within the district as a good example of Streetcar Ear Commercial stlye architecture and is therefore significant as a part of the larger grouping of commercial development that occurred in Kenton." [Kenton Commercial Historic District National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 2001]

Dupey Block:
The Dupey Building (Block) was built in 1910 and is another example of the concrete block Streetcar Era Commercial style.

"This building was one of the first commercial structures to be built in the district. Constructed by O.H. Dupey, it was one of six buildings in the district constructed of ornamental concrete block in the Streetcar Era Commercial style. Though ornamental concrete block architecture became popular in the city after the 1905 Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition, the concentration of such architecture is unique to the Kenton Commerical Historic District. Dupey purchased the site in 1908, before land values rose as a result of Swift & Comapny's development porjects. ... The building was designed by E.E. McClaren ... The Kenton PUblishing Company, publisher of The Peninsula Herald, the community newspaper, occupied the building in its early years. ... This building was designated a local Historic Landmark in 1989. It is considered to be contributing within the district as a good example of concrete block, Streetcar Era Commerical style architecture and is therefore significant as part of the concentration of such buildings in Kenton." [Kenton Commercial Historic District National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 2001]

Kenton Hotel:
The Kenton Hotel is another example of the concrete block style and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 (Architecture/Engineering, #90001522). The Kenton Hotel is located on the northwest corner of N. McClellan and N. Denver. (See more below).


Image, 2016, Kenton's Bingham Building brick work, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Kenton's Bingham Building brick work, Kenton District, Portland, Oregon. This building located on N. Denver and is located just north of the Dupey Block Building. Image taken June 19, 2016.
Image, 2016, Kenton's Dupey Block brick work, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Kenton's Dupey Block brick work, Kenton District, Portland, Oregon. This building located on the northeast corner of N. Kilpatrick and N. Denver. Image taken June 19, 2016.
Image, 1910, Historical, Sunday Oregonian, click to enlarge
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HISTORICAL Newspaper Photo, O.H. Dupuy Building, 1910. The O.H. Dupuy Build;ing is located on the southeast corner of N. Denver and N. Kilpatrick. Image from the "Sunday Oregonian", April 24, 1910, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016.


Kenton Hotel ...
The Kenton Hotel (also known as the "Bailey and Bradford Hotel") was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 (Architecture/Engineering, #90001522). According to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form (#90001522), the 100x90-foot Kenton Hotel was built by F.A. Bailey and W.H. Bradford and the plans were designed by Dyer and Company, the architectural department of the Swift Meat Packing Company. Construction began in September 1909 and was completed in April 1910, when it opened for business. The Hotel was constructed to accommodate cattlemen visiting the nearby Swift & Company Stockyards. The three-story building was made of concrete blocks which cost about the same as brick but gave the look of stone. It had 76 rooms on the two upper floors and room for five stores and the hotel lobby on the first floor. The Kenton Hotel is located on the northwest corner of N. McClellan and N. Denver.

Image, 1910, Historical, Sunday Oregonian, click to enlarge
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HISTORICAL Newspaper Photo, Kenton Hotel (also known as the "Bailey and Bradford Hotel"), 1910. The old Kenton Hotel is located on the northwest corner of N. McClellan and N. Denver. Image from the "Sunday Oregonian", April 24, 1910, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016.
Image, 2016, Kenton Hotel, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Kenton Hotel, Kenton Historic District, Portland, Oregon. Image taken July 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Kenton Hotel, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Kenton Hotel, Kenton Historic District, Portland, Oregon. Image taken July 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Kenton Hotel, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Kenton Hotel, Kenton Historic District, Portland, Oregon. Image taken July 6, 2016.


Paul Bunyan Statue ...
The 31-foot tall Paul Bunyan statue was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008 (Architecture/Engineering, #08001393).

"Kenton’s 31-foot tall statue of Paul Bunyan was recently added to the National Register of Historical Places as Oregon’s only roadside architecture in the register. The statue was commissioned by the Kenton Businessmen’s Club to greet millions of visitors to the Centennial Exposition in 1959. Victor R. Nelson and his son Victor A. Nelson designed and crafted Paul Bunyan in the nearby Kenton Machine Works at a cost of $25,000."


Source:    "PDXHistory.com" website, 2016.

"Built to celebrate the Oregon Centennial in 1959, Kenton’s towering concrete and metal Paul Bunyan statue has become a symbol of the neighborhood and was even added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Originally slated for demolition following the Centennial Exposition, state officials ultimately decided to allow the 31-foot sculpture remain standing, and over the years, it was relocated 50 feet to a new plaza when TriMet needed to make room for a new MAX line. And although there’s no Babe, TriMet also commissioned bench-sized imprints of the Blue Ox’s feet at the base of the statue."


Source:    "NeighborhoodNotes.com" website, 2016.

Image, 2016, Kenton's Paul Bunyan, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Kenton's Paul Bunyan, Kenton District, Portland, Oregon. Image taken June 19, 2016.
Image, 2016, Kenton's Paul Bunyan, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Kenton's Paul Bunyan, Kenton District, Portland, Oregon. Image taken June 19, 2016.
Image, 2016, Kenton's Paul Bunyan, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Kenton's Paul Bunyan, Kenton District, Portland, Oregon. Image taken June 19, 2016.
Image, 2008, Paul Bunyan, click to enlarge
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The back of the Paul Bunyan statue as seen from moving car. Kenton District, Portland, Oregon. Image taken March 9, 2008.
Image, 2016, Kenton's Paul Bunyan, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Kenton's Paul Bunyan, Kenton District, Portland, Oregon. Image taken June 19, 2016.


Portland Expo Center ...
The Portland Expo Center history began in 1918 as an "Exposition" with a livestock shows, auctions, and rodeos. In 1942 the buildings became the temporary housing for Japanese families before they were resettled into internment camps, in 1959 the location was the home of the Oregon Centennial Exposition, celebrating 100 years of Oregon History, and between 1970 and 1990 the location was the home of the Multnomah County Fair. Today area continues as an exposition/trade show site. The Expo Center is located just north of historic Vanport, a city destroyed on May 30, 1948 when a dike broke and the Columbia River flooded and destroyed what was at the time Oregon's second largest city.
[More]

Image, 2006, Portland Expo Center, Vanport Wetlands, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Vanport Wetlands and the Portland Expo Center, Portland, Oregon. View from West Delta Park. Image taken January 18, 2006.
Image, 2016, Portland Expo Center, Vanport Wetlands, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Southern end, Portland Expo Center, Portland, Oregon. Image taken July 6, 2016.

The southern end of the Portland Expo Center is "Hall E", built in 1997.
Image, 2016, Portland Expo Center, Vanport Wetlands, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Northern end, Portland Expo Center, Portland, Oregon. View from car heading north on Marine Drive. Image taken July 6, 2016.

The northern end or "old section" of the Portland Expo Center houses "Hall A" and "Hall B", built in 1925 after the original site buildings burned.
Image, 2016, Portland Expo Center, Vanport Wetlands, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"Torii Gate", Portland Expo Center, Portland, Oregon. Image taken July 20, 2016.

Four "Torii Gates" are located near the Light Rail Station and honor the 3,500 Japanese who were temporarily housed here before being relocated to internment camps.


Portland International Raceway ...
"More than half a century ago, the Portland International Raceway site was something quite different than a park: a city.

Built during World War II as housing for Kaiser shipyard workers, the city of Vanport was home to nearly 40,000 people at its peak, making it the second largest city in Oregon. But, built behind dikes, Vanport was washed away by a flood in 1948, never to be rebuilt.

The site, 640 acres of low-lying farmland, was America’s largest public housing project, and was built in less than 10 months. There was a library, post office, police station, several fire houses, an infirmary, stores, five elementary schools and a 750-seat movie theater. Vanport College, created after the war to support veterans headed to school on the G.I. Bill, moved after the flood to become Portland State University.

Left from the remains of Vanport was an intact street system, and little else, when acquired by the City of Portland in 1960. It was a time of growing interest in sports car and drag racing, and the Portland Jaycees saw that the abandoned roads of Vanport had the potential to become a road race course. In 1961 the first Rose Cup race was held as part of the Portland Rose Festival.

By 1965 the track was hosting regular drag races as well as motorcycle and kart races."


Source:    Portland International Raceway website, 2016.


Image, 2016, Portland International Raceway, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Portland International Raceway, Portland, Oregon. Image taken June 19, 2016.
Image, 2016, Portland International Raceway, Portland, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Portland International Raceway, Portland, Oregon. Image taken June 19, 2016.


Stockyards Commerce Center ...
"The Pacific Livestock Expo held its last show in Portland in the 1980s and the buildings were sold to Multnomah County where the Multnomah County Fair remained for about 20 years. Portland’s Union Stockyards ceased operation in the 1980s. Then an Industrial Park was built in its place."


Source:    "PDXHistory.com" website, 2016.

Image, 2015, Stockyards Commerce Center, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Stockyards Commerce Center sign, Portland, Oregon. Image taken August 13, 2015.


Vanport Wetlands ...
[More]

Image, 2006, Vanport Wetlands, click to enlarge
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Looking across part of the Vanport Wetlands. View from West Delta Park. Image taken January 18 2006.
Image, 2011, Vanport Wetlands, click to enlarge
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Yellow-headed Blackbird, male, Vanport Wetlands, Portland, Oregon. Image taken April 27, 2011.
Image, 2011, Vanport Wetlands, click to enlarge
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Ruddy Duck, male, Vanport Wetlands, Portland, Oregon. Image taken June 11, 2011.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:    McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historic Society Press, Portland;    Mitchoff, A., History of the Kenton Neighborhood, courtesy Kenton Neighborhood Association website, 2016;    Multnomah County website, 2016;    "PDXHistory.com" website, 2016;    Portland Exposition Center website, 2016;   

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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© 2016, Lyn Topinka, "ColumbiaRiverImages.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
June 2016