The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Portland (Oregon)
PORTLAND, the chief city of Oregon, capital of Multnomah co., and port of entry of the district of Willamette, on the W. bank of the Willamette river, 12 m. above its mouth in the Columbia, and 122 m. by these rivers from the Pacific ocean, 50 m. N. of Salem, and 530 m. N. of San Francisco; lat. 45° 30'; N., lon. 122° 27' W.; pop. in 1860, 2,874; in 1870, 8,293, of whom 456 were Chinese; in 1875, 12,500. It is the head of ship navigation, and is built on a plateau rising gradually from the river, a range of fir-covered hills surrounding it in a semicircle on the west, and commanding fine views of the Willamette valley with the Cascade mountains in the distance. The streets are regularly laid out, well paved, lighted with gas, and except in the business portion shaded with maples. There is a line of horse cars. A park 300 ft. wide extends almost the entire length of the city. There are many handsome residences and substantial business structures. The chief public buildings are the custom house, the masonic and odd fellows' halls, the market, and the county buildings. Portland is the N. terminus of the Oregon Central railroad, and is connected by two ferries with East Portland (pop. in 1870, 830) on the opposite bank of the Willamette, the N. terminus of the Oregon and California railroad. These two lines traverse the fertile Willamette valley, and are ultimately to connect with the California railroad system. A semi-weekly line of steamers runs to Victoria, British Columbia, a tri-monthly line to San Francisco, and a monthly line to Victoria and Sitka, Alaska. There are also frequent lines to various points on the Columbia and Willamette rivers. A daily line to Kalama, Washington territory, 50 m. distant, connects with the Pacific division of the Northern Pacific railroad for points on Puget sound. The trade and commerce of Portland are increasing rapidly, the chief articles of shipment being wheat, flour, salmon, and lumber. Its foreign commerce has mostly grown up since 1868. In 1868-'9 the shipments of wheat amounted to 69,476 cwt. and of flour to 107,671 bbls., together valued at $589,813. In 1873-'4 the shipments were 1,304,310 cwt. of wheat and 230,211 bbls. of flour, valued at $4,037,093. The greater part of the wheat is exported to the British isles, while the flour is shipped to San Francisco, New York, Liverpool, China, and Japan. The entrances in the foreign trade of the district for the year ending June 30, 1874, were 49, tonnage 25,651; clearances, 75, tonnage 43,661; value of imports, $490,217; of exports, $1,953,539; entrances in the coast-wise trade, 157, tonnage 121,519; clearances, 79, tonnage 83,129; vessels registered, &c., 61, tonnage 17,769. The chief manufactories are five iron founderies, three saw and planing mills, three breweries, two nail factories, a soap factory, two carriage factories, two manufactories of boots and shoes, two of boxes, one of brooms, two of furniture, and one of hats. There are a national bank, with a capital of $250,000, and three other banking institutions, with an aggregate capital of $1,500,000.—The city is governed by a mayor and a common council of nine members, three from each ward. There are a fire department and a police force. Water is supplied from the river by works constructed for the purpose. The United States courts for the district of Oregon are held here. In East Portland is the state hospital for the insane. The principal charitable institution in the city is an orphans' home. The public schools include a high school and intermediate and primary grades. There are also a colored school, a school for Chinese, and a number of private and denominational schools. The principal are the Bishop Scott grammar and divinity school and St. Helen's hall, under the charge of the Episcopalians; the Portland academy and female seminary; the independent German school; and St. Mary's academy and St. Michael's college, under the control of the Roman Catholics. The library association of Portland has a reading room and a library of 6,000 volumes. There are 2 daily, 1 semi-weekly, and 11 weekly (1 German) newspapers, and 16 places of worship, viz.: 1 Baptist, 1 Chinese, 2 Congregational, 3 Episcopal, 2 Jewish, 3 Methodist (1 colored), 1 Presbyterian, 2 Roman Catholic, and 1 Unitarian.—Portland was laid out in 1845, and became a city in 1851. On Aug. 2, 1873, a conflagration destroyed more than $1,000,000 worth of property, since which many brick buildings have been erected.