History Pub – The Other Portland

Portland Chinatown, 1886; Catalog Number: OrHi 89369; 1886

Portland Chinatown, 1886; Catalog Number: OrHi 89369; 1886

Looks like another great program coming up.  Here’s the description from the Holy Names Heritage Center:

Next Monday’s History Pub features Jacqueline Peterson Loomis, Professor of History at Washington State University Vancouver and co-founder of the Old Town History Project, Inc. speaking on “The Other Portland: Ethnic Groups and Workers in Portland’s North end during the 19th and 20th Centuries.

There have always been two stories of Portland. One is the story of a proper town peopled by enterprising New Englanders like Captain John Couch. The other story is closer to reality.  In 1890, one third of Portlanders were foreign-born.  Within half of all Portland households at least one parent spoke a language other than English. Germans were the largest European ethnic group, with the Irish in second place. Portland’s Chinese community was nearly as large as the two combined.  In the late 19th century, Portland could boast the second largest Chinatown in the US.

Until World War II, Portland’s ethnic and working class community clustered near the wharf north of Burnside and around Union Station, dominating the present Old Town and the Pearl.  It was a small United Nations: German brewers, Irish maids, Chinese railroad and restaurant workers, African American barbers, and many others. This month’s History Pub tells the important story of that “Other Portland.”

History Pub is a collaborative program of Holy Names Heritage Center, Oregon Historical Society, and McMenamins.  Free programs take place on the last Monday of the month at 7PM at the Kennedy School, located at 5736 NE 33rd Avenue. Enjoy a slice of pizza and a frosty ale while hearing about fascinating Northwest history!


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