Oregon Historical Society Opens Portland Exhibit

Photo: Heather Roberts

A new exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society documents the state's largest city.

"Rivers, Roses, and Rip City" details the ity’s distinctive landscape, the communities that contribute to the vibrant and dynamic identity of Portland, and the history of activism that has transformed the city’s spaces.

The beauty and economic potential of the city’s land and water draws people to Portland. Indigenous people have stewarded the land since time immemorial. Trappers and settlers arrived in the region in increasing numbers beginning with the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805. Newcomers chose the area at the meeting of two large rivers, the Columbia and Willamette, to become the industrial and population center of what is now known as Oregon.

With the flip of a coin, two American businessmen gave Portland its name, but its history is a much more complex story. For hundreds of years, Portland’s location and industries have attracted a multiethnic population who have made it their home. Decisions about how land and water are used, who controls resources, and who benefits from these choices have shaped Portland to the city we know today.

Visitors will learn about the history of Portland through the major themes of community, land, and water. Over 500 objects, images, and archival materials from the Oregon Historical Society’s museum and research library collections convey the fascinating events and histories of the Rose City. Interactive elements will test visitors’ knowledge of Portland trivia, provide opportunities to see or hear sporting events or performances, and share areas of cultural interest within local neighborhoods.

For visitors and residents alike, Rivers, Roses, and Rip City celebrates what makes Portland unique.

Source: Oregon Historical Society

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