Portland, Oregon

With Dave Backman and Kathleen Donohue

August 2011

Sometimes travelling gets tiresome for a small duck and he can suffer from a bit of “If this is Tuesday it must be Belgium syndrome.” One day he found himself unsure if he was on the east or west coast when he was in Portland. Maine or Oregon? To make matters worse, he went looking for some clues and came across this marker for the Founders of Portland. Instead of helping clear things up though, he was even more confused after the plaque referenced Portland AND Boston.
This monument honors the memory of Asa L. Lovejoy and Francis W. Pettygrove, who surveyed, platted and named Portland in 1845. By the flip of a copper one-cent piece, Pettgrove, who won the toss, chose the name Portland, rather than Boston which Lovejoy preferred. The original townsite extended from Front to Second Avenue and from Washington to Jefferson Street. Erected by the City of Portland and dedicated December 19, 1945.


 Portland Name

In order to get his bearings, NOT needed to find a place to get away from the bustle of city life. Going down the street he suddenly stopped, shocked and awed. Before him was a perfect duck sized park. Mill Ends Park, which is officially the smallest part in the world is twenty-four inches in diameter and contains all of “452.16 square inches of land”. Originally a utility pole hole, through the imagination of journalist Dick Fagen the spot in the median strip became a park overseen by Patrick O’Toole who was a Leprechaun who lived in the park. For NOT it was spacious as well as cozy.

Mill End Park 1

Mill End Park 2

He thanked the Oregon Journal, which Dick Fagen worked for, for help with the park. Unfortunately, the Journal stopped publication in 1982, so it was no longer there. Instead, he stopped by the location of the first issue of the Origonian, which started as a weekly but now is one of the major daily papers in the Pacific Northwest. Here it’s noted that it was the site:

First Issue of the Oregonian
Printed here on December 4, 1850
A water front shack in this vicinity housed the hand press brought from San Francisco in 1850 by Thomas Driver to start a newspaper in the small but ambitious settlement of Portland. This marker commemorates an historic event.
The Lang Syne Society of Portland Oregon, December, 1969


From history to a different type of historical, it was time to check in at the “24 Hour Church of Elvis.” Originally a shrine to Elvis that performed weddings, the church has been, after closing for a time, reduced to an interactive storefront tribute to “the King” with flashing lights and noise. Pop in a quarter and see what happens.

Church of Elvis

After all that Elvis, it was time to get a chance for a bit quiet introspection. Having visited several wineries and breweries in the past, of course this relaxing might include some alcohol. At the Hopworks Urban Brewery, a World Beer Cup medal winning brewery, NOT and Dave found some appropriate duck-sized beers to enjoy.


Of course one should not imbibe on an empty stomach, even if they are duck-sized beers. So sometimes it’s all about the cheese. And in Portland, NOT got to meet Steve Jones who won the first Cheesemongering competition by the ACS and the second Cheesemonger Invitational in 2012. While NOT could make a lot of cheese puns and jokes here, but he won’t. Needless to say he did not come in and ask for some slices of American Cheese. As Wallace observed once “It’s the cheese Grommit!”



North Americana Travel

United States Travel

Oregon Travel

Photos courtesy of David Backman

Last Updated July 2012