All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Sunday, March 12, 2006

How Portland (Oregon) Got Its Name

Joseph Gaston's 1911 book Portland, Oregon, Its History and Builders, describes how that city got its name. The decision was made in 1845 at a family dinner party in Oregon City, attended by Asa Lovejoy and Francis Pettygrove.
Mr. Pettygrove, hailing from Maine, wished to name the town for his favorite old home town of Portland, while General Lovejoy, coming from Massachusetts, desired to honor Boston with the name. And not being able to settle the matter with any good reason, it was proposed to decide the difference by tossing a copper; and so, on the production of an old-fashioned copper cent . . . the cent was tossed up three times and came down "tails up" twice for Portland, and once "heads up" for dear old Boston. And that is the day Portland got its appropriate name. [p. 200]
The penny in question is now in the possession of the Oregon History Society.
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At 12:00 AM, September 22, 2009, Blogger Unknown said...

How Portland, Oregon - got the name was a contest question today on warm 106.9 Seattle Radio. September 21, 2009. This is why I went to this website today. Interesting.


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