going to end up as the chief city of the Puget Sound region and when Seattle finally got its own railroad leg it was able to surpass Tacoma in that sense. The Klondike Gold Rush in 1898 boosted Seattle as I mentioned because Seattle acted like the main depot, jumping off point and supply point for parts north. Its port on Puget Sound has truly become the economic center of Seattle. Now, Spokane [drawing of Spokane] . There is no water based transportation available in Spokane, the Spokane River d oes go through Spokane but it’s not a good navigable river like the lower Columbia is for example, but Spokane did become the regional railway hub [picture of a
2 train] for the Northwest, the plateau area, at least, not so much for southern Idaho, but clearly for northern Idaho, eastern Washington and even the north east part of Oregon, all of those areas were tied in essentially to Spokane as a commercial center of what Spokanites called the inland empire. Farming, mining and lumbering were the primary activities. Now for a little more in depth look at Portland’s early years let’s go to an interview we did with Carl Abbott from Portland State University. We’re standing here just north of downtown Portland on the Willamette River in the industrial district with Carl Abbott who is a professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Professor Abbott is the author of The Metropolitan Frontier, Cities in the American West since 1940 . We’ll be talking with him about urbaniza tion in the Northwest from the 1880’s up to about World War I. Carl can you point out some of the features here in the landscape where we’re standing and give us some sense of the historical background of what we’re looking at. [Carl Abbott] : Sure, we’re along the Willamette River north of downtown Portland, downtown Portland is the site where the original Portland settlement took place in the 1840’s and what we see behind us is the remnants of the old water front activity that in the 19 th century crowded the Willamette River from downtown, downstream towards the Columbia. In the 19 th century we would have seen dozens of steamers [picture of ships in Portland] and large sailing vessels, which were calling here in Portland for grain and lumber, we can still see a little bit of lumber stacked behind us here on one of the remaining terminals that the port of Portland still operates. Again we see now a relatively quiet scene; 100 years ago this would have been incredibly bustling. Now, in the late 20 th century the key water front activity has moved downstream or to the Columbia River at new container cargo terminals. We also see some of the high buildings of downtown Portland, several of the bridges that connect the east and west sides and in the history of Portland the difference between being an eastsider and a westsider is very important, the meaning has changed over the years, but it still remains a significant division within the city.
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- Fall '19
- Trade union, Industrial Workers of the World, Portland, Oregon, Columbia River