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Category: GeekPortland
Venue/Location: Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Avenue, Phone: 503-306-5198
Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 7:00 PM

A River of Stories: Two historical perspectives of the Willamette River in Portland

Admission: Free and open to the public
Food and beverages will be available.

The Willamette River has long served as the setting, the means of transport and the inspiration for people living in Oregon. In this entertaining evening, two noted Oregon historians will provide some of their favorite tales and images of the Willamette River's role in the valley that bears its name. The audience will then be invited to participate in a discussion about the river and its future. Additionally, everyone will be invited to share their own "river stories" on video or in writing at the event.


Carl Abbott (Professor of Urban Studies, Portland State University)
Riverfront commerce and industry have been central to the Portland economy for 160 years. This overview will also pause to look at the impacts of World War II and the 20th century transformation of Swan Island.

William L. Lang (Professor of History, Portland State University)
Pollution in the Willamette River by the early 20th century forced a restructuring of the waterfront. This presentation will put the building of the Portland seawall into historical context.

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