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Portland started as a spot known as "the clearing", which was on the banks of the Willamette about halfway between Oregon City and Fort Vancouver. In 1843, William Overton saw great commercial potential for this land, but lacked the funds required to file a land claim. He struck a bargain with his partner Asa Lovejoy of Boston, Massachusetts: for 25¢, Overton would share his claim to the 640-acre (2.6 km²) site. Overton later sold his half of the claim to Francis W. Pettygrove of Portland, Maine. Pettygrove and Lovejoy both wished to name the new city after their own home town; this was decided with a coin toss, which Pettygrove won.
At the time of its incorporation on February 8, 1851 Portland had over 800 inhabitants, a steam sawmill, a log cabin hotel, and a newspaper, the Weekly Oregonian. By 1879, the population had grown to 17,500.
Portland's location, with access to the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia river, logging access via the south-to-north flowing Willamette river, and to the agricultural Tualatin Valley via the "Great Plank Road" through a canyon in the West Hills (the route of current-day U.S. Highway 26), gave it an advantage over nearby ports, and it grew quickly. It remained the major port in the Pacific Northwest for much of the 19th century, until the 1890s, when Seattle's deepwater harbor was connected to the rest of the mainland by rail, affording an inland route without the treacherous navigation of the Columbia River.
The first known reference to Portland as "The City of Roses" was made by visitors to an 1888 Episcopal Church convention, the nickname growing in popularity after the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition where Mayor Harry Lane suggested that the city needed a "festival of roses" The first Portland Rose Festival was held two years later, and remains the city's major annual festival a century later.
The total city population includes suburbs such as Beaverton, Clackamas, Gresham, Oregon City, Tigard, and various unincorporated lands. However, most of the suburbs are considered separate cities by their residents & various city governments & councils.
In Earth-600043, international terrorist General Miguel smuggled drugs for his weapon research project from Ecuador to the Portland Harbor Terminal. He then released a chemical that sped the aging of the inhabitants of Portland, and then blackmailed the government for one billion dollars for the antidote. Miguel offered a sample of the antidote and Dr. Wendy Day traveled to Portland, infecting herself, to test it. The antidote was operative, but there were not enough doses. Fortunately, Captain America defeated Miguel and obtained his supply of the antidote. He distributed it on Portland in the same way Miguel had distributed the poison: Spraying it from a plane.
- Incorporated: Febuary 8, 1851
- Mayor: Tom Potter
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