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This is a growing list of Multnomah County place names. Many have been incorporated into the city of Portland, and today may exist as districts. If you have information on the history of these places, or know of other places not listed, please contact me.

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Albina

Albina is now a part of Portland, but it was originally a separate municipality. It was laid out in 1872 and incorporated in 1887. Portland, East Portland, and Albina were consolidated in 1891. It was named for Albina O. Page, daughter of William W. Page, by Edwin Russell, one-time manager of the Bank of British Columbia in Portland. Page, a native of Virginia, came to Oregon in 1857 an died in Portland in 1897. Albina was settled upon (donation land claim) by James L. Loring and Joseph Delay. Litigation between them was won by Delay, who sold to W. W. Page, Edwin Russell, and George H. Williams, who laid out the town. It was later purchased by William Reid and J. B. Montgomery, and settlement began in 1874. Albina post office was in service from 1876 to 1892.

Arata

Arata was the name of a station about a mile east of Fairview on the electric interurban line. The station was named for a local resident, S. A. Arata, who operated a farm nearby. The railway was torn up some years ago and the station was abandoned.  The location is shown on the USGS map of the Troutdale quadrangle, 1918 edition. S. A. Arata as born in Genoa in 1864, and came to the United States in 1871. He came to Oregon about 1883, and for many years was in the grocery business in Portland. He retired in 1910 and moved to his farm. He died May 3, 1948, in Portland.

Arleta

Arleta is a part of Portland. It was named for Arleta Potter, daughter of T. B. Potter of the Potter-Chapin Realty Company, which put the addition on the market.

Arthur

In earlier days a well-known Multnomah County post office was Arthur, on the west shore of Sauvie Island a little north of Holbrook. This office was established July 26, 1880, with Mary Taylor postmaster. The office closed November 30, 1904, apparently as a result of the extension of rural free delivery. Mary Taylor was the only postmaster the place ever had. A good deal of effort has been made trying to learn the origin of this name, but with no result. The place was not named for President Chester A. Arthur because he was not president when the office was established, in fact he had not even been elected vice-president. The office was established about the time the Republicans nominated the Garfield-Arthur ticket in Chicago in the summer of 1880, and it may have been named because Arthur's name was in the news, but this is just a guess.

Balch Creek

Danford Balch settled near what is now Willamette Heights in Portland in 1850. Balch was hanged October 17, 1859, for killing his son-in-law Mortimer Stump, on the Stark Street ferry. For history of the tragedy of the Balch family, see Scott's History of the Oregon Country, volume III, page 352, and also story in Oregonian August 14, 1938, magazine section Balch creek was named for this family. At one time the creek furnished the city water supply.

Ban

Ban was a station north of Linnton. It was named for S. [Sinzaburo] Ban, a Japanese merchant of Portland. He operated a shingle mill near the station for several years.

Barstow

This station on the Oregon Electric Railway, just east of Garden Home, was named for W. S. Barstow, of New York City, a prominent engineer and public utility operator, who was interested in the construction of the railroad. He died on December 26, 1942, Great Neck, Long Island.

Belle Vue Point

This point is on the east shore of Sauvie Island and the west bank of the Columbia River, just north of the mouth of the Willamette River. The name Belle Vue Point was adopted for this feature by USBGN on February 7, 1934. Belle Vue Point was named by Lt. W. R. Broughton, R. N., of the Vancouver expedition, on October 29, 1792. It seems certain that at that time the arrangement of islands and channels at the mouth of the Willamette River differed from the condition that now exists. About 1930 Mr. J. Neilson Barry of Portland made an extensive study of the problem and it was his conclusion that the locality that now bears the name Belle Vue Point was the proper place. Federal agencies accepted his recommendations.

Bement

A post office was established here in 1899. The name was changed to Terry later that same year.

Bonneville

A railway station named for Captain Benjamin Bonneville, an early explorer of the western United States. A post office was established in 1900. In 1933, the dam was built bearing the name.

Bridal Veil

Named for the nearby falls. A post office was established here in 1887.

Brower

A post office was established by this name in 1887. It was discontinued in 1896, and the mail forwarded to Latourell Falls.

Burlington

A community north of Portland, a plat was filed for it in 1909. Origin of its name is unknown.

Camp Ground

A post office was established and discontinued here in 1884. Mail was then sent to Powell's Valley.

Central

A post office of this name was established in 1900. In 1903, it was discontinued and the papers sent to Portland.

Champlain

A post office of this name was established in 1892, and five months later discontinued and the papers forwarded to Holbrook.

Chester

In 1893 a post office was established of this name, apparently in the North Portland area. A year later it was discontinued and the papers forwarded to Portland.

Clarion

A post office of this name was established in 1898. It was discontinued and the papers forwarded to Phillips, in Washington County. This would place it near the western county border.

Clarnie

A post office was established here in 1890.

Cleone

The post office was established at Cleone in 1883. In 1914, the name of the office was closed and the papers sent to Fairview, which was established in 1914.

Corbett

Named for Senator Henry W. Corbett, who owned a farm nearby. The post office was established in 1895.

Dodson

A railroad station west of Warrendale, it was named for Ira Dodson, an early settler.

East Portland

The city of East Portland grew up on the east bank of the Willamette River, across from Portland. A post office was established there in 1866. In 1891, the city of East Portland was consolidated into the city of Portland.

Errol Heights

A neighborhood of Portland, its name came from Errol Station, named for the sailing ship on which Joseph Strowbridge, Jr.'s father had come to this country from England.

Fairview

Its name came in 1855, from a Methodist Sunday school established there. When a post office was established in 1883, because there was another Fairview in Oregon--in Coos County, the post office was called Cleone. After the Coos County office was abandoned, the name here was changed to Fairview in 1914.

Faloma

A post office established north of Portland, in 1921, at a community formerly called Bridgeton. Authorities thought that name conflicted with too many others, so this was made up using initials of nearby landowners: Force, Love, and Moore.

Folkenberg

Force Lake

A lake near the banks of the Columbia at Haden Island. It was named for an early settler, George W. Force.

Fort William

A fort established by Nathaniel J. Wyeth on Sauvie Island in 1834, it occupied two different sites on the island.

Fremont

A post office of this name was established, but was obviously a misspelling for Tremont, as it was very quickly changed to that name.

Fulton

A post office was established in 1883.

Gage

Post office established 1900. Discontinued 1903, and papers to Troutdale.

Gasco

A station between Portland and Linnton, named for the Portland Gas & Coke Company plant nearby.

Gilbert

A station on the Portland Traction Company line, east of Lents, it was named for William M. Gilbert who had a farm near there.

Glencullen

Post office established at 1927. 1936, mail to Portland.

Government Island

First named by Lewis & Clark, it was designated Diamond Island. Early settlers called it Miller's Island. In 1850 when the government reserved the island for military purposes, it's current name was adopted.

Gresham

Established as a post office in 1884, it was named for the then postmaster general, Walter Quinton Gresham.

Guild Lake

A shallow lake in northwest Portland, named for Peter Guild, a pioneer of 1847. After the Lewis & Clark Exposition of 1905, it was filled in. Now an industrial area, the area still bears the name.

Haig

A station in southeast Portland established by the Southern Pacific Company. It was named for Douglas Haig, a WWI British general and field marshal.

Hardtack Island

Southeast of Ross Island, and connected to it at low tide. It is part of a group of islands charted in 1841 as Oak Islands.

Hayden Island

Named for Gay Hayden, who in 1850 owned the island. When discovered by the crew of the Vancouver, it was designated Menzies Island. Lewis and Clark called it Image Canoe Island.

Hillsdale

A station on the Southern Pacific Company line in suburban Portland. Because of confusion with Hillsboro, the station name was changed to Bertha, for the wife of Richard Koehler, the railroad manager.

Hogan

A station on the Portland Traction Company interurban line, southeast of Gresham. Named for Eli Hogan who had a sawmill at the site.

Holbrook

Named for Philo Holbrook, who had a farm near the site, where a post office was established in 1887. It was discontinued in 1933 and the papers sent to Linnton.

Hurlburt

Post office established in 1899, and named for the first postmaster, John Hurlburt. discontinued four years later and papers were sent to Troutdale.

Kenton

An addition to the city established in 1905. Named by George Heusner who platted the addition. It's original name was intended to be Kenwood, but had already been used.

Killgaver

Post office established in 1886, and papers sent to Russelville.

Kronenberg

Post office established in 1893, Joseph Kronenberg the first postmaster. At its discontinuance, the papers were sent to Rockwood.

Latourell Falls

A railroad station, named for Joseph Latourell, an early settler. The name was applied to the nearby falls as well. A post office was established in 1876, and Joseph Latourell was the first postmaster.

Leader

A post office was established in 1881 with Joseph Leader as the first postmaster. The next postmaster was Ervine Taylor, and the name was changed to Taylor in 1882.

Lents

A post office of this name was established in established in 1886

Linnton

The town was laid out in 1843 by land speculators, Peter H. Burnett and M. M. McCarver. Their dreams of fortune never panned out, and both moved on. A post office was established in 1889. It was named for Senator Lewis Linn, of Missouri who was a strong advocate for the Donation Land Claim act.

Maplewood

A post office of this name was established in 1903, mail to Portland.

Maywood Park

Incorporated as a city in 1967, it was a subdivision in 1926, named by F. E. Taylor, the developer.

Montavilla

A contraction of Mount Tabor Villa, an addition to the city of Portland platted in 1889. A post office there was established in 1891.

Mount Tabor

A post office was established here in 1879. It was named by Plympton Kelly for a similarly named hill in Palestine.

Multnomah

A post office of this name was established in 1912.

Multnomah Falls

Not named, though certainly mentioned, by early explorers of the area. The name was in use by the 1860s.

North Portland

A post office of this name was established in 1910.

Oceola

A post office of this name was established in 1860. It was changed into Washington Co.

Oneonta

A post office was established here in 1893. The creek and falls nearby were named for the New York town.

Orient

Post office was established here in 1896, named for the nearby Orient Mill. It was named by Andrew McKinnon in honor of his wife, Miyo Iwakoshi, who he brought to Oregon as his bride in 1880. She, her younger brother, Rikichi, and her adopted daughter were the first Japanese to permanently settle in Oregon.

Page

A post office of this name was established in 1893 papers to Taylor.

Palestine

A post office of this name was established in 1891, papers to Lents.

Palmer

A post office of this name was established in 1898, papers to Bridal Veil.

Parkwood

A post office of this name was established in 1913.

Parkrose

A plat of Parkrose was filed in 1911. The name probably came from the nearby Rose City Park, which was platted in 1907.

Peninsular

Located on the peninsula of north Portland, a post office was established here in 1890.

Pleasant Home

A post office was established here in 1876.

Portland

A post office was established at Portland in 1849. Portland was incorporated as a city in 1851. Upon creation of Multnomah county in 1854

Portsmouth

A post office of this name was established in 1891, name changed to University Park a few months later.

Powell Valley

Named for three settlers of the area, James Powell, Jackson Powell, and Dr. J. P. Powell all unrelated. The post office was established in 1873, under the name Powell's Valley. In 1894 it was changed to Powell Valley.

Rafton

Rockwood

A post office was established here in 1882. Named by Francis Tegart, a local landowner.

Rooster Rock

A post office of this name was established in 1876. Name changed to Latourell Falls in 1887.

Ross Island

Named for Sherry Ross, who owned and lived on the island in early days.

Russellville

A post office was established here in 1889. It was originally planned to be called Lewisville. for Leander Lewis. There already being a Lewisville in Polk County, an alternate name was chosen, for an Illinois town with which Mr. Lewis had connections.

Saint Johns

A post office of this name was established in 1873. Consolidated into the city of Portland in 1890, though it remained an independent post office until 1912.

Sandy

A post office was established in 1862, which had lately been in Clackamas County. This is no doubt the settlement which became known as Troutdale.

Sauvie Island

Originally called Wapato Lake by Lewis & Clark, for the wild potato valued by the Indians. After Wyeth built Fort William on the island, some early maps designated it as Wyeth Island. Wilkes called it Multnomah Island. By the time the settlers arrived, it was called for a French-Canadian settler on the island, Laurent Sauve. A post office, first called Sauvie's Island, was established in 1882.

Sellwood

Named for the Rev. John Sellwood, a post office was established there in 1883. It was consolidated into the city of Portland in 1891.

Shattuck

Named for Erasmus Shattuck, a pioneer of 1853. He served as a member of the Legislature, Judge, U. S. Attorney, Circuit Judge, and was a member of the Oregon Supreme Court. The post office was established in 1883.

Springdale

A community between Troutdale and Corbett. When the post office was established in 1900, it was called Gage, the name applied to the west end of the settlement, to avoid confusion with other "Spring" cities in Oregon. The post office was closed in 1903, and the name Springdale has survived for the whole community.

Springville

A post office was established here in 1860, Casius B. Comstock postmaster.

Sunnyview

A post office of this name was established in 1890, and operated until 1894.

Sweetbrier

A post office was established here in 1900. Papers to Terry, 1901.

Sycamore

A post office of this name was established in 1889. When it was discontinued in 1901, mail was forwarded to Lents.

Sylvan

A post office was established here in 1890, at a settlement at the head of Tanner Creek which was called Zion Town, named by Nathan B. Jones, a pioneer of 1847.

Taylor

A post office of this name was established in 1882, Ervine J. Taylor first postmaster. Papers to Latourelle Falls 1895.

Terry

A post office of this name was established in 1899. Papers to Troutdale 1903.

Tremont

A post office of this name was established in 1892. Papers to Lents, 1903

Troutdale

The community was originally called Sandy, and a post office established there in 1854 which existed until 1868. When the railroad established a station there about 1880, Capt. John Harlow named it Troutdale.

University Park

Originally called Portsmouth, the post office was changed to University Park in 1891. Both were additions in the North Portland area. University Park was named for the Methodist university located on the bluff above the Columbia River, that today is the University of Portland.

Warrendale

A post office was established here, west of Bonneville in 1894. It was named for Frank M. Warren, Sr., a prominent Portland citizen and fish packer.

Wauna Point

Wauna is an Indian name, probably Klickitat. It describes a mythological being supposed to represent the Columbia River. See The Bridge of the Gods, by F. H. Balch. Wauna Point is on the Columbia River Highway between Tanner Creek and Eagle Creek. The highest point of the bluff near the river is about 2500 feet in elevation.

Wauneka Point.

This point is just north of the Columbia River Highway between McCord Creek and Moffett Creek. It bears the Indian name of a locality on the south bank of the Columbia River west of Bonneville.

West Portland.

The name West Portland is used to describe the area near the crossing of Pacific Highway West and Southwest Capitol Highway. There is a West Portland School and the name is otherwise perpetuated in West Portland addition that lies generally south and southwest of Multnomah. In the Portland addition that lies generally south and southwest of Multnomah. In the '90s a steam motor carline extended into the territory by way of Fulton Park. West Portland post office was established here in 1890 and existed until 1907. It was a station in the 1890s when a steam motor carline ran through here.

Willamette Slough.

Willamette Slough post office was in service from February 10, 1873, to February 8, 1887, at a point on the mainland northwest of Linnton, and about opposite the south end of Sauvie Island. The office may have moved from time to time depending on who was postmaster. Thomas J. Howell, Oregon's famous botanist, was first to hold the office. The office was named for the channel on the west side of Sauvie Island, formerly Willamette Slough, now officially known as Multnomah Channel.

Willamette Stone.

Multnomah and Washington Counties. The Willamette Stone is a surveyor's monument at the intersection of the Willamette base line and the Willamette meridian in the hills west of Portland. The mark was established on June 4, 1851, by John B. Preston, the first surveyor general of Oregon. The original mark was not a stone but a stake. This stake was officially replaced on July 25, 1885, by the present Willamette Stone. The replacement was carried on by another surveyor, W. B. Marye, and other officials, who made the replacement the occasion of a small ceremony. Preston selected the site of the Willamette Stone because it was thought at that time that the meridian surveyed north from the stone would pass through the mouth of the Willamette River. The base line was established in its present location so that it would not cross the Columbia River and thus produce difficulties in surveying. In 1903 the USC&GS extended the triangulation net to include the Willamette Stone. The geographic position of the stone, based on the 1927 datum, is 45˚ 31' 10.' 831 in latitude and 122˚ 44' 33.' 551 in longitude.

Willbridge.

This station in the junction of the Astoria branch and the main line of the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway. It is southwest of the bridge over the Willamette River, and it has a composite name on that account.

Willsburgh.

A post office was established here in 1883, and was discontinued in 1900. Its location was just east of Sellwood, now located at the intersection of S.E. Tacoma Street and McLoughlin Blvd. (Hwy 99E). No evidence of the town remains.

Winema Pinnacles.

These basalt spires high above the Columbia River Highway, are about a half a mile east of Multnomah Falls. They were named for Winema, Mrs. Frank Riddle, the heroine of the Modoc Lava Beds massacre. For information about her, see Jeff C. Riddle's Indian History of the Modoc War. She did not live near the Columbia River, but the pinnacles were named because it was thought her memory should be perpetuated somewhere in the state.

Wood Village

This community was built during World War II, a housing project for workers of the Reynolds Aluminum Company. It was incorporated in 1951.

Woodlawn

Woodlawn was an outstanding separate community in the '90s and rated a post office of its own. It was an important stop on the steam, later electric, railway from Portland to Vancouver. Woodlawn post office was established December 24, 1890, with Hiram Parrish first postmaster. That was before the Portland-East Portland-Albina consolidation. The office was finally closed on November 14, 1903. It was out of service for about a year in 1897-98. The name of the office followed Woodlawn addition, which was of course the product of real estate activity. The plat for Woodlawn was filed in October, 1899.

Woodstock

Woodstock is a station of Portland postoffice. It bears the name of a real estate tract platted in 1889. At that time there was a vogue for naming tracts after Sir Walter Scott's novels, and in the southeast part of Portland we have Woodstock, Ivanhoe, Kenilworth, Waverly, sic., and even much flights of fancy as Waverleigh. The word 'stoc' came from the  Anglo-Saxon and means a stockaded place, and woodstock means a place fortified with wooden posts. Woodstock was an independent post office from 1891 to 1912.

Yeon Mountain

Yeon Mountain is a prominent point on the south bank of the Columbia River east of Saint Peters Dome and west of Tumalt Creek. It is conspicuous from the Columbia River Highway. It was named for John Baptiste Yeon, who was born in Canada on April 24, 1865.  After working in various places, he  came to Oregon in 1885, and began his career as a logger at $2.50 a day. He accumulated a large fortune, and for many years was interested in the good roads movement in Oregon. He was among those who developed the idea of the Columbia River Highway. He served as roadmaster of Multnomah County, and also as state Highway commissioner. He died on October 15, 1928. For obituary, see Oregonian, October 16; for editorial, ibid., October 17.

 

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Sources:

Lewis A. McArthur & Lewis L. McArthur, Oregon Geographic Names, 6th ed. Portland, Oregon: OHS Press, 1992.

Julie Kidd. Postmaster Appointments for the State and Territory of Oregon 1847 - 1971. Portland, Oregon : Oregon Territorial Press, 1998.

Eugene E. Snyder. Portland Names and Neighborhoods: Their Historic Origins. Portland, Oregon: Binford & Mort, 1979.