Buried Creeks, Gulches, and Lakes of Old Portland: Historical Ecology

10/14/2017 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM PT




  • $20.00  -  General Public
  • $12.00  -  AHC Members


Focusing on the early days of Portland, Dr. Tracy Prince, author of Portland’s Goose Hollow and co-author of Notable Women of Portland and Portland's Slabtown, presents a slide show of historic photos and maps to demonstrate how dramatically different the terrain of Old Portland (the west side—from the Willamette River to the West Hills) was from today’s terrain. This changed terrain includes: building the Great Plank Road which ran through the narrow and dark Tanner Creek Canyon; burying Tanner Creek, Johnson Creek, and Balch Creek; filling Couch Lake, Guild’s Lake, and other lakes; filling the 20-block long, 50-feet deep Tanner Creek Gulch and the 14 block long Johnson Creek Gulch; building streets on 20-50 foot pilings in areas that today’s residents would describe as flatlands; and largely forgotten Native American and Chinese American histories on now infilled wetlands. Such incredible alterations to Portland’s natural landscape were seen as necessary for growing a young frontier city and to accommodate real estate development.


This lecture program is held at the Architectural Heritage Center - 701 SE Grand Avenue


Parking is on-street (free on Saturdays) or in the parking lot on the west side of Grand Avenue between SE Yamhill and Belmont Streets - just to the north of the Grand MarketplaceDo not use the lot where Dutch Bros. Coffee is locatedThank you to Bolliger and Sons Insurance for sharing their lot with us for our evening and Saturday education programs.


Image: 1879 birdseye view of Portland. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.