Hayden Island by Chris Bonner

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Image Canoe, Menzies, and Shaw are a few of the names Hayden Island had before its current moniker stuck. The island, located in the Columbia River–just before its confluence with the Willamette River–was originally discovered in 1792 by the Royal Navy. The ship’s lieutenant named the island after the expedition’s botanist, and then Lewis and Clark floated along nearly a decade later and called it something else entirely. And so it went for Hayden Island until the arrival of an early Vancouver, Washington settler by the name of Gay Hayden. He settled on the island in 1851 when he heard about the Donation Land Claims Act. Hayden built a home on the island and lived there for about five years with his wife and two children.

Originally, all transport to the island was by boat. A ferry service ran between Vancouver and Hayden Island before construction of the first Interstate Bridge in 1917. Once the bridge was built, streetcar service ran from Hayden Island largely to service the booming amusement park developments that took over the eastern part of the island.

The island was home to the Jantzen Beach Amusement Park, the largest amusement park in the nation at its opening in 1928. Three-quarters of a million people visited the park each year during its heyday to enjoy the roller coaster, train rides, swimming pool, and carousel. Tomahawk Island, just east of Hayden Island, was the site of an amusement park competitor, Lotus Isle.

Lotus Isle was short lived and rife with tragedies. The park opened in June of 1930 with over 40 attractions on its beachfront acreage. A couple of months after it opened, a young boy drowned and died. The park owner committed suicide the next day. The park’s new manager hosted a successful Dance-A-Thon event in the massive ballroom (could hold 6600 dancers!). The following season, a frightened elephant stampeded through the grounds destroying several pavilions and a devastating fire burned the ballroom to the ground. The park operated one final season in 1932 before declaring bankruptcy and liquidation.

Jantzen Beach Amusement continued to thrive until the 1960s when attendance started to decline. The park closed permanently in 1970 and construction on the Jantzen Beach Mall began the following year. Mall developers decided to honor the history of the location by incorporating the carousel into the design of the property. In 2012, developers redesigned the mall for the second time and their updated strip mall layout did not include a home for the carousel. Local preservationists fought for Portland to keep and restore the carousel for its craftsmanship and historical significance. The carousel has been restored but its advocates are still seeking a home for it in Portland.

In the late 1950s, the Interstate Bridge was upgraded and incorporated into the I-5 freeway. The only thing that physically connects Hayden Island to Oregon is the state’s northernmost I-5 exit. Tomahawk Island was connected to Hayden Island using materials excavated during the I-5 construction. The joined landmasses are now commonly referred to as Hayden Island and the eastern area (formerly Tomahawk) is where most of the island’s residential developments are, including the floating home communities.

The Jantzen Beach Shopping Center is just west of I-5 as are the island’s mobile home parks. Just beyond the shopping mall is the railway bridge connecting commercial and passenger rail service between Oregon and Washington. Beyond the railway bridge is approximately 800 acres of land that the Port of Portland purchased from Portland General Electric with plans to construct additional Marine terminals. Local environmentalists and residents successfully lobbied to maintain the 800 acres as a preserve. The land is not accessible to the public, except by boat.


Residents of Hayden Island are close to both downtown Portland and Vancouver via the I-5 corridor. There is also unrivaled access to the riverfront and Columbia River Gorge Recreation areas.

There are no schools on the Island. Portland Public Schools places elementary and middle school children at Faubion School, and high school kids can choose between Jefferson High or Roosevelt High.

There is one small park, Lotus Isle Park on the eastern part of the island. Here you will find a play structure and a paved pathway offering views of the water and the streetcar trestle that used to connect Hayden and Tomahawk Islands.


Hayden Island is known to most Portlanders as the location of the Jantzen Beach Shopping Center. Those with boats may also know it as their point of departure for river adventures. This is a relatively quiet and tight-knit residential community rather than a raucous waterfront hangout. Residents can boat, kayak and canoe easily- often from their backyards.

The island is home to two yacht clubs, the Corinthian and Columbia River Yacht Club, and multiple marinas. If you’ve always wanted to sail, but don’t know how, Island Sailing School & Club might be the perfect place to learn.

Shopping and dining options are concentrated at the Jantzen Beach Center and largely national chains. There are some exceptions like the taco truck just off the northbound I-5 exit, and the seasonal Island Cafe which is open from April through September.

NW District by Chris Bonner

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Portland transformed from a small trading village in the 1840s to the commercial crossroads of the Pacific Northwest by the end of the 19th century. The NW District, given its proximity to the water and adjacency to the original townsite, was at the forefront of that change.

The NW District is the product of four donation land claims that merged over time. Captain John Heard Couch, a wealthy mariner from Massachusetts, claimed 640 acres near the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. His land was directly north of Portland's original townsite and was formally added to the city twenty years after he purchased it in 1865. William Blakiston took 200 acres north of Couch's land–acreage he would later lose in lousy business dealings. Danford Balch took a claim northwest of Couch and Blakiston's land. And Amos King claimed the 535 acres that make up the rest of the NW District in 1849. He opened a tannery on his property.

Couch was the first to platt his land, creating NW Portland's earliest subdivision between what are now Ankeny and Kearney streets. Initially named by letters of the alphabet, this neighborhood became known as the Alphabet District. In 1891 the streets were renamed for prominent historical figures in Portland whose last names the aligned with the letters.

Up until 1872, most subdivided lands were broken up into what was considered a standard lot (200 x 200 feet). When Couch's widow was subdividing the last bit of their land claim, she doubled some of the lots (200 x 460 feet). When the King and Balch subdivided their donation claims, they went with this larger lot size. The larger lots, positioned up the hill, attracted wealthier Portlanders who took advantage of the additional space to build mansions with ample grounds. The area became known as Nob Hill, named after the fancy San Francisco neighborhood.

During the 1870s and 80s, the city more than doubled in size as the railway construction boom connected Portland with the rest of the Northwest and the U.S. The waterfront of the Willamette River developed into a bustling commercial area and the surrounding streets filled in with housing for workers.

This northern part of NW Portland earned the nickname Slabtown because workers heated their homes with the cast-off ends and slabs that piled up in the sawmills. Middle-class housing went up in the area in between the workers and the wealthy. Streetcar lines went in along Burnside, 16th, 23rd, Thurman and Savier streets. These well-trafficked routes soon became centers of commerce.

In 1905, the Lewis & Clark Exposition put the city of Portland on the map, bringing in 1.5 million visitors. The influx of people that followed wanted to live in the NW neighborhood but could not afford single-family homes. This wave of new residents inspired the development of different types of housing in NW Portland, including duplexes, 4-plexes, and even luxury apartments.

The automobile had significant impacts on the neighborhood. Affluent residents took advantage of their mobility and moved further up into the hills to neighborhoods like Council Crest, Kings Heights, and West Hills. Apartment buildings replaced Victorian mansions, and the area became the most densely populated neighborhood in Portland. Businesses gradually transitioned from moving goods by rail to trucking, increasing the need for additional land for loading and moving trucks. By the mid-1920s Slabtown was shifting from a residential area to a commercial one.

The city made a concerted effort in the 1950s and 60s to remove residences from large swaths of NW Portland and make it strictly commercial. In the early 1970s the entire area–except for Willamette Heights–was declared blighted. Around that same time, the Northwest District Association formed, and they worked with the PDC to keep specific areas of the NW District residential. The 1980s saw substantial reinvestment in the NW 23rd Street corridor, creating a booming retail district and encouraging both the renovation of old structures and new residential construction too.

NW District is one of Portland's earliest neighborhoods. There are layers of history there, and as a result, you can see examples of architecture from the late 1800s through new construction. You will find also find a mix of single-family and multi-family structures.


The NW District has great proximity to Portland’s major highways and downtown. There are numerous public transit options including the streetcar and buses, and the neighborhood is also pleasant and well-suited for walking because of the mix of residential, retail and commercial.

There are two schools inside the neighborhood boundary, Chapman Elementary (K-5) and the Metropolitan Learning Center (K-12), an alternative school that is part of Portland Public Schools. Emerson Elementary (K-5), a public charter school, is right next door in the Pearl District, and Lincoln High School is also nearby. For middle school, residents of NW District can attend any District 1J Portland Public School.

Couch Park sits near the southeast corner of the NW District. The park was created in 1975 with design input from students at the nearby Metropolitan Learning Center. In 2012 and again in 2014, the parks department had to remove portions of the play structures because of rot. Funding to upgrade the park was included in the 2014 Parks Replacement Bond. There was a ribbon cutting for the newly renovated play areas in May of this year.

Wallace Park is in the northwestern area of the neighborhood, conveniently located right next to Chapman Elementary. It’s a lovely and well-trafficked neighborhood park with a basketball court, softball and soccer fields, an off-leash dog area, and plenty of spots for picnicking.

The southeastern tip of Forest Park is one of the NW District’s neighborhood boundaries. Although the park is not officially part of the neighborhood, many of the park’s most popular trails can be accessed from within it.


In addition to being the gateway to some of Portland's best outdoor experiences (in Forest Park), there are plenty of great places to hang out inside too. Portlanders have been shopping and dining out along NW 21st and 23rd streets since the late 1800s. The neighborhood movie theater, Cinema 21 has been screening movies for 90 years! Maybe this is why it feels so natural to shop, eat, and wander in the NW District. 

The only areas of the NW District that are strictly residential are the two northwestern fingers–Willamette Heights, and Forest Park NW District–all other parts of the neighborhood are a mix of commercial, retail and residential. 

Walking either main drag–NW 21st or NW 23rd–in Nob Hill, is like taking a historical walking tour of Portland's food scene. The Ringside Steakhouse has been serving up steaks and martinis since 1944, just a few blocks away is newcomer Bhuna, introducing us to Indian Soul Food. 

It's hard to imagine that Gus Van Sant filmed Drugstore Cowboy in Nob Hill in the late 80s because that's precisely when the local food movement was putting down roots here. Papa Hayden opened in 1983, followed by Wildwood (now closed) in 1994, Paley's Place in1995, and Ken's Artisan Bakery in 2001. Coffeehouse NW (2004) helped cement the city's third wave coffee scene. These businesses were some of the first to demonstrate what was possible when craft and skill was applied to the raw materials of the Pacific Northwest. 

Nob Hill continues to attract unique restaurants and retailers because it has the highest housing density. More recently, Portlanders have show that they’re also interested in exploring the grittier parts of the NW District.

In the early aughts, when clothing designer Sarah Bibb opened her boutique, Folly, in the shadow of the I-405, there wasn't much else around, except for the ragtag creperie, Le Happy, and a couple of dive bars. Around the same time, eight blocks north of her, Steven Smith was crafting his first batches of tea in an old blacksmith's storefront. 

Today, many of the once defunct swaths of Slabtown have become home to outposts of some of Portland's popular businesses like Breakside Brewing, New Seasons, and Olympia Provisions.

Even with all of the newness that continues to come to the NW District, there are reminders of all that Portland has been since its earliest days. Besaw’s, the neighborhoods oldest restaurant (1903), and the first establishment in Oregon to get a liquor license, has rolled with the changes–prohibition, blight, brunch–through the years.

Just like the neighborhood, Besaw’s has reinvented itself many times over its hundred plus year-old history. And while its current incarnation is less scrappy than the original, it has remained true to its Northwest roots all along.

Foster-Powell by Chris Bonner

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Foster Powell neighborhood covers 565 acres and is the only triangle-shaped neighborhood in Portland. The area was sparsely populated by homesteaders when Phillip Foster arrived in the Oregon Territory in 1843. His wife, Mary Charlotte Pettygrove, happened to be the sister of Portland’s then mayor, Francis W. Pettygrove. The Fosters established a business selling merchandise in the city and also owned a farm at Eagle Creek. The main commercial corridor, Foster Road, is one of Portland’s three diagonal thoroughfares–Cully, Sandy & Foster–that originated as Indian pathways.

Most of Foster Powell was farmland before the arrival of the streetcar and the Interurban line. The 50th Avenue & Foster Road streetcar was completed in 1892 and it was the beginning of a transformation of the neighborhood from a pastoral area with farm and woodlands to a “streetcar suburb” of Portland. As Portland became more crowded in the early 20th century, more residents sought affordable housing just outside of the city. This is how Foster Powell begin to grow.

Foster road evolved from a dirt track used by farmers to transport their goods to the widest road in Portland, inspired by the wide impressive boulevards of Paris. The prevalence of the automobile further expanded the development of homes, schools, churches, and businesses beyond the streetcar line. Foster Road became and remains the social and commercial hub of the neighborhood. Foster Powell, Mt Scott-Arleta, and South Tabor were all annexed to Portland by an election in 1908.

The neighborhood continued to thrive throughout both World Wars but, along with most of the city, experienced a decline in the 1970s. Many affluent residents left the area for newer suburbs rapidly developing to the east. The effect on the commercial district was major with many retail shops closing along all three neighborhood boundary roads: Foster, Powell and SE 82nd.

Twenty years later, Foster Powell’s resurgence began as the steady rise in Portland’s residents began and people were drawn to the lower home prices and close proximity to Portland’s city center. Young families and immigrant communities moving into the area made Foster Powell one of Portland’s most diverse neighborhoods.


All three of Foster Powell’s borders are major thoroughfares–Powell Blvd (Hwy 26), Foster Road, and SE 82nd–giving residents great access to public transit along those routes. The neighborhood is also close to I-205 and major Max hubs.

Marysville Elementary (K-8) is the only public elementary and middle school within the neighborhood boundary. There is not a high school in the neighborhood, students would look to Grant High School in neighboring Lents, or Franklin High School in South Tabor.

Laurelwood Park is at the midpoint of the Foster Powell section of Foster Road and serves as an important public space. The park is being renovated this year as a result of an initiative started in 2013. Final plans for the park will be unveiled later this month. Kern Park, an acre and half, is a lovey park offering residents a softball field, basketball court and play area. Essex Park is the largest recreational park in the neighborhood at 4 acres. In addition to basketball courts, a baseball field, and picnic and play areas, this part also has tennis courts and splash pad.

Located right on Foster Road, Bread and Roses market stocks beautiful organic produce and dry goods, and Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Natural Grocer, and New Seasons all have branches nearby in adjacent neighborhoods.

Points of Interest

Multnomah Park Cemetery is a tranquil and interesting place to walk among tall trees, historic monuments and gravesites connected by winding paths. The property is one of fourteen historic cemeteries in the Metro area, many of which began as family plots in the 1880’s. Multnomah cemetery was established in 1888 by O. P. Lent, Gustaf Petersen, George P. Lent, Robert Gilbert and William Kern; the county acquired the land in 1944.

Portland Mercado is a one-of-a-kind economic incubator project founded by Portland non-profit Hacienda CDC. The building and surrounding lot offer space and business advising for Latino entrepreneurs making and selling traditional regional foods. A veritable celebration of latin cultures and food traditions, the Mercado is a wonderful, fun place to shop and eat!


Food and drink options have been steadily expanding in the neighborhood. For years Foster Powell has been known as a destination for great Vietnamese food with An Xuyen Bakery serving incredible banh mi and bao buns, and Rose VL serving both banh mi and pho.

Within the past couple years, a handful of new bars and restaurants have expanded dining options for residents. Pieper Cafe and micro-roaster Carnelian Coffee will be joined by a new coffee colleague soon when Favela, a Brazilian cafe, opens in the neighborhood this summer. Henry Higgins bagels and Off the Griddle, a vegan and vegetarian diner are popular options for the breakfast & brunch set. Assembly Brewing, serving their own PNW beers alongside Detroit-style pizza opened in late March. For the cocktail enthusiast, recently opened 5 and Dime offers a roster of impressive specialty cocktails and snacks.

If you’re tired of eating and drinking and looking for some active entertainment, one of the most popular spots in the neighborhood is Tango Berretin a popular studio and dance hall for Argentinian tango. They welcome newcomers and seasoned dancers alike!

University Park by Chris Bonner

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University Park neighborhood was named for the small private Catholic college, University of Portland, funded in 1901. Despite the neighborhood's name, it is not a traditional “college neighborhood” with abundant apartment buildings, cafes, and cheap eats. University Park is a quiet residential neighborhood with only one commercial corridor–a section of North Lombard–on its northern boundary.

The University is situated at the Southwestern tip of the neighborhood, overlooking the Willamette River. From the overlook, you get a view of the St. Johns bridge and the nearby railroad bridge. The University of Portland campus is lovely and many residents enjoy the winding and scenic bike trail along Willamette Blvd. The seasonal UP Theatre productions also draw local residents.

University Park has a mix of old bungalow homes, mid-century ranch properties, and new construction. There are wonderful areas with beautifully improved homes and some still in transition. Much of the area feels young and vibrant. The beautiful homes and buildings and old growth trees make this a very livable neighborhood.


Commuters have numerous options: a quick and easy bike ride to downtown via bike lane nearly the whole way, great mass transit options via bus and the Max light rail train located on Interstate Avenue and a 10-20 minute drive to downtown Portland via car. Residents can also drive north to cross the St. Johns bridge to avoid I-5 during busy commute times.

There is one public elementary school in the neighborhood, Astor School, Casita Montessori School which offers primary and elementary education, and Holy Cross Catholic School (K-8). The closest middle schools are George Middle School in St Johns and Ockley Green Middle School in Overlook.

Residents use the Jantzen Beach shopping center (Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, Michaels), the New Seasons Market on the northern edge of the neighborhood, and Safeway and Fred Meyer in nearby St. Johns. There are also weekend farmer's markets in St Johns and Kenton.


The University of Portland (UP) is a private Roman Catholic university and is affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross. It is the sister school of the University of Notre Dame. Founded in 1901, UP has a student body of about 3,900 students. It is widely known for its women's soccer program, which won the 2002 and 2005 Division I NCAA Women's Soccer Championships. UP is ranked 6th in the west for Regional Universities by U.S. News and World Report. It is the only university in Oregon to offer, at one location, a college of arts and sciences; a graduate school; and schools of business, education, engineering, and nursing.

The first institution located on Waud's Bluff was Portland University, which was established by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1891. Amid financial setbacks following the Panic of 1893, Portland University vacated the Bluff Campus to hold classes from 1896 to 1897 in East Portland, where it was joined temporarily by the recently insolvent College of Puget Sound.

According to University of Portland tradition, Archbishop Alexander Christie, the head of the Archdiocese of Oregon City, saw a large building on the bluff from aboard a ship on the nearby Willamette River. He learned that it was called West Hall and had been unoccupied for several years since the closure of Portland University.

The Archdiocese purchased West Hall (renamed Waldschmidt Hall in 1992) and the surrounding campus with financial assistance from the Congregation of Holy Cross. The new institution was named Columbia University after the nearby Columbia River. The university opened its doors to 52 young men on September 5, 1901, with eight Roman Catholic priests from the local archdiocese serving as professors. At the request of the archbishop, the Congregation of the Holy Cross agreed to take over ownership in 1902.

After two decades, Columbia University achieved junior college status. In 1925, the university's College of Arts and Sciences was founded, and in 1929, a class of seven men was awarded the university's first bachelor's degrees. In 1935, the school took on its present name. The 1930s also saw the St. Vincent Hospital School incorporated to the University as the School of Nursing, and the creation of the School of Business. In 1948 the school of Engineering was founded, followed by the Graduate School in 1950 and the School of Education in 1962.

University of Portland admitted women to all courses of study in 1951. Prior to this transition, Marylhurst University had been the only Catholic institution of higher learning to serve the educational needs of Oregon women. In 1967 ownership of the school was transferred from the Congregation of Holy Cross to a board of Regents. Multnomah College became part of the University of Portland in 1969.

There are numerous parks and community gardens in the neighborhood and nearby. Portsmouth Park is located at N. Stanford Avenue and Depauw Street where you will find a playground, soccer and softball fields. Portsmouth Community Garden is located at N. Hunt Street and Courtenay Avenue. McKenna Park at N. Wall Avenue and Princeton Street, has a basketball court, picnic tables, playground, and soccer field.

McCoy Park and Community Garden are located at N. Trenton Street and Newman Avenue. There is a basketball court, disabled access picnic area, disabled access play area, disabled access restroom, paths – paved, picnic shelter, picnic site – reservable, picnic tables, playground, spray feature, and public art. 

Northgate Park is located at N. Geneva Avenue and Fessenden Street.  Amenities include a baseball field, picnic tables, playground, soccer field, softball field, lighted tennis court and water play feature. University Park is located at 9009 N. Foss Avenue and amenities include picnic tables, playground, soccer and softball fields.



Laurelhurst by Chris Bonner

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In March of this year, the Laurelhurst neighborhood was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service. Eligibility for this type of designation requires that most buildings within the district maintain their historic appearance and the area must also be associated with some aspect of the area’s history and/or notable for its architecture or design. Laurelhurst is illustrative of Portland’s City Beautiful era-planning principles and its representation of popular trends in U.S. architecture of the 1910s and 1940s. Local government now has the authority to create additional protections and to review proposals to relocate or demolish properties within the boundaries of the designated area (see map here).

The land of the Laurelhurst neighborhood was originally owned by that most prominent of Portland pioneers, William S. Ladd, who bought up the area in a series of purchases in the 1860's and 70's.  Under Ladd's ownership, the land was turned into the Hazel Fern Farm and was mainly agricultural. After Ladd's death in 1893, however, the property was deeded to Ladd's son, who formed the Ladd Investment Company and eventually sold the 462-acre farm to the Laurelhurst Company for two million smackers in 1909.  The neighborhood was meant to be exclusively high class, with no apartments or commercial buildings allowed and a minimum value set for houses built there. Don't worry, though – the stately homes and bungalows may remain, but the elitist attitude has disappeared since those early days.


Straddling Northeast and Southeast Portland, Laurelhurst stretches from SE Stark up to I-84 in the NE, and from 32nd to 44th Avenues, east to west, making it a great, central location on the east side of the city.  It's bordered by the Kerns, Sullivan's Gulch, North Tabor, Hollywood, and Sunnyside neighborhoods, which provide many eating and shopping options in close distance – an important feature, as Laurelhurst itself is mainly residential.

There is just one elementary school within the neighborhood boundary, Laurelhurst School (K-8), but there are a couple others nearby, Beverly Cleary School (K-8), and Glencoe Elementary (K-5). If you are looking for a dedicated middle school, Mt Tabor Middle School is just to the southeast of the neighborhood. The neighborhood doesn’t have its own high school, but Grant High School is just outside the boundary in Hollywood.

points of interest

Laurelhurst features an atypical street design, with curvy roads winding around a central traffic circle.  You can't miss the gilded statue of Joan of Arc as you drive around; she was a gift from Dr. Henry Waldo Coe, who donated the statue in 1924 and gave Coe Circle its name.  

And then there's Laurelhurst Park, where you will find a horseshoe pit, basketball and tennis courts, huge trees, cute dogs galore, circles of hippies hula hooping, musicians practicing their instruments, and the famous duck pond, a one-time watering hole for cattle and swimming hole for the less bovine. The park has been around since 1912, and in 1919 the Pacific Coast Parks Association named it the most beautiful park on the west coast. Decades later, in 2001, it was named to the National Register of Historic Places (nearly 20 years ahead of the rest of the neighborhood), making it the first city park ever to make the register. Not too shabby!


So what to do when you're not picnicking in the park? There's not much more than houses in Laurelhurst, but there's plenty going on just outside it, within a few minutes' walk or bike ride.  Along the southern edge you'll find more than a thousand different beers at Belmont Station (yes, really!), and you can easily hop over to the Portland Nursery for all your plant and gardening needs.  The shops and restaurants along 28th Ave, aptly dubbed “Restaurant Row”, just north and south of Burnside, offer tons of entertainment options, such as the Laurelhurst Theater (opened in 1923, and providing $9 movies and beer for the last 10 years), and Migration Brewing and LaurelThirst Public House are located on Glisan St, just west of the Laurelhurst boundary. Laurelhurst Market, opened in 2009, now has transitioned from ingenue to old standby and is still the only butcher shop-cum-deli-cum-restaurant-cum-bar in town and it’s conveniently situated right on the corner of Burnside and 32nd. And if all that's not enough, it's only a short jaunt across the river to downtown, whether you're on a bike or in a car.

A beautiful residential neighborhood with lots of history and great homes – that's Laurelhurst!  Check it out now!

Marshall Park by Chris Bonner

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The Marshall Park neighborhood is named for the 390-acre park (with the same name) that runs along the eastern boundary of the neighborhood. Composed largely of residential and preserved natural areas, Marshall Park is a wonderful neighborhood for those seeking quiet and who enjoy the outdoors.

Residents appreciate the proximity to Multnomah Village, OSHU, downtown Portland, Lake Oswego, and access to I-5. Many homes in the area back up to dense forest. The architecture includes mid-century, ranch-style, split levels, modern, and new construction.


The closest schools for Marshall Park residents are Capitol Hill Elementary, Jackson Middle School, and Wilson High School.

There are multiple grocery stores in the area and also a farmers’ market in nearby Hillsdale. While there is not a commercial center in Marshall Park, there are numerous options for shopping and leisure in nearby Hillsdale, Multnomah Village, and Lake Oswego.

Public transportation to OHSU and downtown Portland is relatively easy on Trimet’s #12 route.

points of Interest

The namesake park, Marshall Park, is named after Frederick and Addie Mae Marshall who restored the landscape, which used to be a quarry, and donated it to the city in 1948. Tyron Creek runs the length of the park. The park is basically a canyon filled with hiking trails, a waterfall, and a play area.

Two other impressive natural areas are within minutes of the Marshall Park neighborhood. Bordering the southwest corner of the neighborhood is Maricara Natural Area, approximately 18 acres of varied terrain including wetlands and second-growth forest, with over 4,000 feet of hiking trails. If you need even more terrain to explore, head to Tryon Creek State Natural Area and wander its expansive 650 acres. Tryon Creek was named for Dr. Socrates Hotchkiss Tryon, an Oregon settler of 1850, who settled a claim near Oswego on which the park land is located.

Tryon Creek State Natural Area offers a wealth of programming including bird watching walks, events for children, and guided nature walks. For residents (and non-residents) who connect with the natural area, there are numerous opportunities to participate in events at the park through Friends of Tryon Creek an organization offering day camps, volunteer opportunities, and a robust backyard habitat program.


Oregon City by Chris Bonner

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Oregon City has long been a focal point of industry and commerce. Native Americans (Clowwewalla, Cashhooks, and Molalla Indians) had a robust fishing trade in the area we now call Oregon City. When settlers arrived in the early 1800s they brought diseases with them that decimated indigenous populations. The first settlers were two fur trading companies who came together to establish the Hudson Bay Company and made John McLoughlin (often called “the Father of the Oregon Country”) the head of operations in the area. 

McLoughlin staked a claim on the small swath of land overlooking the impressive Willamette Falls (which would provide a source of power) and built housing for himself and his employees. The settlement was known as Willamette Falls. Responding to the call of a mission for the Methodist Church, additional American settlers migrated overland to the area including Alvin F. Waller who established a sawmill and expressed plans for a flour mill too. Shortly after Waller's developments, McLoughlin platted and named the area Oregon City in 1844. 

Oregon City marked the end point of the Oregon Trail and in 1845 it also became the seat of the provisional government. In 1848 the Oregon Territory was officially created and Oregon City was its capital. Four years later, the capital was moved to Salem and in 1859 Oregon was granted statehood. The movement of the capital to Salem and the increase in population in Portland both eroded Oregon City’s stature as the central hub of Oregon but it remained the center of trade in the region with the opening of the state’s first paper mill.

Manufacturing supported growth in the area, but it was the success of the Willamette Falls Electric Company in transmitting electricity over long distance power lines that spurred the construction of the Interurban Railway, making it possible for people to live in Oregon City and commute to work in Portland. This led to the expansion of residential developments which continued through the 1900s.

Oregon City persisted as a center of industry and remains a city firmly connected to that history even though the last paper mill by the falls shut down in 2011. The city has been actively working to expand Oregon City’s reputation with programs like the Blue Collar Creative campaign (2010) intended to bring new small businesses to its downtown, and the Riverwalk Legacy Project (2011) which will honor the city’s history, provide public access to one of the areas most valuable natural areas–and resources–while protecting precious habitats and creating new economic development opportunities.


Oregon City School District encompasses seven elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and four public charter schools.

There are 22 parks in Oregon City and an extensive trails system designed to provide residents and visitors access to natural and recreational areas. The parks offer a range of amenities including a skate park, BBQ areas, dog parks, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, horseshoes, a boat launch, and basketball and tennis courts.


Given Oregon City’s history, there are many sites and landmarks to visit including The End of the Oregon Trail, the McLoughlin House, and the Museum of the Oregon Territory. Get a sneak peek here with this Travel Oregon video.

Another unique attraction in Oregon City is the Municipal Elevator–one of only four municipal elevators in the country–which will carry you 130 feet up (for free) from downtown to the bluff that is level with the top of Willamette Falls, offering incredible views of both downtown and Willamette Falls. The elevator has a wild history of its own including tales of the days when some “passengers had to wiggle out of a trap door and down a narrow ladder”.

Willamette Falls are the largest falls in the state and the sixth largest in the country by volume. It’s a little tricky to get up close to the falls which is why the Riverwalk Legacy Project is so exciting. If you want to explore the falls in depth from the comfort of your couch, check out this segment by OPB about a group who kayaked to the base of the falls and dove to photograph the unique wildlife of the turbulent waters.


There is no shortage of places to eat and drink in Oregon City. Both Willamette Week and Eater have done thorough roundups of Oregon City in the last few months- proving that there is an increasing interest in the area for both customers and restaurateurs and brewers!

Check out Willamette Week’s 36 hours in Oregon City and Eater’s roundup of best places to eat and drink in Oregon City that they compiled in honor of 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail in 2018.

Love Letter to the Real Estate Market by Chris Bonner

When I was in college, an economics professor told us a story. The year he got his Doctorate in economics, he thought it would be a good idea to invest in the stock market and put his newfound knowledge to use.  He found a stock that looked promising based on earnings and capitalization and all sorts of logical reasons.  Shortly after he invested in it, it skyrocketed.  He was thrilled.  His research and acumen had really paid off. Then a funny thing happened.  It plummeted to well below what he had bought it for. Turns out, it was Paramount Studios stock and the script for the next Star Trek movie had leaked and the Trekkies didn't like it, so they bought up stock to try to influence the script. When it didn't work, they all sold.

I remember that story whenever I think of markets and how they work.  As the Real Estate market is so close to home for me and my clients, you can imagine I pay a lot of attention to it. And what I love about the Real Estate market is that the product behind the investment has tangible value and the consumer base will always need it.  This is not to say that it doesn't have its ups and downs, but that the market always returns to value, and that value is something you can touch.  It is much less vulnerable to the emotional swings of investors that can get online and click a button or call a stockbroker and sell or buy.  The lack of liquidity of the asset and the fact that it represents (for most people) their home, means it is less volatile.

The latest slowing of some sectors of the Real Estate market has gotten everyone whipped up and caused some distress in those investing in it and those involved in selling it. The best insight I can offer is that it appears that the market is in a "normalization" mode, and simply reflecting the fact that price increases over the last 7 or 8 years have been dramatic, and that wages have simply not caught up.  You can see from the chart that we have blown past the peak prices of 2007 and are safely out of the doldrums of the "Great Debacle" as we call it.

Of course, if you have any specific concerns about the value of your home or investment and want a quick reality check, feel free to call and we can talk specifics.  But otherwise, relax and enjoy the fact that you are invested in one of the best-performing markets in the Nation! 


Hosford-Abernethy by Chris Bonner

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Are you looking for a charming Portland neighborhood that’s full of history and beautiful homes? Do you want to be close to downtown and near shops, restaurants, and cafes?  Do you crave streets lined with big trees?  Do you like traffic circles?  Then head over to the Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood! Bordered by the Willamette River on the west, Hawthorne Boulevard to the north, Powell Boulevard to the south, and 29th Avenue to the east, the Hosford-Abernethy(H-A) neighborhood is a convenient jump over the Hawthorne Bridge from downtown and close to the bustle of the Hawthorne District, yet it retains that quiet, residential feel we love so much. The neighborhood is best known for Ladd’s Addition, where the streets are liberated from Portland’s usual grid layout, and instead run diagonally in an 80-square-block, wagon-wheel-like display of roadway defiance.

The development of the H-A neighborhood began in the mid 19th century.  A gentleman named Gideon Tibbetts came to town via the Oregon Trail and claimed the land that is now just south of Division Street, from the river to about 26th Avenue.  He cleared the land, started growing wheat, and eventually opened the Brooklyn Mills Flour plant. The land he claimed is now known as Tibbetts’ Addition. During that time, James B. Stephens was involved in his own crazy land-claiming business, snatching up the land that is today called - you guessed it - Stephen’s Addition, which stretches west from SE 12th Ave to the river and from Hawthorne Blvd to Division St.  Stephens owned Portland’s first Willamette River ferry and operated it from his home on the east bank.  Meanwhile, William S. Ladd, a one-time liquor and wine merchant, who became Portland’s mayor in 1854, was also staking claims to land.

Ladd eventually left the liquor business and got into real estate, banking, and transportation. When he bought the 126-acre area we know today as Ladd’s Addition (just to the east of Stephen’s Addition) it was farmland. The design for Ladd’s Addition was done by Ladd himself who was inspired by areas of Washington D.C. that used the European hub and spoke layout. The result is a totally unique Portland neighborhood complete with a central traffic circle and four small diamond-shaped rose gardens. Ladd’s Addition was designated a historic district in 1988 by the National Register of Historic Places, and today you can see a beautiful variety of old homes and huge elm trees, which line the streets. 


Elementary Schools include Abernethy Elementary and the Woodward Montessori School. There is one middle school, Hosford Middle School, and one high school, Grover Cleveland High School. For kids interested in music, there is the popular School of Rock and for kids who are drawn to dance and movement, the Center for Movement Arts.

While Hosford-Abernethy does not have huge acreage in parks lands within its boundaries, the neighborhood maintains a park-like feel because of its many large, older trees. When the Portland Parks Department did a tree study in 2012, they counted over 5400 individual trees of 97 different species within the neighborhood!

Three wonderful parks–Powell Park to the south, Sewallcrest Park to the east, and Colonel Summers Park to the north–are either adjacent or a few blocks beyond the neighborhood boundaries.


Palio Espresso and Dessert House is a great spot right in the middle of Ladd’s Addition, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee and some first rate desserts in a cozy setting. Little T Bakery is also nearby and offers gorgeous breads plus a selection of tasty breakfast and lunch options. 

Anyone in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood will get to know old standby like Genie’s Cafe for brunch or Los Gorditos for old-school Mexican food, as well as all the neighborhoods newer arrivals that are clustered around SE Division and SE 11th like Pine State Biscuits, Virtuous Pie, and Aviv. New Seasons will provide all the local and organic goodness you could hope for.  For science enthusiasts there, OMSI in the neighborhood, providing a great day of science exhibits, talks, activities, and OMNIMAX entertainment.

There are plenty of breweries to keep you drinking locally too. Baerlic, Grixsen, Ground Breaker, and if you like more variety there’s always the beer garden APEX with 50 beers on tap at any given time.

In the evening, head to Nuestra Cocina for some classy Mexican fare or saddle up to the bar at Jacqueline for some freshly shucked oysters, then hit the Clinton Street Theater for an interesting movie or documentary (or the weekly Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday nights!).  The Night Light Lounge is a nice spot for some post-film drinks, and Hammy’s Pizza is famously open till 4am for the late-night craving.

The Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood is the perfect place for taking walks, admiring architecture, heading to a local cafe, and enjoying Portland. It’s a great place to visit and you might find you also want to live there!

Woodlawn by Chris Bonner

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In the early 1860’s, settlers arrived in the area we now call Woodlawn. It developed into a small, rural farming community on the outskirts of unincorporated Albina. In the 1880s the railroad decided to build a train station in Woodlawn on it’s route from Portland to Vancouver and this brought commercial interests to the area. Woodlawn was annexed to Portland (as part of Albina) in the early 1890s.

At the turn of the century, the neighborhood immediately west of Woodlawn, Piedmont, distinguished itself as a strictly residential area. This pushed commercial interests into surrounding neighborhoods, including Woodlawn. Wander the neighborhood and you will find evidence of the long history in the varied architecture; it ranges from Queen Anne’s to craftsman bungalows, smaller homes, many of which were built in the 40s and 50s to house working class residents, ranch-style, and modern condos.

Long-time Woodlawn resident, Anjala Ehelebe, has written a rich history of the neighborhood. Her book ‘Portland’s Woodlawn Neighborhood’ is definitely worth a read, especially if you’re considering making Woodlawn your new home!


Woodlawn is close to I-5 and has Highway 30, a quick route to I-205, along it’s northern edge. There are two elementary schools in the area, Woodlawn Elementary and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. The nearest middle school is Ockley Green Middle School in Arbor Lodge. Jefferson High School is the closest high school, located in the Piedmont neighborhood.

Woodlawn Park is a wonderful neighborhood resource and gathering spot with abundant picnic areas, soccer, baseball and softball fields, basketball courts, a stage, and a playground area. Surrounded by large trees, this park is also a great spot for walking and it is right in the middle of the neighborhood.


Woodlawn is a tidy neighborhood with a bustling business district directly at its center. The seasonal farmers’ market (May-October) is held here too. You can eat and drink well without walking far in Woodlawn because most businesses hover around Dekum just off the SE corner of Woodlawn Park. Firehouse restaurant was one of the earliest gathering places to open (2008) in this most recent wave of commercial development. The restaurant is in the historic fire station and serves wood fired pizzas and other new American fare.

Directly across the street is a fantastic trifecta of businesses: Woodlawn Coffee & Pastry, Good Neighbor Pizza, and Breakside Brewing’s original location. That’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in one neat row! Just down the street is a one-of-a-kind business in Portland called the Oregon Public Ale House, it’s a non-profit pub that donates all proceeds (after operating expenses and contingency savings) to their select charity partners. When you order, you get to select which organization your proceeds will support.

Back towards the park is Grand Army Tavern, one of the new additions to the neighborhood. This is a great place to stop in for a cocktail and farm-to-table bites. If you venture to the east side of the park (a whopping .3 mile walk) you will be richly rewarded at Ps & Qs Market where you’ll find down-home cooking and can pick up small necessities or indulgences on your way home.