Portland’s Forest Park: A Historical Look

By Dudek
Forest Park is both a city park and one of the largest urban forests in the U.S. It’s also a complex cultural landscape that has seen dramatic changes over time. One of the best ways to understand how human activities have changed Forest Park over time is to look at historic maps of the area.

The following video provides a 2.5-minute historical look at Forest Park, featuring historic maps as well as aerial images and other archival material. Focusing mainly on the northern part of the park, you’ll see some of the earliest wagon roads in the area and entire neighborhoods that were planned but never built. You’ll meet the Kitchell family, who raised sheep in Forest Park before losing their home in a tragic fire. You’ll see how city officials responded to the biggest fire in Forest Park’s history. And (hopefully!) you’ll appreciate why Forest Park is now more important than ever!

This video was created as a collaboration between Dudek and the Forest Park Conservancy. We are grateful to The Oregonian for permission to use historic newspaper content in the video.