City honors historic community of Vanport on May 30 with 'Vanport Day of Remembrance'
PORTLAND, Ore. – As a tribute to the historic Portland community of Vanport, the city is officially marking May 30 as "Vanport Day of Remembrance.”
Mayor Ted Wheeler and the city council made the proclamation on Wednesday, nearly a week ahead of the day.
Vanport was built along the Columbia River in 1942 as a housing project for shipbuilders and their families during World War II.
The community was just outside Portland-proper and on the Oregon side of Vancouver (hence the name), on what is now called Delta Park and the Portland International Raceway.
It soon became Oregon's second largest and most diverse city, with more than 40,000 residents, before it was destroyed by flooding in 1948.
Former Vanport residents spoke at the city council meeting, remembering their younger years in the city.
Beatrice Gilmore grew up in Vanport and compared its diversity to baking a cake.
“The ethnicities, the communications that took place, the melding and mixing. And so, in order for you and me and all of our populations now to do that, we could learn a lot by studying the history of Vanport,” said Gilmore.
The Vanport Mosiac Festival leads up to the “Vanport Day of Remembrance” and celebrates the city’s rich history. The festival runs from May 26 to 29 this year.