Vanport, Oregon 1942-1948 

 

Photo courtesy PSU archives

In this photo taken from the west, one can see what would become the future site of The Vanport Circuit, West Delta Park Raceway and Portland International Raceway.

 

Photo courtesy PSU archives

Vanport was really never meant to be a permanent city. It was quickly constructed as a place for housing the thousands of people coming into the area to work the ship yards. It was built without any oversight from the state, city or county. Many code standards were not exactly enforced. From the accounts I've read, it was far from a nice place to live. And became even worse after the war ended.

  

Photo courtesy PSU archives

The city of Vanport included 9,942 individual housing units, 700 apartment buildings and 17 multiple dwelling units. There were 181 public service buildings and 45 special public aid service buildings. Including an administrative center, three fire stations, a police station, a hospital, a US post office, a library, five grade schools, six nursery schools, five recreation halls, a movie theater, ten ice houses and six maintenance buildings. All relied on coal as a source of heat.

  

Photo courtesy PSU archives

Memorial Day 1948. The entire city of Vanport is literally destroyed by the flood. Leaving over 18,500 people homeless.  

 

 

Photo courtesy City of Portland archives (file #5000-03)

 After the waters receded, not much was left of the city.

 

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Copyright © 2002 Greg Rollin. All photos and copyrighted information used with permission. While I have gone to much effort to ensure the accuracy of the information posted here, the possibility for error exists. In my research, I sometimes found conflicting information even from credible sources. Should you see anything you believe to be in error, please e-mail ME