Portland in Multnomah County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
The Very First of its Kind
Vanport soon became Oregon's second largest city. Nicknamed Kaiserville, most Vanporters lived in one-bedroom apartments. There was a library, post-office, police station, infirmary, public cafeteria, stores, and a 750-seat movie theater. While most Americans had no medical insurance, Kaiser's workers enjoyed a prepaid health plan. After the war, the plan and its doctors became the Kaiser Permanente medical and dental care program.
In 1948 at 4:17pm on Memorial Day, a portion of the dike surrounding Vanport was broken. The Columbia River swollen with early spring snowmelt flowed quickly into Vanport. Floodwaters 15 feet deep quickly washed Vanport away.
Residents had been assured by authorities that the dikes were holding and that they would be warned in ample time to evacuate. The break
With an overwhelming number of displaced people, private citizens took many Vanporters into their homes. Bitterness over the lack of proper warning by the authorities resulted in court cases. Ultimately, the courts decided the Federal government could not be held responsible for a natural disaster.
Erected 2009 by Oregon Travel Information Council.
Location. 45° 35.881′ N, 122° 41.182′ W. Marker is in Portland, Oregon, in Multnomah County. Marker is on North Broadacre Road 0.1 miles west of North Expo Road. Touch for map. The marker is located at the parking area for the West Delta Park dog park. It is opposite the main entrance to Portland International Raceway. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1809 N. Broadacre Road, Portland OR 97217, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Heart of a Trading Empire (approx. 1.7 miles away in Washington); A Busy Place Is This (approx. 1.7 miles away in Washington); United States Army Arrives (approx. 1.7 miles away in Washington); Captain George Vancouver Monument Plaza (approx. 1.8 miles away in Washington); Captain George Vancouver Monument (approx. 1.8 miles away in Washington); A River of Settlers (approx. 1.8 miles away in Washington); Ilchee (approx. 2 miles away in Washington); Esther Short (approx. 2 miles away in Washington).
Also see . . .
1. Vanport - Oregon Travel Experience Audio Tour. (Submitted on November 25, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
2. Oregon History Project: The Vanport Flood & Racial Change in Portland. (Submitted on November 25, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
3. Oregon Historical Quarterly: Memories of the 1948 Vanport Flood. (Submitted on November 25, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 25, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page has been viewed 753 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 25, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.