Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Daniel H. Lownsdale - Portland Founder

momument @ lownsdale park
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Daniel H. Lowndale is a famous Portland founder who doesn't get the name credit as others who were here in the 1840-50s. Everyone knows names like Lovejoy (founder), Overton (founder), Couch (first shipping business), Stark, Flanders etc. I was surprised to learn that Mr. Lownsdale may have been even more influential in Portland's growth and current state than these others. It's one thing to found a city and name it (Lovejoy/Overton), but another to stick around and watch it grow and prosper. (Overton quickly left Portland for the qold rush in California and Lovejoy moved back to Oregon City)
Daniel Lownsdale came to the Oregon Territory in the 1840's and and established the first tannery in the far Northwest where PGE field (Civic Stadium) now sits. In the winter of 1845-46, Lovejoy sold his share of Portland (approx 300 acres of downtown) to Benjamin Star and in 1848, Pettygrove (the other founder) sold his interest to Daniel Lownsdale. The new proprietors added two new partners, Stephen Coffin and W.W. Chapman and formed the Townsite Promotion Company. An excerpt from a diary of that year says, "Portland now has two white houses and one brick and three wood-colored frame house and a few cabins."
Daneil Lownsdale eventually owned all of Portland and under his influence, Portland actively sought to attract businesses and customers to patronize them. As a large land owner, Mr. Lownsdale donated to the city of Portland what is now the Lownsdale square (4th and Salmon) and the South park blocks.
Thank you Mr. Lownsdale for helping Portland become what it is today. I know I am probably not doing you the justice you deserve with my quick history of you, but I think those in blogosphere will appreciate the story.

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