The Willamette River was Portland’s first industrial area. When settlers began to build communities along the Willamette in the mid-1800s, the cheapest and most efficient way to transport goods in and out of the city was by water, on the Willamette and Columbia rivers. And the harbor’s influence has continued through every era since: ships, ferries, wharves, docks, bridges and even waterside parks have all played important roles in the development of the city itself, and of local commerce and civic life.
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