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Large numbers of pioneer settlers began arriving in the Willamette Valley in the 1830s via the Oregon Trail, though life was originally centered in nearby Oregon City.
In the early 1840s a new settlement emerged ten miles from the mouth of the Willamette River, In 1845 Overton sold his remaining half of the claim to Francis W. Both Pettygrove and Lovejoy wished to rename "The Clearing" after their respective hometowns (Lovejoy's being Boston, and Pettygrove's, Portland).
Council Crest Park, commonly thought of as the highest point within city limits, is in the West Hills and rises to an elevation of 1,073 feet (327 m) The city's actual high point is a little-known and infrequently accessed point of 1,180 feet (360 m) near Forest Park. Tabor, an extinct volcanic cinder cone, which rises to 636 feet (194 m). Other bridges that span the Willamette river in the downtown area include the Burnside Bridge, the Ross Island Bridge (both built 1926), and the double-decker Marquam Bridge (built 1966).
Nearby Powell Butte and Rocky Butte rise to 614 feet (187 m) and 612 feet (187 m), respectively. Other bridges outside the downtown area include the Sellwood Bridge (built 2016) to the south; and the St.
After the city's economy experienced an industrial boom during World War II, its hard-edged reputation began to dissipate.
Its Combined Statistical Area (CSA) ranks 19th-largest with a population of around 3.2 million.
Approximately 60% of Oregon's population resides within the Portland metropolitan area.
Portland's access to the Pacific Ocean via the Willamette and Columbia rivers, as well as its easy access to the agricultural Tualatin Valley via the "Great Plank Road" (the route of current-day U. Route 26), provided the pioneer city with an advantage over other nearby ports, and it grew very quickly.
Portland remained the major port in the Pacific Northwest for much of the 19th century, until the 1890s, when Seattle's deepwater harbor was connected to the rest of the mainland by rail, affording an inland route without the treacherous navigation of the Columbia River.This controversy was settled with a coin toss that Pettygrove won in a series of two out of three tosses, thereby providing Portland with its namesake.