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Milwaukie, a former mill town on the east bank of the Willamette River just south of Portland, competed with Portland’s shipping sector in the 19th century.
This welcoming metropolis is well-known for its excellent shopping, wine bars, and taprooms like Breakside Brewery, and has earned the nickname “Dogwood City of the West” due to the abundance of dogwood trees in the area during spring. Explore the river in a kayak, do rock climbing, or take a dip at the water park.
Named after Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Milwaukie was founded in 1847 and legally platted in 1849 as a competitor to upriver Oregon City by Lot Whitcomb. The city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was also often spelt “Milwaukie” until the present form was established. Stories vary, but some say the city in Oregon spelled its name differently to avoid confusion at the post office.
In 1848, Whitcomb landed in Oregon and established himself on a gift land claim, where he subsequently constructed a sawmill and a gristmill. At one point, Milwaukie was on par with Portland and Oregon City, but Portland ultimately surpassed them due to its deeper harbor. In 1850, Whitcomb became the first postmaster of the Milwaukie post office. On February 4, 1903, the Oregon State Assembly formally recognized the town of Milwaukie.
When the Oregon and California Railroad built a station there in 1870, they first called it Milwaukee. The original Milwaukie station was renamed Lambert after Joseph H. Lambert, the pioneer orchardist who created the Lambert cherry, when the city expanded away from the railroad and a branch line was constructed over the Willamette to Oswego. Until its final name change to East Milwaukie in 1916, the station was known as East Milwaukee.
Ah Bing, an orchard supervisor hired by Seth Lewelling, is responsible for the creation of many cherry cultivars, including the Bing. The city has erected a mural in Mr. Bing’s honor.
Milwaukie’s downtown is undergoing a revitalization at the moment, with the addition of new residences, retail space, and a riverside park.
There was a real estate boom in Milwaukie between 2015 and 2016. According to realtor.com, it was the tenth hottest housing market in 2016. The completion of TriMet’s Orange Line in 2015 was quickly noted as a major lure to the city.
A $1.4 billion endeavor, it will link the nearby suburb to the middle of Portland proper. One year after the opening of the Orange Line, housing prices in Milwaukie have increased by 12.2%, and municipal authorities report that there are no empty shops in the central business district.