Port of Kalama enjoys a rich history that weaves through time along waterways, railways and roadways to drive home why transportation continues to be the community’s mainstay today.
The Columbia River attracted a steady stream of settlers like namesake Hawaiian John Kalama who arrived in Kalama in 1837 to act as a middleman between local Cowlitz Tribe and the Hudson Bay Company.
When Kalama first wandered into the locale that now bears his name, he was struck by its beauty. Gentle green slopes ran down to the deep, massive Columbia River slicing its way through the valley.
In 1870, the Irish and Chinese arrived to work on the railroad. The Scandinavians with interests in fishing and logging settled in Kalama as well.
Progress continued; and today highway, rail and water meet in Kalama at some of the most efficient transportation networks in the country. Kalama’s particular landscape gave birth to a booming transportation system impacting the area both culturally and economically—ultimately transforming the area into its position today as an internationally-connected community. Much of what made Kalama replete and thriving in the past, still holds true today. Kalama remains an ideal place to do business and an enviable quality of life.
We love it here! Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!