Skip to Content

Category Archives: Celebrating History!

All hail the USS Oregon!

The USS Oregon—of her many heroic feats, pulling Kalama out from the Great Depression is a local triumph.

After serving in several major wars, the Oregon came out of retirement when iron was needed for WWII.  She was towed to the Port of Kalama in March 1943 to be salvaged.

That launched a flurry of robust economic activity as workers were hired to break down the ship and repurpose its parts.

It was a boon for Kalama, patriotic and profitable—and you’re still going strong!

Check out our entertaining video on the USS Oregon!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

0 Continue Reading →

Vroom! Vroom!

The post Depression era found Kalama in a great position to prosper, due to the planning of its leaders in forming the Port.

The Port of Kalama stood ready to rev up the local economy with help from Federal New Deal Programs of the 1930s.

Completion of the Bonneville Dam in 1937 by the Army Corps of Engineers brought clean, low-cost hydroelectric power to the region and also mitigated the Columbia River flooding. Bonus!

Stability for the Port of Kalama attracted new industries, such as grain, and chemical companies in addition to wood products. Many of the businesses attracted from the 40s to the 60s remain important tenants of the Port today—thank you, TEMCO, RSG Gram, and Emerald Kalama!

One hundred years later, you’re better than ever.

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

0 Continue Reading →

Port of Kalama is born!

Quite the Renaissance man, Kalama resident Hite Imus not only led the move to create the Port of Kalama but served as the city’s first mayor, county clerk, prosecuting attorney, and ran the Land Office. He also founded, owned and wrote the editorial page for the Kalama Bulletin for 40 years. Whew!

Imus, along with civic leaders JG Gruver and FL Jenkins, put their plan for an economic engine into action and the Port of Kalama was inaugurated in April 1920, with 600 waterfront acres and a commercial dock that served maritime industries.

Check out this entertaining video! 

100 years later you’re still going strong!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

0 Continue Reading →

Go with the flow!

Dredging—the process keeps Kalama’s deep draft port navigable and has provided clean recreational beaches.

It all began in 1914, when the Columbia River in Kalama was deepened.

While Kalama’s fishing and lumber industries thrived at that time, without a large public dock it could not accommodate a visit by big ships.

A light bulb popped as civic leaders began to envision an economic engine in Kalama that could get a piece of that action and improve the lives of the community.

This nugget of inspiration one hundred years ago grew into today’s Port of Kalama.

Watch the video here.

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

0 Continue Reading →

When timber was king.

Timber was king in the early days of Kalama.

The railroad needed wood for fuel and track ties. And the Gold Rush demanded plenty to shore up mines and also build out towns that sprouted to house those seeking fortunes in silver and gold.

In 1907, The Mountain Timber Company was born on the banks of Kalama.

Timber laid the tracks for the railway and the railway laid tracks for the eventual Port of Kalama.

Enjoy this entertaining video celebrating when Timber was King in Kalama!

 Happy 100th birthday, Port of Kalama!

0 Continue Reading →

Fish On!

Something fishy happened where the Port of Kalama sits today.

The Doty Fish Company was hatched in 1895.

Built right on the Columbia River, fishermen could unload their catch directly to the processing plant taking advantage of the deep-water port—a feature the Port of Kalama capitalizes on to this day.

Through the intersection of the river and rail, the world got a taste of Pacific salmon.

Yum!

We hope you’ll enjoy this entertaining video celebrating our 100th birthday!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

0 Continue Reading →

Remember the 70s? Not Those 70s! The 1870s!

Remember the 70s?

No, not those 70s. The 1870s!

That’s when Kalama started to become a transportation hub inspired by nationwide railroad construction.

One auspicious visitor to come to Kalama by train called out the region’s potential.

Teddy Roosevelt foretold the success of the yet-to-be established Port of Kalama in a 1903 speech,  “I realize as every thinking man must the wonderful future that lies before this state, for it is one in which in its future development is going to show as great and varied industrial growth as New York or Pennsylvania.”

Right on, Kalama! And look at you now!

Check out our entertaining new video in our series of throwback history lessons on the Port!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

0 Continue Reading →

The heirs of visionaries.

Here in Kalama, we’re the heirs of visionaries, who a century ago formed the Port of Kalama—in a beautiful land, at a strategic location, along the Columbia River.

Grab your hat, we’re going on a trip back in time through a series of 12 short videos to celebrate 100 years of service to community.

Join us to trace our heritage and find out just how the Port became a hub for work and play–with a mission to ensure economic vitality, create local jobs, provide environmental stewardship and recreational opportunity.

Enjoy the ride with us and watch our first video!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

 

0 Continue Reading →

Discover 100! Did you know that Teddy Roosevelt himself visited Kalama?

One auspicious visitor to arrive at the site of the Port of Kalama by train in 1903 immediately saw the potential of the vast region.

Teddy Roosevelt himself foretold the success of the yet-to-be established Port of Kalama in a moving speech:

“I realize as every thinking man must the wonderful future that lies before this state, for it is one in which in its future development is going to show as great and varied industrial growth as New York or Pennsylvania.”

Today, Port of Kalama is one of the jewels of the Pacific Northwest, with prime industrial land, an exceptional Industrial Park and a new Business Park with coveted mixed-use commercial land. More than 30 companies, employing more than 1,200 people, now call the Port of Kalama home.

Look at you now, Port of Kalama! Happy 100 years of progress!

0 Continue Reading →

Discover 100! A rich history, a unique location

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.

Check out this entertaining video to learn more!

We love it here! Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

0 Continue Reading →