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Category Archives: Celebrating History!

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!

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

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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!

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Discover 100! Our humble beginnings and the railroad that put Kalama on the map

Imagine. The 1870s in Kalama. Way back when the Northern Pacific Railroad was constructed between Tacoma and our humble town. That one bold development is what really put Kalama on the map.

Early developers purchased 700 acres here in Kalama and broke ground for the terminus of the new railroad in May 1870. And just like that—the population started to grow with employees of the railroad operations.

Kalama’s population swelled to 3,500 with the railroad building a dock, a sawmill, a car shop, a roundhouse, a turntable, hotels, a hospital, stores, and homes. Soon added to the burgeoning town of Kalama were, of course, saloons, a brewery, and a gambling hall! And the naturally deep segment of river meant sailing vessels could reliably reach Kalama adding to the commerce.

The 1870s are also when trains floated on the Columbia River!

After the Civil War railroads knit the country together, laying tracks at a furious pace but those tracks stopped at the edge of the Columbia River—right here in Kalama.

For 25 years, from 1883 to 1909, the train was ferried across the river by the world’s 2nd largest ferry at that time – the Tacoma – which could transport either 12 passenger cars or 27 freight cars across the Columbia River from Kalama to Goble, Oregon.

And the beloved Minnetonka was the little engine that could pull that big train on and off the ferry.

One auspicious visitor to float across the Columbia by train immediately saw the potential of the region. 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.”

And now look at you now, Port of Kalama! Happy 100th years of progress!

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Welcome, 2020: it’s a big year for the Port of Kalama! Discover 100!

Happy New Year! As we welcome 2020, we look to a big milestone for the Port of Kalama! Our Discover! campaign turns to a focus on our history and 100 years of progress. Join us!

There’s so much to celebrate. We are the fortunate heirs of visionaries, who a century ago formed the Port of Kalama in a beautiful land on a strategic location along the Columbia River.

The Port of Kalama is unique. We leverage international economic prosperity with environmental stewardship—all in partnership with the people of this community—to ensure a rich quality of life.

At the intersection of waterways, railways and roadways, you’ve helped make the Port of Kalama the 3rd largest bulk exporter on the West Coast.

Help us tell the story!

As we celebrate our Centennial Birthday, we want to hear from you—you, our neighbors. You, who like us, call this special place home.

We will celebrate the Port of Kalama’s rich history in Spring 2020. And we want your help telling the stories of people who worked at the Port, whether that’s you or someone you know. Do you have news clippings? Photos? Any story—past or present is welcome.

Contact us today to share in the celebration—our mutual place in history. Just visit us at https://portofkalama.com/mystory/

Happy New Year!

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We give thanks.

As we celebrate this season of gratitude, we honor the rich quality of life and profound sense of community we experience here in Kalama—our home.

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Help us celebrate a big one! Port of Kalama turns 100 years old next year

The Port of Kalama will celebrate its Centennial Birthday in 2020 and we’d like you to be a part of the story!

In the Spring of 2020, we will all celebrate the Port of Kalama’s rich history and unique place in the Kalama community as well as in the Pacific Northwest—we invite you to be a part of that story!

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