Skip to Content

Category Archives: Discover! Port of Kalama

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.


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 →

Anchorage Launch Services signs lease for new commercial dock space at Port of Kalama

Port of Kalama announced today that Anchorage Launch Services has signed a contract to lease the Port’s new commercial dock and operate their maritime transportation services. The new tenant will use the dock as its Anchorage Launch Services Terminal to provide light cargo and commercial passenger services to the maritime shipping industry on the Columbia River from Astoria to Portland/Vancouver—and everywhere in between. Anchorage Launch Services delivers supplies, goods and products to ships to keep their operations moving efficiently.

“There is not a facility like the Port of Kalama’s commercial wharf on the entire Columbia River—this exceptional centrally-located facility includes a crane and forklift to keep us operating 24/7, 365 days a year and that enables us to serve ships more efficiently than ever,” says Alex Scott, chief operating officer, Anchorage Launch Services. “This new facility and home for our operations raises the bar on what we can offer our clients—our new terminal will save untold amounts of time and dollars for the maritime industry. This could not be a better location to serve commerce on the entire river.”

The Port modified and refurbished components of a barge to develop the long-planned commercial dock last year and prepare for a maritime client including furnishing and installing bulkheads, bullrails, fenders, ladders, new spud piles and a gangway landing platform.

“We are incredibly excited to have a maritime service provider like Anchorage Launch Services serving clients from our new commercial wharf,” says Troy Stariha, president, Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners. “Not only will their presence here better serve our visiting commercial ships—and those at ports along the Columbia River—but the growing business will add local jobs and contribute to the local economy as operations get underway. We are delighted they have chosen the Port of Kalama to call home.”

The Port of Kalama is located in Southwest Washington just off I-5 on the Columbia River. It boasts an industrial area that includes five miles of riverfront property adjacent to the 43′ federally-maintained deep draft navigation channel. There are over 30 businesses located at the Port of Kalama, employing over 1,200 people. The port offers industrial sites, Industrial Park, new Business Park and state of the art Marine Terminals just 30-minutes from Portland International Airport.



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 →