History

History

A rich history, a unique location.

The 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 the 1830’s to act as a middleman between local tribes and the Hudson Bay Company. In 1870, Irish and Chinese settlers worked on the railroad. Scandinavians interested in fishing and logging also settled in Kalama. 

History
History

Kalama’s particular landscape–at the confluence of river, rail and road–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.

Check out the Interpretive Center.

Much of what made Kalama replete and thriving in the past still holds true today. Kalama remains an ideal place to do business, just 30 minutes from Portland International Airport.

For more on the history of the Port of Kalama, visit History of the Port of Kalama at www.historylink.org.

Discover & Celebrate History!

Quite the Renaissance man, Kalama resident Hite Imus not only led the move to create the Port of Kalama

Here in Kalama, we’re the heirs of visionaries, who a century ago formed the Port of Kalama—in a beautiful

If you build it, they will come. And come they did. Grains. Down the river, through Kalama and out

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

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

Look how far you’ve grown, Port of Kalama! The 1990s exploded with infrastructure improvements that continue to attract new

Dredging—the process keeps Kalama’s deep draft port navigable and has provided clean recreational beaches. It all began in 1914,

Timber was king in the early days of Kalama. The railroad needed wood for fuel and track ties. And

Something fishy happened where the Port of Kalama sits today. The Doty Fish Company was hatched in 1895. Built

Remember the 70s? No, not those 70s. The 1870s! That’s when Kalama started to become a transportation hub inspired

River Cam

Sponsored by McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge and Port of Kalama
Kalama, WA
History
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