Welcome to Portland Michigan

The city of Portland also known as “the city with 2 rivers” is located between the Looking Glass and Gerard Rivers and between Gerard and Grand Rapids when traveling on I96. The residents enjoy a variety of activities on the rivers as well as the trails and parks. The city also has a new “rails to trails” system that is growing larger every year. The Riverwalk system will soon encompass all the schools and parks in the area. This community is totally walkable and residents from Gerard come to walk the community. The community is the best of both worlds having both rural and urban attractions. There is plenty to see and do that is offered by the environment of the university. This people care about each other and the neighborhoods are somewhat old fashioned and very close knit. The city is on the grow with new buildings seen on the east side, historic buildings being renovated, and the downtown area features a new city hall. Portland is a city being reborn for the future with a touch of the past.

How Portland Got Its Name
Soon after the settlers arrived they called a meeting to decide what to name the city so that any mail they got from family would reach them. There were hundreds of names suggested and they had a difficult time deciding. Some of the names that were suggested were Boguetown, Jamestown, Johnstown, Newmanville and Boylesville. Finally one family member suggested to another family member Portland. Everyone like the name because of the landing so the city was named Portland.

The Main Street of Portland
In 2003 the state of Michigan was the first state to have their Main Street became part of the “cool streets” program. This program contributed to bringing new life to the downtown area and also contributed to strengthening the business community the program is also responsible for special events such h as Oktoberfest. The program has also been recognized by the National Historical Society of Michigan.

Portland History

  • The Historic Bridges Of Portland

    The city of Portland has 4 historic metal truss bridges which have been preserved. Two of the four bridges are span structures which make them very impressive structures when they are compared to the other bridges in Michigan. The other bridge is a san bridge making it the only remaining

  • History of Churches in Portland

    CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, 1853 Ten years after their organization the Congregationalists built their Church at the corner of Kent and Beers Street (Riverside Drive), now 422 Kent Street. It stood in the woods for twenty-four years while the town grew up the hills, and 1877 the Church followed to its present

  • Portland Michigan Post Office

    The Portland postoffice was established in 1837 and mail was delivered once a week bya man on horseback. Joshua Boyer was the first Postmaster.

  • History of the Portland Fire Department

    THE WABANAH ENGINE COMPANY No. 1 Copperplate handwriting on the first page of a large, leather-bound ledger states: “Record of the Proceedings of the Wabanah Engine Co. No. I of the Village of Portland, and Hose Company #1 of the Village of Portland, Mich.” The rest of the book is

  • Portland’s first newspaper

    Portland’s first newspaper, the “Portland Advertiser,” was established by J. H. Wickwire and the first number appeared in October, 1867, being printed in Grand Rapids. Joseph W. Bailey purchased a half-interest and after a year became editor and sole owner. The name was changed to the “Portland Observer” in 1870.