You asked for ‘em, we’re making it happen! In case you haven’t caught wind, DPC is now offering a series of three recurring walking tours of downtown Portland. The first three tours went great, and we asked each of our guides for a recap…in hopes you’ll join them this month.
Today’s recap comes from Dr. Reiko Hillyer, who leads Old Town/ Chinatown (UPDATE: OCTOBER’S TOUR IS NOW SOLD OUT. YOU CAN STILL SIGN UP FOR NEXT MONTH’S TOUR, NOV 10th).
The first day of the Old Town/Chinatown tour went well. Though attendance was small (I even tried unsuccessfully to peel people off the Voodoo Donuts line), it felt like a strong debut. I tried to set up my discussion of the Chinese and Japanese immigrants in Portland by providing the context of the industrial development of Portland, and how the city fathers struggled to create order and gentility in a disorderly city.
We stopped at some sites that might be familiar to Portlanders – Skidmore Fountain, Erikson’s Saloon – and looked at them in the context of the reform movements and working-class culture of the late 19th Century. We also stopped at sites associated with Margaret Sanger, anti-Chinese rioting, a Japanese-American lawyer-turned FBI informant, and talk about everything from Beaux-Arts architecture to the historical significance of chop suey.
Even as information-packed as the tour is, participants asked good questions which I am hoping to be able to answer in the future. One question I can answer: What the Voodoo Donuts building used to be! I am looking forward to sharing this experience again.
Don’t miss your chance to sign up for Dr. Hillyer’s November 10th Chinatown tour. Details here.