Today, Portland, Oregon, is a city of majestic bridges crisscrossing the deep swath of the Willamette River. A century ago, riverboat pilots would have witnessed a flurry of stevedores and longshoremen hurrying along the wharves. Situated as the terminus of sea lanes and railroads, with easy access to the wheat fields, sawmills and dairies of the Willamette Valley, Portland quickly became a rich and powerful seaport. As the city changed, so too did the role of the sailor--once bartered by shanghai masters, later elevated to well-paid and respected mariner. Drawing on primary source material, previously unpublished photographs and thirty-three years of waterfront work, local author Barney Blalock recalls the city's vanished waterfront in these tales of sea dogs, salty days and the river's tides.
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