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Pittock Mansion

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mt. Hood and downtown Portland from Pittock Mansion (bobcat)
Pittock Mansion (cfm)


Pittock Acres is a 54-acre Portland public park which connects Washington Park to Forest Park. Although a fee is required to tour the mansion's interior ($12 for adults), you may roam the park grounds for free. If you arrive by hiking the Wildwood Trail to the parking lot, be sure to walk around to the east side of the mansion for a spectacular view, clouds permitting, of downtown Portland and Mount Hood.

Henry Pittock (1836-1919) arrived in the Portland area in 1853 via the Oregon Trail. He took a job as a typesetter for a budding newspaper, the Weekly Oregonian. He became a partner in lieu of back wages, and the editor, Thomas Dryer, handed operations over to him in 1860. Pittock started the Daily Oregonian and built it into a lasting enterprise. By the 1890s, the Oregonian was the state's largest newspaper. Pittock also invested heavily in the Pacific Northwest's real estate and infrastructure, and he and his wife Georgiana were active in Portland's social and charity scene. Pittock was a founder of the Mazamas and one of the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Hood.

Pittock Mansion was ready for the Pittocks by 1914. Unfortunately, Henry Pittock died in 1919; his estate of $7.9 million was then the largest in Oregon's history. Pittock's descendants continued to live in the mansion until 1958. Then the house was put up for sale, but it had no serious takers and stayed empty. During the 1962 Columbus Day Storm, the mansion suffered serous water damage, and there was a plan to knock it down and build a subdivision on Pittock Hill. Instead, members of the local citizenry contributed funds to help the City of Portland purchase the property, fully renovate the mansion, and turn it into a public park. In 2007, the non-profit Pittock Mansion Society took over operation of Pittock Mansion from the Portland Parks and Recreation Department.

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