Friday, January 24, 2020


The flip of a coin, this U.S. penny minted in 1835, decided (in 1845) whether this moist city, at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, should be named Portland or Boston.

Its two early settlers, Asa Lovejoy from Boston, Massachusetts, and Francis Pettygrove from Portland, Maine, wanted to name their new home after their respective hometowns.

A two-out-of-three coin toss settled the matter.

The actual coin is on view at the Oregon Historical Society Museum.