Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
Portland, Oregon's name was determined by a coin flip.
Portland is the largest city in Oregon with a population of about 600,000 as of 2013. The city was named in 1845. Asa Lovejoy and Francis Pettygrove had to make the decision as they both owned the area. They had their hometowns in mind for potential names. Lovejoy was from Boston, Massachusetts, while Pettygrove was from Portland, Maine.
Finally, a coin toss decided whether Oregon's largest city would be named Portland or Boston. Lovejoy and Pettygrove tossed a coin three times and Pettygrove won two times out of three. The Oregon Historical Society Museum displays the coin believed to have been used.
More about Portland:
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!