Henry Pittock was born in London, England on March 1, 1834 or 1835—his death certificate states his birth year was 1835, while his baptismal record states 1834. Henry grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and emigrated west on the Oregon Trail in 1853.
Arriving in Portland “barefoot and without a cent,” Henry found work at The Weekly Oregonian newspaper , eventually taking ownership of The Oregonian in return for owed back wages. In 1860, he married Georgiana Burton. They had at least eight children, six surviving to adulthood.
Henry was an avid outdoorsman, climbing mountains, hiking, and biking into his 80s. Active in the Portland community, Henry helped establish the Portland Rose Festival, Mazamas climbing club, and Oregon Riding Club, which promoted cycling and better roads. A devoted family man, Henry provided for them by diversifying into real estate, banking, sheep ranching, mining, and paper manufacturing. At his death in 1919, Henry left an estate worth almost $8 million.
In celebration of Henry’s birthday, explore these photo highlights from his adventurous life!