Chinese and Jewish Americans and the Making of Portland

On Display until July 7, 2024
Pittock Mansion
From Near and Far: Chinese and Jewish Americans and the Making of Portland

For Teachers

Though often overlooked, Chinese and Jewish Portlanders are among the city’s founders and first non-Native people to settle in Portland. Both the Chinese and Jewish communities are as integral to the development of Portland just like Henry Pittock and other recognized founders. They have lived here since the late 1840s, shortly before the city’s incorporation in 1851. At turn of 20th century, Chinese people made up 10% of Portland’s total population, however, it is known that that number is an undercount. Their contributions in business, agriculture, and industry transformed Portland from a 2.1 square-mile stumptown into a city. Faced with different, but overlapping challenges and prejudices, Chinese and Jewish Portlanders created resilient and dynamic communities that shifted and broadened the definitions of what it means to an Oregonian and a Portlander.

ODE Standards Alignment

This exhibit explores themes of how a local group of people shaped history, overcame adversity, and shows historical sources and artifacts to illuminate this history. This lesson and the exhibit fulfills ODE standards of Historical Knowledge, Historical Thinking, and Social Science Analysis. Below is a sampling of the ODE standards this information covers for the 3rd grade.

Download full resource guide here.


About Pittock Mansion: Pittock Mansion is a 1914 historic house museum in Portland, Oregon  operated by Pittock Mansion Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in collaboration with  Portland Parks & Recreation that owns and maintains the buildings on Pittock Campus. Pittock  Mansion Society has a mission to inspire understanding and stewardship of Portland history  through the Mansion, its collections, and its programs. Visit to learn more.