by Justina Quagliata

Smack in the middle of Portland’s Goose Hollow neighborhood, JELD-WEN Field is home to the Portland Timbers, the Portland State Vikings and formerly, gaggles of geese. One of Portland’s oldest neighborhoods, Goose Hollow is bounded on the north by Burnside Street, on the east by Interstate 405, on the south by Highway 26 and Washington Park on the west.

Goose Hollow, like Portland, was established in 1845, when it was home to farmers in the habit of letting their geese roam free around the neighborhood surrounding the gulch, or hollow. It wasn’t until 1875 that The Oregonian dubbed the area Goose Hollow after disturbances occurred regarding who owned which geese. 

In the 1880s, the area was almost renamed “Paradise Valley,” as “Goose Hollow” was considered less than ideal. Despite this, the “Goose Hollow” moniker stuck in certain corners though fell from favor during the early to mid-1900s. Future mayor Bud Clark—then a pub owner—revived the name in 1967 when he opened the Goose Hollow Inn on Jefferson Street. Other monikers for Goose Hollow and surrounding areas include Gander Ridge, Robinson’s Hill, the Lownsdale District and Canyon Creek.

The focus of Goose Hollow was centered on Tanner Creek, a 50-foot deep gulch measuring two blocks wide and 20 blocks long, beginning at 16th Avenue and Jefferson Street and emptying into Couch Lake at what is now Old Town/Chinatown and the Pearl District.

Named for Portland’s first tannery, Tanner Creek flooded roads after rain, and made city development difficult by not only dividing the area, but also sinking foundations up to 18 inches a year. The gulch was filled and redirected through a pipe between 1887 and 1894 using rocks and dirt from developments north of Burnside. Today, the creek runs up to fifty feet underground in certain areas, however, it courses just seven feet under JELD-WEN Field.

Vista Bridge, constructed in 1926 connects the King’s Hill and Vista Ridge neighborhoods and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The title shot of the IFC show Portlandia was taken from Vista Bridge.

Though the geese and vegetables are gone, Goose Hollow’s rich history is commemorated at the Goose Hollow/King’s Hill MAX Station and the log slab artwork centered between the adidas Timbers Team Store and the Timbers Army section of JELD-WEN Field. To learn more, visit the history mural on the east side of JELD-WEN Field.