Tanya March leads a group on the Slabtown history tour


Prepare for a trip back in time via oral lore and historic images. The start location rotates between our different Slabtown sponsors within two blocks of NW Savier and and NW 23rd Ave. The walk is fairly flat and follows NW 23rd Avenue to Thurman Street and heads west to NW 27th Avenue. The walking tour typically takes 90 minutes, although an extended two-hour route is available if requested and agreed upon. Guests are shown historic images as we visit the former sites of the Vaughn Street Baseball Park, Guilds Lake Courts War Housing, the  entrance to the 1905 Lewis and Clark Fair, and the world's largest log cabin, which became the world's largest log cabin fire in 1964.  We share with you numerous historic images of lost buildings, as well as take you past many existing historic sites on the return trip to NW 23rd Avenue.

This tour is offered twice weekly on Thursdays and Saturdays in the afternoons rain or shine.
Private tours can be made available any time of day; simply e-mail [email protected] and set up a reservation request.
All private tours for individuals and gift card holders require 24-hour advanced reservations.

The origins of Slabtown

Slabtown's name comes from the detritus of the community's lumber mills that first populated the area with industrial laborers. Mills would sell slabs of log edges, cut away to square logs, as a cheap source of fuel. Stacks of slabs, like those pictured, were a mark of lower working class community. Courtesy of Norm Gholston

Historic NW Portland home in Slabtown with wood slabs stacked in front