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After years of delay by the civil war and bickering titans, the railroad west from St. Paul finally opened in 1883 allowing accessibility for throngs of people to emigrate to the cities of the northwest. The population of Portland, Oregon was 17,577 when the final spike of the Northern Pacific Transcontinental railroad was driven in Gold Creek, Montana on September 8th, and just a few years later in 1900, the population had swelled to 90,426.
Alex and Julianna found this bustling, dynamic city when they stepped off the train at the Oregon terminus in Albina in the spring of 1884. (The railroad ended on the east bank of the Willamette River until 1888 when the first bridge, now known as the Steel Bridge spanned the river.) Accompanied by their small daughter and another couple, they came with high hopes and a variety of skills. Like the others, they were lured by the availability of cheap land and the railroad’s advertisements of good jobs.
After numerous set backs and disappointments, they found their homestead on the land above the bluff overlooking the confluence of the Sandy and the Columbia Rivers, east of what later became the thriving village of Troutdale. Their community became known as Pleasant View; the place near where eagles nest.