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Underground History: Gone With The Water, Vanport Remembered

Vanport_flood_overturned_cars.jpg
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What was left of Vanport just after the 1948 flood.

Vanport was a thriving city during World War II, with a high percentage of African-Americans who came to Portland to work in the shipyards.  It was still home to thousands of people in 1948, when a Columbia River flood broke through a dike and wiped the community out in the blink of an eye, killing 15 people. 

Vanport was not rebuilt, but it is remembered.  The Vanport Mosaic works to preserve the memories of Vanport, through stories and songs, tours and theater, and more. 

We learn about Vanport Mosaic in this month's edition of Underground History, our joint project with the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology.  Chelsea Rose from SOULA returns, bringing Laura Lo Forti from Vanport Mosaic; Laura's preferred job title is "story midwife."  
 

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.