City of Portland / Portland Downtown Historic District
In 1833, Elisha Newman filed a federal land grant for extensive land around the Looking Glass and Grand Rivers what would later become the village of Portland. Early Ionia County histories state that Philo Bogue built a trading post on the Grand Driver later that year, selling New York goods to local travelers. Settlers began arriving in numbers in 1836, and in 1837 a post office opened in the new town under the name of “Portland.” The village was incorporated in 1869. The railroad added a stop at Portland that same year, spurring industrial growth. Mills, furniture factories, metal foundries, ad a washing machine manufacturer were among the successful businesses. Cultural centers such as an 1880 Opera House and the 1905 Carnegie Library enriched village life, Continuing to grow, Portland incorporated as a city in 1969.