CITIES: Misnomer, Ore.

Most of Oregon's Willamette River was shaded to the water's edge by a vast and unbroken Douglas fir forest in 1845, but two optimistic New Englanders who had just decided to found a metropolis on its west bank paid little attention to this awesome sylvan roadblock. They had a more important problem—picking a name for their dream city. Neither wasted a moment considering any local Indian words. Massachusetts-born Asa Lovejoy insistently cried: "Boston!" Maine-born Francis Pettygrove stubbornly cried: "Portland!" Finally they tossed a big, old-fashioned copper one-cent piece. Petty-grove and Portland...

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