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Portland Water Bureau

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A Sheet of Portland Water History

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Portland Water Company capital stock certificate

Stanley Jackson of Ocean Park, Washington was going through some old boxes and found a capital stock certificate for the historic Portland Water Company. The stock was purchased on September 18, 1886 and issued to his great, great-grandfather Jacob Kamm.

Photo of Jacob KammJacob Kamm was an early pioneer in Portland. He was the founder of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company in 1879 and the Vancouver Transportation Company, both which built and operated steamboats and steamships.  He was also a major shareholder in the U.S. National Bank of Portland.  Mr. Kamm built one of the first large homes in Portland, the landmark Jacob Kamm House. It was located where present day Lincoln High School now sits.

The Portland Water Company was sold on January 1, 1887 to the Water Committee to establish a city-operated municipal water works.  The 125 shares valued at $500 each was worth $62,500 in 1886.  In today’s dollars, the value of the stock would be would $1,572,712.

Tim Hall
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