Mill Ends Park is located in the centre of downtown Portland, Oregon, and is considered the tiniest park in the world. It lies on a small median strip on SW Naito Parkway, close to the Burnside Bridge. With a mere two-foot diameter, it came about as the result of an unsuccessful development venture and was later made into a public area.
Mill Ends Park may be tiny, but it has a storied past and is now a beloved symbol of Portland’s culture. In 1948, local journalist Dick Fagan spotted an abandoned hole in the median strip and decided to convert it into a park. Fagan, who wrote a column for The Oregon Journal, named the park after his column’s fictitious character, ‘Mill Ends,’ which referred to the oddly shaped scraps of wood left over from a sawmill. This small park has since become a source of pride and joy for the people of Portland.
Mill Ends Park has become a much-loved destination in Portland, drawing plenty of visitors from far and wide. Despite its minuscule size, the park has seen its fair share of remarkable occurrences. In 1976, the mayor of Portland declared the park a republic, granting it its own flag and carrying out a grand inaugural ceremony. The park has also been the site of many weddings, including one where the bride and groom landed in style – via a helicopter.
One of the park’s most beloved inhabitants was a leprechaun statue known as Patrick O’Toole. It was created in 1985 by Steve Patrick, a local sculptor, and quickly became a much-loved attraction. Unfortunately, the original statue was stolen multiple times throughout the years. In 2001, it was replaced with a new one, which now serves as a popular backdrop for tourists taking photos.
Mill Ends Park may be small, but it has certainly made a big impact on Portland’s culture. It has become a symbol of the city’s offbeat, creative spirit and draws visitors from around the globe. Although it may not be the grandest park, Mill Ends Park is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of Portland’s residents, and a must-see spot for any tourist. Its unique history and charm make it a great place to explore, and a great way to experience the city. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Mill Ends Park is sure to leave a lasting impression.