Saturday, May 30, 2015

"Retail Birthplace of U-Haul" marker

For our next adventure, we're tracking down one of Portland's more unusual historical markers. In front of the U-Haul dealership at SE 88th & Foster is a sign proclaiming the spot as the "Retail Birthplace of U-Haul". The 'Retail' qualifier is there because the company itself was founded in Ridgefield, WA (a small town north of Vancouver) in 1945. But this location was the first actual dealership, apparently. The company's history page goes on in more detail, if you're curious; there's even an official book, if you're that curious. In any case, corporate headquarters moved to Phoenix many years ago in search of a more favorable regulatory environment.

In the unlikely event you've been following this humble blog since the mid-2000s, you might remember I mentioned this marker once before, in a post from September 2006. Which in turn points to a Roadside America page that describes the marker, and I have no idea where I found that page anymore. Probably on the late, lamented ORBlogs aggregator, or in someone's RSS feed, because 2006. I never actually promised I was going to go find this marker, but it did spend close to 9 years at the bottom of various todo lists before I got around to it, which might be a record (so far). But then again, I've never once claimed to be in the breaking news business.

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