The Families Gather at the River


in I Wonder as I Wander

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780813125978
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135564 | DOI:
The Families Gather at the River

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Portland was becoming a successful community whose economic opportunity and river access enticed many immigrants from Germany and Ireland to settle there. The city was a hive of distilleries, foundries, convents, saloons, schools, churches, mercantile shops, banks, warehouses, a vast cement factory, rail yards, lumberyards, furniture factories, and a horse-drawn ferry that crossed the river to New Albany. The inconvenience and financial cost of transportation to circumvent the falls finally compelled the city to build a canal around the falls connecting Portland directly to Louisville. In 1871 the canal was enlarged to accommodate the volume of traffic and the expanded size of the ships, but this also had the unfortunate effect of eventually bypassing Portland entirely. As the waterfront wharves and warehouses gradually became silent, John Jacob Niles's ancestors started assembling in Portland.

Keywords: Portland; Germany; Ireland; Louisville; canal; John Jacob Niles

Chapter.  5375 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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