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Portland's past is filled with tales of shanghaied sailors and opium dens. In the mid 1800s, Portland was a major Northwest trading center. With a population of mostly young male migratory workers, the town gained a reputation for violence and lawlessness. Over the years, stories of the era have taken on legendary proportions. "Portland Noir" unveils the true story of the city's sordid history.

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Oregon Experience

Portland Noir

OPB | Sept. 26, 2013 10 a.m.

From shanghaied sailors to opium dens, Portland’s illicit past is legendary. But how much of it is true?  Portland Noir examines Old Town’s sordid history.

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Funding Provided By: Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer, Robert D. and Marcia H. Randall Charitable Trust, Oregon Cultural Trust, Clark Foundation

OREGON EXPERIENCE is a co-production of Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Historical Society.