The historic Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood can trace its roots back to the mid 19th century. Its namesakes, William M Gilbert and Jackson Powell, were among the adventurers who braved the unknown to settle in the Northwest. Jackson Powell arrived before Oregon achieved statehood, to take advantage of the Land Donation Act, which predated the better-known Homestead Act and offered 320 to 640 acres free if you made it to the territory between September 27th (when the act was passed) and December 1st 1850. William M Gilbert arrived around 1890, and was an influential local fixture credited by The Centennial History of Oregon as “one of the promoters of the first roads and streets in his community.”
This culturally diverse neighborhood has a long history of celebrating and caring for its own. Both the Earl Boyles Elementary School and 8-acre Park were named for a beloved janitor who served the school for 19 years in the 1930’s and ‘40’s. The school has continued that legacy, offering free breakfast for all students, a weekly food pantry, adult education, and more.
As population density increases, the Laurelhurst-Powell neighborhood becomes more and more distinctive for it’s profusion of wide open public spaces. The area boasts numerous parks, including Lynchwood, with its 9-acre dog park, Parklane, which holds various sports courts and play areas within its 25 acres, and the Powell Butte, a 600-acre behemoth atop an extinct volcano that boasts 9 miles of foot/bike/horse trails and views of 5 mountains. If that’s not enough hiking for you, the neighborhood also borders the Old Holgate Trail and the iconic Springwater Corridor.
The neighborhood also features a variety of restaurants, from Asian vegetarian to southern to sushi, as well as the Fubonn, Oregon’s largest Asian Shopping Center. Get out and enjoy Laurelhurst-Powell’s Botanical Center, skate park, Wildlife Refuge, and much much more!