Portland's Dark Past: Shanghai Tunnels of Portland

By | August 9, 2018

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A room in one of the hidden in Portland, Oregon

Beneath the streets of Portland, Oregon, there is a series of hidden tunnels. These 150-plus year old tunnels connected the basements and cellars of several of the city’s oldest establishments, primarily hotels, saloons, and taverns. Although some claimed the tunnels were designed to transport goods and products from cargo ships in the port into the city proper, and to transfer goods more easily between businesses, the tunnel system had a much more sinister use. In the mid-1800s through the early 1900s, the city of Portland, Oregon, earned a reputation for being the Shanghai Capital of the World…thanks, in part, to the Shanghai Tunnels.

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Unsuspected Men Were Commonly “Shanghaied”

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