elcome to "The Oaks in the Progressive Era," a website that uses the history of a local amusement park as a window into the cultural past of Portland, Oregon. Between 1905 and 1925 park promoters at The Oaks presented the resort as “The Coney Island of the West.” Today, Oaks Amusement Park has the unique honor of being one of the few continuously-operating amusement parks of its kind in the United States.
A key to the park’s success has been the management’s ability to keep up with the times and to provide amusements that reflect the desires of its patrons. During the Progressive Era especially, managers at The Oaks needed to keep on its toes to gauge the kind of amusements that would be welcomed in a society undergoing a transition in cultural values.
Progress through this site by following the cues at the bottom of each page. Be sure to stop and check out the many primary source documents you’ll find along the way! Hop between pages with the navigation buttons on the left or with the site index.