Slabtown Festival & Hockey in NW Portland

Hello from the History Department —

FACT: Did you know that Portland is the only non-winning city listed as champions on hockey’s famous Stanley Cup? Although the Portland Rosebuds did not win the Stanley Cup, the team had the words “Portland Ore./PCHA Champions/1915–16” engraved on the Cup after obtaining the trophy from the previous year’s champions, the Vancouver Millionaires.

Mark your calendars: Saturday, September 14, is the 13th Annual Slabtown Festival, celebrating Slabtown (the Rosebud’s home turf) and also the NW Portland neighborhood in which McMenamins Tavern & Pool and the 23rd Ave Bottle Shop are located. All are welcome to come out for the parade, live music, neighborhood history, kids’ stuff, food and drinks and more. Click here for all the Festival details.

Below is a post from 2013, celebrating the long-gone Portland Ice Arena, home to the Rosebuds, and the neighborhood’s connections to several McMenamins properties….

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The Portland Ice Arena (a.k.a. the Marshall Street Ice Rink) was a 2,000-seat multi-purpose arena located at NW 20th Ave. and Marshall St. At its completion, the Oregonian enthused, “This city will be able to boast of the largest rink of its kind in the world.”

While the rink was home to the Portland Rosebuds Pacific Coast Hockey Association franchise from 1914 to 1918, the general public was also invited to enjoy the ice.

At the rink’s grand opening, the newspaper wrote: “Rusty skates, rocker skates, hockey skates, tubular skates, all bearing evidence of ancient manufacture, assisted many around the big ice arena and bore mute testimony of owners having rummaged through old trunks for nearly forgotten steels.”

The Portland Rosebuds name was used by two professional teams based in Portland. Both played their home games at the Portland Ice Arena. The first team played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1914 to 1918.

The handsome devils shown here are the 1916 Rosebuds (a.k.a. the Uncle Sams), the first United States-based team to participate in the Stanley Cup Finals! Sadly, they lost to the Montreal Canadiens.

Although they did not win the Stanley Cup, the Rosebuds had the words “Portland Ore./PCHA Champions/1915–16” engraved on the Cup after obtaining the trophy from the previous year’s champions, the Vancouver Millionaires. Portland is only non-winning city listed as champions on the Stanley Cup.

Portland’s later pro hockey teams, the Eagles and Penguins, also played their home games at the Marshall Street rink. Coaching both teams was former Montreal Maroons Canadiens star, Jimmy Ward. His son, Pete, graduated from Kennedy School and had an impressive Major League Baseball career.

After years of championship hockey, fun free skates and more, the massive hippodrome at 20th and Marshall was closed in the 1950s due to fire concerns. The rink was donated to the University of Portland, to be considered as a home for the Pilots basketball team. But the fire hazards were too great to overcome.

After passing through other sets of hands, including those of a certain real estate developer named Al Winter, one-time kingpin of Portland’s underworld and namesake of our Al’s Den at the Crystal Hotel, the Marshall Union Manor retirement center was built on the site in 1974. The structure still stands today.

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