The Chronicle -

By Finn J.D. John
Chronicle columnist 

Offbeat Oregon - Portland's 'shanghai Tunnels' are mostly myth, but not entirely


May 30, 2019

Postcard image provided

A scene from Charlie Chaplain's movie "Shanghaied," which came out in 1915, several years after most historians consider the age of "shanghaiing" to have more or less ended.

One of the most popular tourist attractions for visitors to Portland is a tour of the "Shanghai Tunnels" that run beneath Old Town's streets.

Historians of old Portland tend to scoff at the whole enterprise. Doug Kenck-Crispin once memorably referred to the process by which the Shanghai Tunnel story developed as "The Bulls**ttening." Barney Blalock, Portland's dean of living waterfront historians, is also extremely skeptical.

And they're right ... up to a point. The fact is, there is pretty good evidence that parts of the underground network we know as "the Shanghai Tunnels" today were us...

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