Boring, Oregon

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Unincorporated community
Entrance to Boring on Oregon Route 212
Entrance to Boring on Oregon Route 212
Motto: "The most exciting place to live."
Boring is located in Oregon
Location within the state of Oregon
Coordinates: 45°25′48″N 122°22′25″W / 45.43000°N 122.37361°W / 45.43000; -122.37361Coordinates: 45°25′48″N 122°22′25″W / 45.43000°N 122.37361°W / 45.43000; -122.37361
Country United States
State Oregon
County Clackamas
Population (2000)
 • Total 8,000[1]
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Area code(s) 503 and 971

Boring is an unincorporated community located in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. A part of the Portland metropolitan area, the town is located along Oregon Route 212, approximately eight miles (13 km) south of Gresham and about the same distance from Clackamas, both suburbs of Portland. The town is located twelve miles (19 km) southeast of downtown Portland.[2]

Named after William Harrison Boring, a farmer who settled the area in 1856, Boring was officially founded as a railroad town in 1903 after the Portland Railway, Light and Power Company constructed a line to the area. The former railway is now part of the Springwater Corridor, a rail trail which begins in Boring and ends at the Eastbank Esplanade along the Willamette River in southeast Portland. After the town's establishment, it became a major logging community prior to and during World War I due to the abundance of timber in the area. In addition to logging, plant nurseries and agriculture have also historically been major economic forces in the town.

In 2012, the town was paired as a sister city to the town of Dull, Scotland, United Kingdom, due to their unusual names.[3]


The Boring Lava Fields, which lie north of Boring, were named after the town

The land on which Boring was built was a former lava field. The Boring Lava Field, which takes its namesake from the town, is located just north of Boring.[2] There are approximately 80 lava vents across the area, remnants of the volcanic activity that occurred there roughly 2.6 million years ago.[2] The lava field extends across surrounding Portland and Vancouver, Washington, though the volcanic centers are extinct.[2] The land that would later become Boring had no known inhabitants, though the Clackamas Tribe had a camp located south of Boring, near present-day Oregon City, along the Willamette River.[4] By 1855, the remaining members of the tribe had relocated to the Grand Ronde.[4]

Settlers began to arrive in the Oregon Territory in mid-1800s, after the establishment of Portland. Boring was named after William H. Boring, an early resident of the area who began farming there in 1856.[3][5][6] Boring was a Union veteran who had moved out to Oregon after the Civil War.[7] Boring died in 1932 at the age of 91 and was buried beside his wife Sarah in Damascus Pioneer Cemetery.[8]

Boring was platted in 1903 as "Boring Junction".[9] The post office was established and named "Boring" the same year, and the builders of the interurban railway adopted Boring as the name of the community.[6] An electric trolley operated on the railroad line to Portland, Oregon and Gresham, which began boarding passengers in 1905.[10] The electric trolley severely cut travel time to and from the city; horse and buggy travel from Boring to Portland took an average of six hours, while a trip to Portland via the trolley system took only one hour.[10] Though younger students in the area attended a local school built on Richey Road, high school students in Boring commuted via trolley to Gresham and Portland to attend high schools there.[10] After World War II and the prominence of automobile ownership, the trolley ceased passenger operations to Portland, but continued to travel between Boring and Gresham.[10] The railway went defunct in the following years, and was incorporated as part of the Springwater Corridor, a rail trail that begins in Boring and ends at the Eastbank Esplanade in downtown Portland.

In 2005, citizens of Boring applied to become one of the first legally recognized villages in Oregon.[11] However, after many months of polarizing debate on the village issue, residents narrowly defeated the village designation in a town hall referendum in August 2006, with 293 votes in favor and 298 against.[12]

The unusual name of the town often prompts its inclusion on lists of unusual place names.[13][14] The name "Boring" is embraced by locals, however, and found in many local businesses, resulting in many road signs that seem humorous to outsiders. Boosters of the village designation use the slogan "The most exciting place to live."[15]

In June 2012, in a play on the town's name, the Boring Community Planning Organization voted to "pair" with Dull, Scotland, for the purpose of promoting tourism in both towns.[16][17] Dull is a tiny village of only 84 residents, while Boring has about 8,000.[1] In 2013, a farm community and former gold prospecting site Bland Shire in West Wyalong, New South Wales, Australia[18][19] was added to the mix to create not a "twinned town" relationship but a "League of Extraordinary Communities" grouping Dull, Boring and Bland[20][21] as a means of encouraging travel,[20] promoting all three communities.[22][23]


Two teenagers picking berries on a berry farm in Boring, 1946

After its inception as a railroad town, Boring was a hub for the timber industry in the Northwest, beginning in the pre-World War I era and continuing throughout much of the 20th century. One of the first mills established in Boring was the Hillyard Sawmill, which began operating in the 1890s; the mill produced over 30,000 feet (9,100 m) of lumber per day, mostly consisting of railroad ties.[24] Bert Jonsrud, an early resident of the area, would later establish the Jonsrud Bros. Lumber Company, which would become the main lumber mill in the town. In a 1915 survey of timber and logging camps in the Pacific Northwest, it was reported that Jonsrud mill was producing 20,000 feet (6,100 m) of lumber per day.[25]

The Portland Traction Company, a now-defunct railroad, operated a rail line from Portland (near the current location of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) on the Willamette River) to Boring via Gresham.[26] In the 1950s, the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific railroads jointly took over operation of the remaining portion of the line for freight operations. Much of the line has since been purchased by local governments for the creation of a long-distance rail trail named the Springwater Corridor.

The community is also home to a large number of plant nurseries and berry farms,[27] including Iseli Nursery,[28] and Liepold Farms, who supplies produce to the local restaurant chain Burgerville.[29]

The town was also home to Wescott's, builder of fiberglass reproduction bodies for custom cars,[30] but that shop is officially in the city of Damascus now that there are official city limits. The town is home of a campus of Guide Dogs For The Blind, Inc., the oldest guide dog training program on the US west coast.[31]


Pendarvis Farm, a local farm between Boring and Happy Valley, hosts an annual music festival called Pickathon, featuring independent musicians from around the country.[32] Liepold Farms holds an annual fall festival and corn maze that runs each October[33] and the town also holds an annual Christmas tree lighting.[34]

A local theater operates out of Boring as well, Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company, and holds seasonal plays in the town's former grange hall.[35]

In 2013, the town was home to an event hosted by Vitaminwater, in a series in which the company gave Boring and the town of Normal, Illinois, "makeovers". The event featured musical performances by Santigold, Matt & Kim, and Yung Skeeter, as well as standup comedy performances which included Amy Schumer.[36]

Boring served as inspiration for the Disney animated TV series Gravity Falls.[37]

Pairing with Dull, Scotland[edit]

Elizabeth Leighton of Aberfeldy, Scotland, proposed the town's pairing with the village of Dull, Scotland, while passing through Boring on a cycling holiday.[38][39] In June 2012, Boring accepted the proposal of Dull to "pair" their municipalities, in an effort to promote tourism in both places as a play on their names.[40][41][42] The Boring Community Planning Organization issued commemorative "Boring & Dull: a pair for the ages" T-shirts and mugs, as well as raffling off a trip to Dull, Scotland.[43] However, the Boring CPO will not be attempting to get the pairing recognised by Sister Cities International.[17]

Dull and Boring celebrations are held annually on 9 August in Oregon[44] with a piper and a barbershop quartet;[45] the Dull celebrations are in October.[3][46]

After their pairing, August 9 was declared by the State of Oregon as "Boring and Dull Day" across the state.[3] In 2013, the rural Australian town of Bland also twinned with the two cities, as a lighthearted way to embrace the community's name.


The town is served by the Oregon Trail School District, and is home to Naas Elementary School, Cottrell Elementary School, and Boring Middle School. Private schools in the area include Good Shepherd School and Hoodview Junior Academy.

The first schoolhouse built in Boring was the Fern Hill School, built in 1883.[47][48] Later, a four-room school house called Oregonia was built in 1904.[49] A 40-by-60-foot play shed was added to the school in 1918.[50]


Cyclists on the Springwater Corridor in Boring

Oregon Route 212 begins in Boring, and runs through the center of the downtown area. Its roads are maintained by the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Boring is serviced by TriMet, the Portland metropolitan area's mass transit system, via bus line 84,[51] with service to the Gresham Transit Center and MAX Light Rail stations.

The Springwater Corridor, a rail trail that was originally a railroad running between Boring and Portland, begins in Boring next to Boring Middle School, and is used for running, walking, and cycling. The trail ends at the Eastbank Esplanade in downtown Portland.

Sister city[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dungca, Nicole (April 25, 2012). "Dull woman pushes for Boring partnership: Oregon town teams up with Scottish village". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "The Boring Volcanic Field — Hills of the Portland Basin". United States Geological Survey. Cascades Volcano Observatory. Retrieved July 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Campbell, Glenn (August 8, 2014). "Dull, Scotland, makes Boring, Oregon, more interesting". BBC. Retrieved October 26, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Bosserman 2014, p. 9.
  5. ^ Leveille, David (April 26, 2012). "A Tale of Dull and Boring Sister Cities". Public Radio International. Retrieved July 9, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b McArthur 2003, p. 101.
  7. ^ De Avila, Joseph (Aug 8, 2013). "Yawns Across the Water: Boring Meets Dull in Oregon". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sarah Boring Gravesite". Find a Grave. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  9. ^ McArthur 2003, p. 100.
  10. ^ a b c d "Boring History". Boring Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  11. ^ Oberg, Ron (December 13, 2005). "Two Villages, One Hamlet: Three communities apply for special status in Clackamas County". Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  12. ^ Hathcock, Marcus (August 23, 2006). "Five votes sink Boring village". The Sandy Post. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  13. ^ TripAtlas
  14. ^ Parker, Quentin (2010). Welcome to Horneytown, North Carolina, Population: 15: An insider's guide to 201 of the world's weirdest and wildest places. Adams Media. pp. viii. 
  15. ^ "Boring Village". Retrieved December 30, 2007. 
  16. ^ "Boring in Oregon votes to pair with Dull in Perthshire". BBC. June 5, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b Fuggetta, Emily (June 5, 2012). "Boring group makes Dull decision: Partnership official with Scottish village". The Oregonian. p. C1. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Dull and Boring story also to become Bland?". Highland Perthshire News. July 12, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Bland hopes to join Dull and Boring - Perth & Kinross". The Courier. UK. June 1, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Bland joins Dull and Boring". The Daily Advertiser. February 25, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Scots town Dull joins forces with Bland and Boring". The Scotsman. November 13, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Bland, Dull and Boring: Three towns team up to excite tourists". MSN. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  23. ^ Baskas, Harriet (April 25, 2014). "Dull, Boring and Bland Team Up to Lure Tourists". NBC News. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  24. ^ Bosserman 2014, p. 46.
  25. ^ "Pacific Coast Mills: Oregon". The Timberman. Portland, Oregon, U.S. 16: 56. February 1915. 
  26. ^ The Rise and Fall of the Portland Traction Company
  27. ^ Morgan, Lane (1992). The Good Food Guide to Washington and Oregon: Discover the Finest, Freshest Foods Grown and Harvested in the Northwest. Sasquatch Books. 
  28. ^ Hatch, Laurence C. Cultivars of Woody Plants: Genera Paeonia to Potentilla. 
  29. ^ Jordi Vives, Gabriel (ed.). Case Studies in Sustainability Management: The oikos collection Vol. 3, Volume 3. 
  30. ^ Street Rodder, 1/85, p.74.
  31. ^ "Guide Dogs for the Blind". Retrieved December 28, 2015. 
  32. ^ Ross, Winston (July 28, 2015). "Inside Tastemaking Pickathon Music Festival". Newsweek. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  33. ^ Kavanaugh, Vickie (October 24, 2011). "Things to do in Happy Valley, Boring, Clackamas, Damascus and Estacada". Oregon Live. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  34. ^ Kavanaugh, Vickie (November 30, 2011). "Holiday celebrations in Boring, Clackamas, Damascus and Happy Valley". Oregon Live. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  35. ^ Centers, Ken (March 2, 2015). "Nutz-n-Boltz to celebrate 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead' with performances in Boring". Oregon Live. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Boring, OR Gets a Brilliant Makeover". Fuse. March 28, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Gravity Falls inspired by Boring Oregon". The Oregonian. June 14, 2012. 
  38. ^ Alexandra Topping and agencies (June 6, 2012). "Dull and Boring? Not any more for Scottish village and US town". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Welcome to Dull and Boring". June 6, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  40. ^ a b Gambino, Lauren. "Dull and Boring? Sounds exciting". KVAL. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  41. ^ a b LeVeille, David. "A Tale of Dull and Boring Sister Cities". The Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  42. ^ a b BBC News - Boring in Oregon votes to pair with Dull in Perthshire
  43. ^ "Happy Boring & Dull Day!". TIME magazine. August 9, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Dull & Boring". Facebook. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Excitement hope for Boring, Oregon, and Dull, Perthshire". BBC News. August 9, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  46. ^ "BBC TV crew tapes interviews in Boring". Portland Tribune. April 22, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  47. ^ Bosserman 2014, p. 74-5.
  48. ^ Corbell, Beverly (August 15, 2014). "Boring history comes to life in new book". The Portland Tribune. Retrieved April 10, 2016. 
  49. ^ Bosserman 2014, p. 74.
  50. ^ Bosserman 2014, p. 75.
  51. ^ "TriMet: Bus Line 84". TriMet. Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  52. ^ "Mickey Mouse Club Cast: Bob Amsberry". Original Mickey Mouse Club. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  53. ^ Debnam, Betty (March 9, 1996). "More Jobs Open to Women". The Mini Page. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 


External links[edit]