Entrance to Boring on Oregon Route 212
|Motto: "The most exciting place to live."|
|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, on Oregon Route 212. It is located approximately eight miles south of Gresham and about the same distance from Clackamas, both suburbs of Portland. The town is roughly twenty-three miles (37 km) southeast from downtown Portland.
Named after William H. Boring, a farmer who settled the area in the 1870s, Boring was officially founded as a railroad town in 1903 after the Portland Railway, Light and Power Company constructed a line to the town. The former railway is now part of the Springwater Corridor, a rail trail which begins in Boring and ends at the Eastbank Esplanade in downtown Portland. In 2012, the town was paired as a sister city to the town of Dull, Scotland, United Kingdom.
The community was named after William H. Boring, an early resident of the area who began farming there in the 1870s. Boring was a Union veteran who had moved out to Oregon after the Civil War. Boring died in 1932 at the age of 91 and was buried beside his wife Sarah in Damascus Pioneer Cemetery.
Boring was platted in 1903 as "Boring Junction". 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. An electric trolley operated on the railroad line to Portland, Oregon and Gresham, which began boarding passengers in 1905. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
The unusual name of the town often prompts its inclusion on lists of unusual place names. 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."
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. Dull is a tiny village of only 84 residents, while Boring has about 8,000. In 2013, a farm community and former gold prospecting site Bland Shire in West Wyalong, New South Wales, Australia was added to the mix to create not a "twinned town" relationship but a "League of Extraordinary Communities" grouping Dull, Boring and Bland as a means of encouraging travel, promoting all three communities.
Boring was a timber industry town throughout much of the 20th century. 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. 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, including Iseli Nursery, and Liepold Farms, who supplies produce to the local restaurant chain Burgerville.
The town was also home to Wescott's, builder of fiberglass reproduction bodies for custom cars, 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.
Pendarvis Farm, a local farm between Boring and Happy Valley, hosts an annual music festival called Pickathon, featuring independent musicians from around the country. Liepold Farms holds an annual fall festival and corn maze that runs each October and the town also holds an annual Christmas tree lighting.
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.
Pairing with Dull, Scotland
Elizabeth Leighton of Aberfeldy, Scotland proposed the town's pairing with the village of Dull, Scotland, while passing through Boring on a cycling holiday. 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. 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. However, the Boring CPO will not be attempting to get the pairing recognised by Sister Cities International.
After their pairing, August 9 was declared by the State of Oregon as "Boring and Dull Day" across the state.
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.
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