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Portland Firefighter Memorial Plaza

An ambitious project is underway to take revisit the triangular property that currently serves as home for the David Campbell Memorial and Portland Firefighter Memorial Plaza.  

The project intends to fully renovate the David Campbell Memorial (built in 1928) and add the Portland Fallen Firefighter Memorial Plaza, which will include a variety of interpretive features that allow the visitor to understand the heritage site and the role Portland Fire has played in the history of the city of Portland.  

The David Campbell Memorial (DCM) was built as a tribute to Fire Chief David Campbell.  While it has been used as a place to include names of other Portland Firefighters who had died in service to the city of Portland, it was never done in a comprehensive way.  A memorial to ALL of Portland's Fallen Firefighters is necessary.

By utilizing the entire triangle of property, which rests between SW Alder Street, SW 18th Avenue, and SW 19th Avenue (1864 SW Alder Street), the renovated site would become an open and public plaza paying proper tribute to Portland's Fallen Firefighters.  As one of the Hallowed Grounds of Portland Fire, this site is an important and necessary piece of local history.

If you would like to support this project, please visit the "Sponsors/Support" Tab of this web site.  We welcome your support and partnership.  


The Messenger Bell
An Important Symbol Of The Fire Service

The Messenger Bell, which will grace the Portland Firefighter Memorial Plaza, was purchased by the city of Portland in October of 1873.  After the conflagration of August 2, 1873, a more significant form of sounding the alarm was deemed necessary.  The Messenger Bell was the answer.  Weighing in at 4,200 pounds, it hung in the bell tower of Station 1 and, when rung, could be heard from Vancouver to Oregon City. 


The bell contains 800 pounds of pure silver to enhance its resonance.  After only a few years, the Messenger Bell would succumb to the technology of the day as the fire alarm telegraph system would begin to be built.  Today, it stands as a monument to the vigilance and ready response of Portland Firefighters and is tolled during the reading of the names of the Portland's Fallen Firefighters during each year's remembrance service.

On June 26, 2000, the Messenger Bell was placed in it's new home, next to the David Campbell Memorial.  The housing under which it sits was designed by Architect Aaron Faegre of Portland.  The brick work was contributed by Bill Bellinger and apprentices from the Mason's Union.  

Newsletter - May 2022 Issue 01

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Newsletter - February 2023 Issue 05

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Newsletter - May 2024 Issue 10

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