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The Skyhook Motel
101 Hwy 26
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The Skyhook Motel
Skyhook Motel is located in the town of Mitchell. if you have ever been to the Skyhook and had the impression that it resembles a series of connected cottages rather than a motel, you would be right. These cottages were salvaged from the World War II shipyard town of Vanport after the devastating flood in 1948. Here is a little history on our unique motel and where they come from..
Vanport, sometimes referred to as Vanport City or Kaiserville,was a hastily constructed city of wartime public housing located in Multnomah County, Oregon, United States, between the contemporary Portland city boundary and the Columbia River. It is currently the site of Delta Parkand the Portland International Raceway.
Vanport construction began in August 1942 to house the workers at the wartime Kaiser Shipyards in Portland and Vancouver, Washington. Vanport - a portmanteau of 'Vancouver' and 'Portland' - was home to 40,000 people, about 40 percent of them African-American, making it Oregon's second-largest city at the time, and the largest public housing project in the nation.
After the war, Vanport lost more than half of its population, dropping to 18,500, as many wartime workers left the area. However, there was also an influx of returning World War II veterans. In order to attract veterans and their families, the Housing Authority of Portland (HAP) opened the Vanport Extension Center (Vanport College). The college enrolled 1,924 students its first year.
Vanport was dramatically destroyed at 4:05 p.m. on May 30, 1948, when a 200-foot (61 m) section of the dike holding back the Columbia River collapsed during a flood, killing 15. The city was underwater by nightfall leaving its inhabitants homeless.
The Vanport Flood parallels the more recent Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans. In both cases, public officials led the population to believe that the damage would be slight, and in both cases the government response to the disaster was harshly criticized. Critics attributed the poor response, in both cases, to racist attitudes on the part of officials, who allegedly neglected to respond appropriately to the destruction of predominately black communities. However, many dispute the role of racism, pointing to the transformation of Vanport by the influx of World War II veterans and their families and official commitment to the area shown by the establishment at Vanport of the only state college in the greater Portland metropolitan area.