Mill Ends Park – World’s smallest park

Some time back I did a blog about some of the outstanding parks that Portland has, including those that set records. What I omitted, and was graciously reminded about is that Portland is home to the World’s smallest park. The park is a 2 foot circle in the middle of Naito Parkway at the end of SW Taylor. Now lest you think this is just a made up record – it is officially recognized as such by the Guinness Book or Records and dates back to 1948.

The site of the park was originally intended for a lamppost, but it failed to appear. Weeds sprouted. Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal (not to be confused with the Oregonian), said that he saw a leprechaun – Patrick O’Toole – digging a hole in the park. He captured the Leprechaun, which entitled him to a wish. He said that he wanted a park of his own – and the Patrick O’Toole gave him the hole. For the next two decades Fagan tended the park and often wrote about O’Toole in his column Mill Ends.

The park was officially taken over by the city in 1976 and has been through a number of transformation since. During construction it was temporarily moved into a planter but was restored 7 ½ feet from its original location. Also according to the park attendant Scott Gibson, someone always plants flowers in there around St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe it is O’Toole!

Brought to you by Brian Bailey

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Products you may be interested in:


One City’s Wilderness: Portland’s Forest Park, 3rd edition

Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine: The Portland-Vancouver Region’s Network of Parks, Trails, and Natural Areas

Parks In Portland, Oregon, including: International Rose Test Garden, Mill Ends Park, Oaks Amusement Park, Eastbank Esplanade, Forest Park (portland, … Park, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

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