A place for “men, horses, and dogs”: Ankeny Plaza
Located a stone’s throw from TriMet MAX stops and watching over the historic Skidmore Fountain, the Ankeny Square archway once marked a hub of Portland’s entertainment and commerce — and in many ways it still does.
It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the first public places in the Skidmore-Old Town neighborhood. For several decades, the plaza and surrounding streets transformed on the weekends into a vast open-air marketplace filled with musicians, vendors, crafters, and artisans — the Portland Saturday Market. Like many, the market has made safety changes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, moving to an online marketplace, and hoping to reopen this April.
Another historical facet of the plaza is the Skidmore Fountain — created after the passing of local druggist Stephen G. Skidmore. Skidmore left $5,000 in his will to dedicate a fountain to provide drinking water for “men, horses, and dogs.” The fountain was created by sculptor Olin Warner and dedicated in 1888, burbling and gurgling with water — despite local brewer Henry Weinhard offering to run beer through the fountain at the dedication ceremony.
Be sure to soak in the history and bustling energy of the Ankeny Plaza the next time you find yourself wandering Old Town, and keep safe so we can share a kombucha at the PSM someday soon.
Also! We have something lovely for you — a plant-based giveaway.