- Jennifer Anderson
- Portland Tribune - News
Every Friday in Stumptown Stumper, the Portland Tribune offers a trivia question and answer that helps you boost your Rose City IQ.
Q: Portland soon will be home to a 5-ton, 13-foot Celtic cross. What does it commemorate and where will it be?
A: The cross - a memorial to the Irish who died during the Irish Potato Famine - is set to be erected at Portland's Mount Cavalry Cemetery off West Burnside Road near Skyline Boulevard in September after being shipped from Donegal, Ireland. The famine struck Ireland from 1845 to about 1851, killing a million people and driving 2 million to emigrate. Many Irish traveled the Oregon Trail to Portland or sailed west by ship during the 1850s, producing 30 percent of Oregon's foreign-born population.
The Celtic cross is considered a symbol of Ireland's contribution to world history and Western civilization, and also is a sign of Ireland's sovereignty. The cross destined for Portland is being created by sculptor Brendan McGloin. It will be a copy of the Cross of the Scriptures, an ancient high cross carved of hard sandstone on the banks of the River Shannon about 1,100 years ago. That cross features Celtic, Roman and Greek imagery, and a representation of Mary Magdalene.
'It's probably like the Washington Monument or the Liberty Bell in Ireland - nobody has copied it' until now, says Brian Doherty, a Portland lawyer who spearheaded the effort, which raised more than $100,000 for the project.
The cross will be erected as a memorial at Mount Cavalry, where many of Portland's Irish famine refugees lay buried.
Next week's Stumper: There are at least three official time capsules buried in the city of Portland. Where are they, and when are they set to be opened?