The Guinness Book of World Records recognized “Mill Ends Park” in Portland, Oregon as the world’s smallest park in 1971. Just one small tree sits on the 452 square inches of land in this tiny urban park that’s two feet wide!
The History of Mill Ends Park
We love Mill Ends Park even more now that we know the history! What was once an empty hole for a utility pole became an eye sore for journalist Dick Fagen, so he planted flowers in the hole and dubbed it the world’s smallest park. In his popular “Mill Ends” column that he wrote for the Oregon Journal, Fagen told stories about the leprechauns who lived there, including head leprechaun Patrick O’Toole, and the events they’d hold in their little park. Supposedly this is the “only leprechaun colony west of Ireland,” so we’re very lucky to call Portland its home! The City of Portland officially dedicated Mill Ends as a city park on St. Patrick’s Day in 1976.
Fun Fact: A “mill end” is the irregular piece of wood that’s left over in sawmills after cutting up logs. Logging has a long history in Oregon, with forests covering more than 30 million acres in the state.
Location of Mill Ends Park
Mill Ends Park is located in downtown Portland across from the South Waterfront Park, in the center median of SW Naito Parkway where it intersects with Taylor Street. However, when Dick Fagen was sitting in his second story window of the Oregon Journal staring down at the hole in the ground, the street between the Willamette River and the city was called Front Avenue.
If you’re looking to host an event at Mill Ends Park, get in contact with head of the park, Patrick O’Toole.