The archaeological projects conducted at the Portland Wharf are a part of a community wide effort to develop Portland Wharf Park into a unique history and archaeology park that will benefit the Portland community. As part of this effort, Louisville Metro Parks, The Portland Museum and the Kentucky Archaeological Surveys have sponsored various educational programs related to the archaeology of Portland Wharf. These programs have helped people participate in and better understand the rich history that is a part of the community. More education and public outreach programs are in the works for Portland Wharf Park.

The Kentucky Archaeological Survey offers many opportunities for the public to participate in a variety of aspects of the archaeological process, including those related to the Portland Wharf archaeology project.

The Portland Museum sponsors many programs at and related to the Portland Wharf and other historic sites in Portland.

Computer Animation
The Kentucky Archaeological Survey commissioned staff from The Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites, University of Cincinnati, to create 2-D graphics and 3-D animation for the one-hour documentary “Historic Archaeology: Beneath Kentucky’s Fields and Streets,” Volume III in the Kentucky Archaeology Video series. The documentary and these single frame images from the graphics are available to download for personal or educational use.

Viet Shotgun House, ca 1873 Reconstructed from archaeological surveys and historical documents, this “shotgun” style house was built in 1873 by Henry and Kathryn Veit on Lot 56 off historic 33rd Street in old Portland near the wharf.

Portland Community, ca, 1870s. Reconstructed from archaeological surveys and historic maps, this 3-D animation depicts Portland Wharf (Old Portland) as it may have looked at the beginning of its decline in the 1870s.

Archival maps and images
Archaeologists often use archival sketches and paintings to better understand the development of historic sites. Here are some archival images of Portland that are also available to personal or educational use. Please check the cited source for further information.

“Map of the Falls of the Ohio,” showing Louisville, Shipppingport, and Portland,” from Flint, 1824. This archival map shows the portage road between Louisville and Portland, and the proposed route of the first Louisville and Portland Canal, which was completed in 1830. Courtesy Library of Congress, The Filson Historical Society, Kentucky.

(Inset from) “View of New Albany,” landscape by George Morrison, 1849, courtesy, New Albany-Floyd County Public Library. This digital image is an inset from a large landscape depicting New Albany, Indiana, the Ohio River and Portland, Kentucky in 1849. Portland is seen on the upper right with its deep-water port full of steamboats. The original artwork (including the Indiana shore) may bee seen in the gallery of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library.

“Portland KY taken from Sand Island 1953.” Sketch showing Portland Wharf near its peak during the golden age of steamboats. Large steamboats were unable to use the first, narrow canal built around the “Falls of the Ohio.” Portland’s deep-water wharf . Sketch courtesy Specials Collections, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville.

“Birds-Eye-View of Louisville from the River Front and Southern Exposition, 1883” (Panoramic Maps, Digital Collection, Library of Congress). This digital inset shows the lower portion from a large lithograph depicting the Louisville area in 1883. Portland (far right) is shown at the downriver entrance to the Louisville and Portland Canal. The expansion of the canal in the 1870s allowed large steamboats to by-pass Portland Wharf, marking the decline of this once thriving port.


Louisville Metro Parks
Portland Museum

Educational Resources


Streets to the Past