We know that the game of tennis came to Oregon over one hundred years ago. As early as the 1880’s, there were local courts and even several small tennis clubs.
Since then, following its surge in popularity throughout the country, tennis has seen extraordinary growth in Portland and throughout the state, especially in the past thirty-five years.
The historic aspects of tennis are important – – to the community, to all participants and to the traditions of the sport.
George Bertz, former sports editor of the Oregon Journal, made the first historical contribution in his full page article in the Sunday Journal, February 3, 1946, wherein he provided some information on early tennis days in Portland together with a complete summary of final results of the Oregon State Championships from 1899 to 1945.
The establishment of the Multnomah Athletic Club in 1891 and the Irvington Club in 1898 provided the foundation for tennis development and tournament play. In 1899, a visit by Malcolm D. Whitman, U.S. tennis champion, and several other Eastern players, gave impetus to tennis competition.
In the meantime, other major Pacific Northwest cities were experiencing the same public interest in tennis. So, in 1904, the Pacific Northwest International Lawn Tennis Association was formed, to include clubs in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. So began the Northwest summer tournament circuit, which has attracted so many visiting players from California and elsewhere.
Currently there are over 100 tennis member organizations in the state of Oregon according to the USTA/PNW 2003 Member Handbook.
In 1990, the Irvington Club undertook a program to become the repository of Oregon tennis history by creating the Oregon Tennis Historical Committee. As our oldest tennis club, it is fitting that this responsibility rests with the Irvington Club, which has played a very important role in local tennis.
This web site is an attempt to provide visibility to much of the material that we have developed and collected and to serve as a media for keeping the information current. View the criteria used to include information in this archive.
We hope you envoy navigating through this wealth of tennis information. If information on this site is incomplete or in error, please contact us.