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In 1852, H. C. Leonard and John Green moved from Astoria to Portland. A few years earlier, after emigrating from the East Coast, they had founded a store serving the frontier community. But believing that Portland was the city of the future, they moved upriver.
Among other businesses, they founded a gas company. Their purpose was to bring gas lamps to Portland?s streets, homes and businesses. On Jan. 7, 1859, they obtained a perpetual franchise from the territorial government to distribute gas. Weeks later, on Feb. 14, Oregon became a state.
Today, more than 150 years later, NW Natural carries on the tradition started by Leonard and Green and the Portland Gas Light Co. A business that started with 49 customers in one square mile of Portland now serves more than 650,000 homes and businesses in 107 communities in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
The company remains headquartered in Portland, just a few blocks from its original site. NW Natural also serves customers out of service centers in Albany, Astoria, Coos Bay, Eugene, Lincoln City, Salem and The Dalles in Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington.