This view shows Portland when it had not yet outdistanced its rival, the growing town of Milwaukee, for metropolitan honors. Each aspired to be the head of permanent navigation for ocean steamers. The Oregonian had just been established in December of the preceeding year. Within another year Portland had established itself as the head ocean going navigation and has ever since held that place. In 1848 only three or four vessels entered the Willamette. In 1850 over fifty ships found their way up to the vicinity of Portland.