After WWII, Dick Fagan returned to Portland, Oregon to restart his career as a journalist at the Oregon Journal. He soon noticed his office window look directly out to the busy Front Street (now called Naito Parkway) to see a hole in the meridian that was meant for a light pole. Day by day, Fagan waited for the eye sore to go away, and before he knew it, weeds started to grow over the hole. It was clear that no light pole was being placed here—so Fagan decided to plant flowers in the spot.
He proclaimed this a park and called it Mill Ends. But there was something different about this park—not only was it extremely small at two feet wide, but Fagan claimed a group of leprechauns that only he could see lived there. He started writing a column about the daily life and trials of the group and their leader, Patrick O’Toole.
The column became so popular readers insisted he reveal how they ended up there. Fagan said that he was granted a wish by one when he had attempted to stop a leprechaun from digging away at his newly planted plants in the self-proclaimed park. He was able to catch one, and therefore was promised a wish. Fagan asked for a park of his own—but wasn’t specific enough, and the trickster leprechaun gifted him the very spot Fagan was already taking care of.
Fagan passed away in 1969, but by 1976, Mill Ends officially became a city park. To this day, it still has St. Patricks day celebrations and has seen several additions and amenities all in miniature form—a swimming pool, statues, Ferris wheel, and a diving board for butterflies. It even held an Occupy protest in 2011.