Polonia first started in Portland at the end of the 19th century. They met in a building called the "Bialy Orzel" (White Eagle) on the Willamette River. A white eagle on a red background is the symbol of Poland. On the first floor was a Polish restaurant, and on the second floor meetings of various Polish groups took place. This building still stands today and is currently a McMenamin's Brew Pub and Restaurant.
In 1892 eleven people meeting at the White Eagle decided to register with the Polish National Alliance (PNA) in Chicago. This was the first PNA group in Portland, "Patriotic Group Number 195". And so the first official organization of Polonia in Portland, Oregon was established.
The PLBA society was created in the beginning of the twenty century. We do not know exactly when, however, on July 8th 1911 PLBA was registered under the State of Oregon with the following Articles of Incorporation. During the registration, the total funds of the society were $500.00 in cash, which is comparable to $45,000.00 today. It was registered personally by the following officers:
- Bronisław Dombrowski, President
- B. Sobolewski, Treasurer
- Wincenty Ścibor, Secretary
- S. Stefaniak, Trustee
- J. Hacuk, Trustee
- Jan Strychalski, Trustee
PLBA purchased a lot on April 30th, 1912 and started to build the Polish Hall on it. The building was completed in 1914.