The Zidell story begins in 1912, when Yeschie Zajdell arrived in Portland, Oregon from the small western Russian village of Smidyn.
Sam Zidell, as he came to be known, began his life in America selling second-hand machinery, first in Roseburg, Oregon and later in Portland as Zidell Machinery and Supply, with a scrap yard on the waterfront.
After World War II, with steel in high demand, Sam’s son Emery saw the potential in scrapping decommissioned war ships. By 1960, Zidell had become the largest ship dismantling operation in the country, employing hundreds of men in the salvaging of hundreds of ships.
Realizing that material from the ships could be put to new use, Emery went on to create thriving valve and tube forgings businesses and Zidell Marine, an innovator in steel barge design and construction.
Since 1996, Zidell has been led by Emery’s son, Jay Zidell. Jay, the third generation to lead the family business, started as a worker in the scrap yard more than forty years ago and now serves as President of Zidell Marine, Tube Forgings of America and Zidell Yards. Beyond the family name, Jay shares his father’s and grandfather’s dedication and determination, as well as their long-held reputation for supporting and growing the arts, education and community.
In 2010, Matt French, grandson of Emery Zidell, joined the company to explore and develop possibilities for Zidell Yards, the land that sat beneath his family’s industrial operations for more than half a century.