Linnton / by Chris Bonner

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For those with civic pride and community spirit, who want a respite from the bustle of city life, Linnton Neighborhood is just the spot. Surrounded by Forest Park and nestled along the Willamette River, Linnton is a bit more isolated than most Portland neighborhoods, but the hard workers and artists who reside here have a strong attachment to the rustic place they call home.

When the city lights do call, however, they can head five miles southeast to downtown Portland, and when its time for some more bucolic pleasantries, they can find Sauvie Island another three miles to the northwest.  Linnton Neighborhood is set along NW St. Helens Road (US Route 30), which runs near the river, and is just a hop over the St. Johns bridge to Cathedral Park and the St. Johns neighborhood.

The Town of Linnton was platted in 1843 and from 1889-1975, it actually had its own post office.  When Linnton was annexed by Portland in 1915, it had served five years as a company town for the Clark-Wilson and West Oregon lumber mills and the Columbia Engineering Works shipyard. 

Today there is still a significant industrial section along the waterfront, and St. Helens Road acts as both a major throughway for traffic passing through town and the main commercial strip for local residents. In order to take back the road as their own and calm things down a bit, Linnton residents found funding in 2000 to construct brick medians planted with trees, designed to slow commuters. Similarly, local resident and artist Ivan McLean constructed decorative “Linnton” signs for use at bus stops and along the roads, as well as fish-backed benches and bus shelter icons, all of which add flavor and charm to an otherwise dull highway.

The real soul of the Linnton neighborhood can be found at the Linnton Community Center, which offers support to the community in a variety of ways, including Spanish exposure pre-school, Linnton Hungry Families, after school and breakfast club programs for kids, and summer camp. The kind of community building found there is what makes people stay in this secluded yet passionate part of town.  Linnton's proximity to Forest Park is also a great asset; the 4800-acre park offers miles of beautiful hiking trails and a welcome escape into nature. And due to building on hills facing east, the Cascades are always there for someone craving a mountain view.

Explore Linnton Neighborhood with its historical mills and shipyards, and discover its independent and friendly spirit.