Linnton Neighborhood Guide
The small community of Linnton is located in Northwest Portland nestled between Forest Park and the Willamette River.
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Features of Linnton Neighborhood
The Linnton neighborhood is a long and lean community with jagged borders on Forest Park’s east side. It’s about five and a quarter miles long and approximately a mile wide, with NW St. Helens Road serving as its spine. The neighborhood has had a long and, at least in recent years, contentious history with the city of Portland. At one time, Linnton considered secession from the city over land use and waste management issues. Needless to say, the residents of this area are independent and spirited.
The Portland neighborhood is built on a ridge that overlooks the Willamette River. Most of the homes have steep driveways and fantastic forest and river views. The neighborhood is out of the way, private, but also very close to Portland downtown with a quick commute down highway 30.
Linnton is a mix of commercial and industrial concerns, predominately lining both sides of NW St. Helens, with residential properties tucked into lots surrounded by Forest Park.
Businesses of Note in Linnton Neighborhood
Decoy is a popular, no-frills tavern that serves up Chinese food, standard American fare, and pizza.
Decoy—10710 NW St Helens Rd
Lighthouse Inn is known for its massive burgers. They also offer substantial sandwiches and delicious entrees, like a gourmet mac and cheese, baby back ribs, and sesame-crusted Ahi tuna.
When it comes to salads, Lighthouse won’t disappoint. Go for the tried-and-true Cobb or Cesar, or try something different and indulge in the Sauvie Island. It features greens with house-cured beets and onions, topped with bleu cheese crumbles, crispy fried onions, and lemon vinaigrette.
More in the mood for a snack and a drink? At Lighthouse, you’ll find small plates, tacos, and other mexi snacks. Their cocktails are crafted with quality and simplicity in mind—the bartenders here use the best and the freshest liquors and juices to satiate your tastebuds and thirst. They also offer wine by the glass, nine draft beers, and 24 classic beers.
Lighthouse Inn—10808 NW St Helens Rd
Linnton Community Center
This neighborhood gem is all about families. There’s a fun summer camp for kids of all ages and a preschool for the little ones. The before and after school program provides childcare for kids K-8 and invites the older kids to serve as helpers. The LCC Food Pantry provides food boxes to families in need.
Linnton Community Center—10614 NW St Helens Rd
Linnton Neighborhood Landmarks
St John’s Bridge
St. John’s Bridge spans the Willamette River and connects Linnton and Cathedral neighborhoods. Since its construction began in 1929 and its dedication in 1931, this gothic beauty has served to as a major highway thoroughfare, one of only three major highway suspension bridges in Oregon
The main attraction in Linnton is a wholly natural one, the magnificent Forest Park. Linnton provides easy access to this natural wonder via several roads and trails.
One of the most beautiful parks in the country, Forest Park offers miles of hiking trails through lush green woodland. This park truly personifies the Pacific Northwest. Starting at NW 29th Ave and Upshur and spanning all the way to Newberry Road, Forest Park sits in the middle of the Portland metro area, neighboring downtown. Enjoy hours of foot, bike and equestrian trails all while relaxing in the intoxicating natural beauty. Forest Park is dog friendly. Your four-legged friends will love it here!
Linnton Neighborhood Parks
Forest Park—A 5,200-acre park with more than 80 miles of trails, providing habitat for hundreds of native wildlife and plants.
Linnton Park—Part of Forest Park, Linnton Park offers hiking trails and borders the Portland Organic Gardens.
Linnton Neighborhood Schools
K-8: Skyline School
High School: Lincoln High School
Linnton Community Resources
Linnton Neighborhood Vibe
Linnton neighborhood is community-focused and independent. Residents here have an appreciation for the natural beauty and scenery that Pacific Northwest Portland neighborhoods have to offer. It’s a mix of rural, suburban neighborhoods tucked back in trees and the hillside.
Linnton Neighborhood History
In 1843, Peter Burnett and Morton McCarver arrived in Linnton by wagon and built a log road, now known as Springville Rd. When the community didn’t soon become the thriving port city they had expected, Burnett left and became the first governor of California, with McCarver going on to found Sacramento and Tacoma.
The following year, James John (namesake of St. Johns neighborhood) came along and built a warehouse in Linnton before moving across the river. Linnton’s future looked grim as the area thinned out with the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevadas. But in 1850, Solomon Richards acquired a 640-acre land claim where he cleared 50 acres for his dairy farm and sold lumber and section of his land for thirty years. He ultimately moved to Portland in 1883, but before he left Linnton, he also sold a right of way to the railroad. The line went in shortly after he left.
By the mid-1890s, Linnton was becoming more established with a Methodist Church, a boarding house, and a small school. What put Linnton on the map was the sale of its first lumber mill, built in 1904, to Clark & Wilson. By then, a ship building company and several other lumber mills had been built, and by 1914, the little burg’s population grew from 400 to 2,000. Immigrants from Japan, the Philipines, Italy, East India, and Czechoslovakia came to Linnton to work in the mills and lived along the railroad tracks in company housing.
Between 1900 and 1910, a series of oil company warehouse and tank fires and explosions in NE Portland, one of which took the life of David Campbell, Portland’s fire chief. Stating that he feared future oil mishaps and disasters would not only cause more direct harm to humans, but it could leech into the Willamette River and destroy the shipping harbor. An ordinance followed that would require Standard Oil to move, and oil tanks with more than a 5,000-gallon capacity would be banned. When new mayor, Rushlight, vetoed the ordinance two weeks later, and the City Council overturned it. Ultimately, Linnton became a popular place to store tanks.
After asking to be annexed into Portland in July, 1910 only to be rejected, Linnton became incorporated as a city three months later. City Hall came along in 1911 with a fire station on its first floor. At this time, Linnton also got two more schools, several churches, a bank, and two newspapers. Progress continued, and by 1913, the city had water and sewage, soon followed by sidewalks, telephones, and electricity in 1914. When Linnton again attempted annexation into Portland in 1915, it was approved.
How Did Linnton Neighborhood Get its Name?
Peter Burnett and Morton McCarver named the area after Missouri senator Lewis Linn.
Linnton Neighborhood Business and Commerce
In addition to the mills and ship building mentioned above, Linnton saw a relatively short burst of business growth and cohesion. In 1933 a wine business came to downtown Linnton, owned by Joseph Lemma. However, the Depression took a toll on Linnton, and it never really bounced back. A fire took two of the community’s biggest mills in 1945 and 1950. When St. Helens Rd. was widened in the early 1960s, most of downtown Linnton was demolished.
Despite Linnton’s early struggles, it has evolved into a locale where residents love the natural beauty that surrounds them and band together to maintain the community-focused quality of life that matters to them.
Linnton Neighborhood Transportation
Linnton’s first mass transit came in 1908 in the form of a trolley, and a ferry shuttled people back and forth to St. Johns, so the two communities had close ties. When Linnton Rd., completed in 1911, became a recognized thoroughfare, the trolley dissolved.
Today, Highway 30 runs along the eastern boundary of Linnton, and Trimet’s bus #16 serves the neighborhood.
Linnton Neighborhood Stats
Linnton Zip Codes: 97210, 97231
Linnton Real Estate and Homes
Homes run the gamut of 20th century architecture, from classic Bungalow to Old Portland, Cape Cod, Four Square and more.
Click here to see all current Linnton homes for sale.
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