The St. Johns neighborhood near downtown Portland, once an independent city, has been part of Portland since 1915. The community boasts an old-fashioned main street, entertainment and necessities within walking distance, and miles of waterways and trails. Quaint older homes and modern condominiums stand near the Willamette River, while a small colony of houseboats floats in the Columbia.
On the southeast, lowered train tracks separate St. Johns from University Park and the University of Portland. On the northeast, the Columbia River encloses the neighborhood in an area of lakes, sloughs, and industry. On the west is the Willamette River, opening to views of Forest Park, an old-growth forest within a city. St. Johns overlaps the Cathedral Park neighborhood, taking in gorgeous Cathedral City Park and the graceful St. Johns Bridge, on which pedestrians can walk across the Willamette.
Local public schools include James John Elementary, named after the community’s founder. George Middle School and Roosevelt High are neighborhood secondary schools. Independent and parochial schools are nearby.
Each year, the St. Johns Parade marches from Roosevelt School to St. John’s Park with bands, floats, vintage cars, and horses. A neighborhood tradition, the parade is open to anyone who wants to march along. A newer tradition is the weekly farmers market, held during the warm months of the year.
The Columbia Slough has 60 miles of waterways that are home to local water birds. Kayakers on Lake Bybee and Lake Smith often see signs of beaver, river otter and mink. Kelley Point, where the Willamette joins the Columbia, is easily reached by car.
St. John’s strikes a balance between the pleasures of nature and the comforts of city life. It is convenient, picturesque, near wilderness adventures, and only fifteen minutes from downtown.