About St. Helens
St. Helens is a Columbia Riverfront community rich with history and culture. On their expedition to the Pacific Ocean in 1805, Lewis and Clark made a stop in what is now St. Helens. Originally established as a river port, St. Helens is located 30 miles northwest of Portland. As the county seat, it is the largest community in Columbia County with a population of about 13,000. The name was inspired by the beautiful views of Mount St. Helens.
Originally settled by New England loggers, St. Helens’ basalt rock quarry was a major industry in the early 1900s. Because of the industrial operations occurring in St. Helens and its location on the Columbia River, it rivaled Portland as a competing port city. After an unfortunate fire burned the docks of Pacific Mail, a team of Portland businessmen persuaded Pacific Mail to locate in the new port town of Portland, establishing the port of Portland as the dominant port in the region.
The Riverfront District of St. Helens features a Nationally Registered Historic District encompassing 10 blocks, which includes residences and civic buildings dating back nearly a century. The town is has also served as the backdrop to many popular films, most notably the Disney Channel television film Halloweentown, and the film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer's novel Twilight.