St. Helens was founded by Captain H. M. Knighton in 1845, who named it Plymouth. In 1950 the name was changed in reference to its front-row view of Mount St. Helens. Initially established as a river port in the 1840’s, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company tried to make the city their only stop on the Columbia River in 1853. Portland's merchants boycotted the effort and the San Francisco steamship Peytona helped break the impasse, and Portland became the primary port. St. Helens was incorporated as a city in 1889.
St. Helens is located 29 miles Northwest of Portland in Southeastern Columbia County. This community contains a combination of recreational land, businesses and urban and rural residencies that are both old and new. Situated on the beautiful Columbia River, views to the east and north showcase the majestic peaks of Mount Hood, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens.
There is a wide variety of real estate in St. Helens including waterfront property, single family homes, acreage, farms and ranches, condos and townhomes.
Near the riverfront, the historic town features a nationally registered Historic District encompassing 10 blocks, and is home to restaurants, art galleries, antique shops, bistros, ice cream and coffee shops, as well as spas, waterfront parks and boating. Many homes and civic buildings date back nearly a century. One of the more popular destinations is the museum housed in the 1906 courthouse.
St. Helens is close to many outdoor activities including fishing, hiking and kayaking. St. Helens Golf Course is a public 9-hole course, located just a few miles west of St. Helens, and has been a part of the local community for 50 years. Columbia View Park is a sand island, accessible by boat only, across from St. Helens. It has an exquisite view of the Columbia River, Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens.