St John’s Peninsula
The history of our neighborhood begins with the history of the peninsula. In 1846, James John moved from Linnton and filed a land claim. He had a store and began operating a ferry in 1852. Speculation is that his store and home was located at the end of Burlington on the river, and the rowboat ferry was located at what is now the fishing dock and turnaround at the end of Pittsburgh Ave.
The Original Townsite
The original townsite was only four blocks along the waterfront and 2 1/2 blocks in depth, bound on the north by Burlington Avenue and on south by Richmond Avenue. It was platted on Oct. 7, 1852 and aptly entitled “St. Johns on the Willamette.” (Source)
The neighborhood started with the dedication of Cathedral Park in 1980 and the city of Portland encouraging the formation of neighborhood associations in the 1980’s. Nine residents of the area got together to form the association in 1987 as a watchdog group in response to vandalism and bad behavior that was taking a toll on the Park. The boundaries of the neighborhood were somewhat arbitrary. The Willamette River was the south boundary, the cut the east boundary, Weyerhaeuser Ave to the west and Ivanhoe street to the north. Eight of the nine original founders still live around the Park.