…Continued from Scappoose.
St. Helens is the county seat of Columbia County, and the largest city in the county. According to the 2000 census, St. Helens has a population of 10,019 people. The first sawmill was built here in 1844. At that time, St. Helens rivaled Portland as the major port city on the Columbia River. St. Helens was first called Plymouth and then Casenau, but was quickly renamed named after Mt. St. Helens, which is visible from the city. The first post office opened in St. Helens in 1853 and the town was chartered on February 25, 1889. St. Helens became the county seat of Columbia County in August 1903.
I photographed the train at the old St. Helens railroad depot. The depot was built in 1923. Even though there was no passenger service on this line after 1956, the depot was still used by the railroad as a base of operation for train and maintenance crews for decades. The depot was donated to the city of St. Helens in the 1990s, and was renovated into the city's Chamber of Commerce in 2000. It is one of only two railroad depots remaining on this line.
Continue to Tide Creek…