St. Johns was started in 1865 by James Johns, a former resident of Linnton across the Willamette, when he initiated operating a ferry service across the river. In 1905, St. Johns was incorporated as a town, but ten years later the little town became part of Portland proper. The stunning St. Johns Bridge, an Icon of Portland, was built in the 1920’s to connect NW Portland with St. Johns. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, the area became quite run down until the 1970’s when a huge effort was made to clean up under the bridge. The area became Cathedral Park, 23 acres of park land, boat landings, and walk ways.
The St. Johns community and neighborhood have changed tremendously over the past decade, becoming home to many artists and DIY’ers. In addition to the annual Parade, going for more than fifty years, the downtown has a seasonal Farmer’s Market, outdoor concerts and a very active community center. There are many fun coffee houses and delicious restaurants, including one of the oldest Vegan restaurants in the city.