Linnton became a community during the same era that the Northwest Industrial area of Portland emerged. It was originally a large swamp that settler Peter Guild claimed in 1848, later becoming the Guild’s Lake Rail Yard during the 1880s when the Northern Pacific Railroad was developed, providing jobs to a previously uninhabited part of growing Portland. Rail switching became an essential aspect of the area’s industrial and economic development, as was the construction of US Highway 30.
During the Industrial Revolution, the Northwest Industrial area became a primary location for production and manufacturing facilities, thus attracting laborers to the area and establishing an everyman, working-class culture that remains today. Stevedores and shipyard workers were able to find jobs in the area and created a demand for temporary housing during World War II; though some of the buildings erected during this time remain, residential neighborhoods did not become prevalent in the Northwest Industrial area. However, various families began settling north of the industrial district, eventually developing into the Linnton Area.
The Northwest Industrial area remains a primarily work-pertinent section of Portland that accounts for much of its economic and industrial productivity, with Linnton as a suburban neighborhood to the district’s north. Linnton is bordered by the Northwest Industrial District on the south, the Willamette River to the east and Forest Park to the west. North of Linnton is where North Portland starts, effectively making Linnton the northern tip of Northwest Portland.
The St. John’s ridge leads east of the Linnton area into North Portland, and Forest Park overlaps much of the area. There are several schools that serve the neighborhood, along with city parks and historic buildings to carve out the small-town charm of Linnton while remaining just moments away from the urban core of Portland.
Because much of the Northwest Industrial area’s land is part of the Guild’s Lake Industrial Sanctuary—meaning the land is preserved for industrial use and does not allow for much residential development—Linnton provides most of the commercial and residential activity found in the far reaches of Northwest Portland. The area is a great location for families and anyone seeking the feel of a suburban neighborhood that keeps them near some of Portland’s most exciting destinations and resources for work, play and community.