A wonderful scrap book of our neighborhood.

Dedicated to her friends and neighbors, Anjala Ehelebe’s book Portland’s Woodlawn Neighborhood is an amazing collection of photos, histories and personal accounts of life in our village – for a village is was!

Settled in the 1860’s during the last few years of the Civil War, the area that today makes up the Woodlawn Historic District was just an outlying rural farming village. An unincorporated area considered part of Albina  – even though we were outside what was considered the city of Albina.

In 1880 the railroad running from Portland to Vancouver, WA, located a train station here and by 1890, we were finally plotted on the map as “Woodlawn”.  In 10 years, Just as we were embracing the bustle of commerce, our neighbors to the west of us inadvertently increased the pressure by the annexing Piedmont as a neighborhood of Dwellings only – “a Place of Homes”. With Piedmont off limits for commercial development, Woodlawn grew into a commerce-friendly place of comings and goings.

Like its Piedmont neighbor, Woodlawn is situated on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River – and until 1980 we enjoyed the view of a lovely cone-shaped and snow-capped Mount St. Helens. Our good fortune at being situated on a bluff was highlighted by the 1894 Willamette River flood that covered 250+ downtown city blocks! By the 1920’s Woodlawn became more residential with just a mix of small factories as many businesses moved  to be closer to newly improved roadways and the bridge over the Columbia River.

Our neighborhood has seen its fortunes grow, wane and improve. Today’s Woodlawn, though mostly residential, still offers a lovely village bustle with Woodlawn Coffee & Pastry, P’s & Q’s Market, Breakside Brewing, the Oregon Public House, the country’s first Non-Profit Pub – and a growing number of other community and family-friendly establishments. We feel lucky to live and work here where our Neighborhood Association strives to enrich the community by providing a platform for change and empowerment. Learn more about the history of Woodlawn on our blog, and visit one of our meetings or events.

Fire-engine Team, 1913

Fire House 1980

800 NE Dekum Street

From our Blog