County Seat: Courthouse, 230 Strand St., St. Helens 97051
Phone: 503-397-3796 (General); 503-397-2327 (Court Administrator)
Population (2013): 49,850
Established: Jan. 16, 1854
Elev. at St. Helens: 42'
Area: 687 sq. mi.
Average Temp.: January 39.0° July 68.4°
Assessed Value: $4,559,943,062
Real Market Value: $5,205,513,894
Annual Precipitation: 44.60"
Economy: Agriculture, forest products, manufacturing, surface mining and tourism
Points of interest
Lewis and Clark Heritage Canoe Trail, Vernonia/Banks Linear State Park, Jewell Elk Refuge, Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, Sand Island Park, Jones Beach near Clatskanie, Prescott Beach Park, St. Helens Golf Course, Vernonia Golf Course, Lewis and Clark Bridge at Rainier, Columbia County Fairgrounds
History and general information
Chinook and Clatskanie Tribes inhabited this bountiful region centuries before Captain Robert Gray, commanding the Columbia Rediviva, landed on Columbia County’s timbered shoreline in 1792. The Corps of Discovery expedition, led by Lewis and Clark, traveled and camped along the Columbia River shore in the area later known as Columbia County in late 1805 and early 1806.
The county has 62 miles of Columbia riverfront and contains deep water ports and some of the finest industrial property in the Pacific Northwest. The Columbia River is a major route for ocean-going vessels and is a popular playground for fishing, boating, camping and windsurfing. The county has two marine parks, Sand Island and J. J. Collins Memorial Marine Park. Columbia County has a strong economic and cultural heritage centered around industries such as forest products, shipbuilding, mining and agriculture. The rural lifestyle and scenic beauty of Columbia County, coupled with its proximity to Portland, have drawn many new residents to the area.
Commissioners— Earl Fisher (D) 2017, Henry Heimuller (D) 2019, Anthony (Tony) Hyde (R) 2017; Dist. Atty. Steve Atchison 2019; Assess. Sue Martin 2019; Clerk Betty Huser 2019; Justice of the Peace Wally Thompson 2019; Sheriff Jeff Dickerson 2017; Surv. Nathan Woodward; Treas. Jennifer Cuellar-Smith 2017