Live in St. Johns
St. Johns is described by locals as "extremely friendly", "A town within a city..." "There seems to be quite an underground of artists and fellow travelers in these parts."
St. Johns has a charming, small town feel to it. The post office, coffee shops, breakfast places, restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, and several parks, are all within walking distance for residents who live close to the downtown strip.
St. Johns has a rich and interesting history. It seems St. Johns was established by James John (a kindly hermit) and the area is named after him. An 1843 pioneer settler of Linnton, James John, moved across the river and started St. Johns in about 1865. St. Johns became part of Portland in1915, two years before Linnton joined the growing city. There use to be a lot of streetcars here and many interesting old houses & buildings still remain.
It’s not possible to discuss St. Johns without singing the praises of the St. Johns bridge. It has a long, storied, and wildly rumored, history. It has been rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a 15 yr old murder victim. The bridge was NOT designed by the designer of the Golden Gate Bridge (a common misconception). In fact, the builder of the St Johns bridge was John Steinman, was a rival to the builder of the Golden Gate Bridge. Stating a connection between the two bridges is common, but incorrect historically.
The St. John's bridge was meant to be all manner of biggest, widest, and/or tallest bridges West, East, prior to, or in the whole world ever (although it is true that at the time of construction, the bridge had the longest span of any suspension bridge west of Detroit). Rumors aside, the bridge is stunning, really, really stunning -- it’s worth a trip to St. Johns just for the bridge, descriptions like “towering gothic arches” are inadequate. Local residents find the St. Johns bridge to be far more lovely than the Golden Gate Bridge (and we agree).
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