About Columbia City



City HallCity Hall

1840 Second Street

PO Box 189

Columbia City, Oregon  97018


Telephone:   503-397-4010

Fax:            503-366-2870

Email:          use our online contact form


Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday Closed from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. daily


Closed the following Holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.


Population: The population of the City of Columbia City was estimated to be 1,985 in July 2018.


Climate: Columbia City has a temperate climate with dry, moderately warm summers and wet, mild winters. Average annual precipitation in the County is slightly less than 50 inches. Prevailing winds up and down the Columbia River provide some circulation in local air sheds and assist in dilution of air pollutants. Snow or freezing weather is usually limited to only a few days, and 100° F. is seldom reached in the summer.

History: Columbia City’s location on the bank of the "Mighty Columbia River" made it a link in development of River transportation. The steamboat navigation was started on the Columbia River by theSternwheeler "Metlako" building of the combination sail and steam sidewheel ship "Beaver" launched in 1834 at London, England, for the Columbia and Willamette River traffic by the Hudson Bay Company. On its first voyage up the Columbia River to where it was to be based at Fort Vancouver, it would have gone by the sight that is now Columbia City. All that was here then was an Indian fishing village, which they called "Cumahi." There is no way to tell how it was spelled for the Indians did not have a written language.


Steam navigation continued to aid in the River development. The Caples Brothers of Columbia City owned and operated the Sternwheeler "Metlako" and ran it on a passenger and freight schedule from Portland to Woodland, Washington, and waypoints. The Graham Brothers owned and operated the Sternwheeler "Ottawa" out of early Columbia City. Later the Caples Brothers owned and operated the steam-powered propeller-driven "Victor." The three-foot diameter four-blade propeller of the "Victor" is now on display at the Caples House Museum.


The McVey house was built in 1871 as a store with a residence on the second story. By 1891 the building was also used as the Post Office. This was the only boat landing in the City, and River traffic stopped to pick up passengers and refuel—many of the River-going vessels burned wood for power. This house is a historic landmark and still stands at 2040 The Strand.

Caples HouseThe Caples House was built in 1870 by Doctor Charles Caples, a doctor in the area. The house was presented to the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1959 and is open to the public. The facility consists of the Main Museum (which is the original house), the Carriage House (which has been converted into a Costume house and Children’s Attic with old dolls and toys), a Country Store, a Pioneer Tool Shed, and the Knapp Social Center (which contains an assembly room, kitchen, library, and caretakers' living quarters). A brochure is available explaining their tour hours and rental fees.

ShipyardDuring World War I the Sommarstrom Brothers built a shipyard with four bays - to build four ships at once - in the South part of Columbia City where River Club Estates is now located. They hired a large crew and built wood ships for the U.S. Government. When the war ended, the ship contracts were cancelled.


Government: The City of Columbia City received its charter in 1926. The City has a Mayor and four Council Members. The City has a seven-member Planning Commission with a Comprehensive Plan and Development Code. The City Hall is located at 1840 Second Street and next to the City’s Community Hall. The Public Works Office and Shops are on the corner of Second Place and "J" Street. The Columbia City Community Library is located across from City Hall at 205 “I” Street.


Commerce and Industry: There is a convenience store and gas station at "A" Street and Highway 30. The Port of St. Helens owns the only industrial property in the City and has one of the few deep-water docks along the River. The site is also served by Western Pacific Railroad and the Columbia River Highway.

The original schoolSchools: The Columbia City Elementary School provides classes for kindergarten to 5th grade students.


Churches: None currently located in the City. Closest would be St. Helens.


Library: The Columbia City Community Library is open on Mondays and Tuesdays 10 AM - 2 PM, Wednesdays and Thursdays 3 PM - 6 PM and Saturdays 10 AM - 2 PM. The Library is located at 2000 Second Street, and the phone number for the Library is 503-366-8020. You can e-mail them at ccclibrary@live.com.


Housing: There are approximately 737 single-family dwellings, 53 manufactured homes, and 24 duplex units within the City. There are four multiple-family units providing another 16 housing units.


Communications: Cable television is available in Columbia City from Comcast - 1-888-824-2864. There is no local television station, however. There is also a post office located on the corner of Second and "I" Streets. Two newspapers one in Scappoose and one in St. Helens and a radio station is also located in nearby St. Helens.


Recreation: The geographic location of the City provides a natural environment for the enjoyment of outdoor activities. The marinas in the area, as well as the County parks, provide some recreational opportunities. Harvard Park features playground equipment, and the school grounds, 2000 Second Street, also offer a playground for use by the public. Jim Bundy Memorial Park hosts a picnic shelter and wooded areas, and offers a beautiful display of trillium from March through June. This heavily wooded park area is alongside the Columbia City bike path. Datis Park is located on the Riverfront. There are also two small privately owned parks open to the public within the City. The City owns a Community Hall, which can be rented for athletic or social activities. The Caples House Museum and Knapp Social Center offer opportunities for entertainment and rental use. Pacific Athletic Club, a membership organization, provides a weightlifting room, racquetball court, a swimming pool, a hot tub, sauna, complete aerobics, cardiovascular machines, and a basketball court. The Columbia River offers some of the finest fishing in the State, and many residents are quite active in this outdoor sport. Sailing and wind surfing have become increasingly popular for both sailors and viewers alike. Many residents consider their view of the River and the River traffic one of the most appealing features of the City.


Special Events: The Columbia City Celebration is held annually in September. This community event features a breakfast, auction, and other activities to raise funds for the Community Library.


Fleet Day is celebrated in June with the military ships traveling up the Columbia River and past the City on their way to Portland for the annual Rose Festival celebration. The DAR usually hosts a hotdog luncheon as a fundraiser.


The City is a good place to watch the Fourth of July fireworks set off from Sand Island across from the Columbia County Courthouse in St. Helens.


The second Saturday in December brings the arrival of the Christmas ships. Private boats decorated with lights motor by the City for everyone to enjoy.


Transportation: The Columbia County Rider provides general public transportation services. Call 503-366-0159 for route information or to purchase tickets or monthly passes.


Bike Paths: A designated bike path begins at the north City limits, follows along Highway 30, and extends to the River and back to Fourth Street where it then goes through a scenic, wooded area to the City of St. Helens (Rutherford Road Parkway). It passes Dalton Lake, which is located between Rutherford Road Parkway and the Columbia River.


Fire and Police Protection: The Columbia River Fire and Rescue offers fire protection to the City and has a substation located along Highway 30 near "G" Street. A Forestry Department office is located in the City near the intersection of Highway 30 and "E" Street. The City's Police Department is staffed by an Operations Sergeant, Police Sergeant, Police Officers and Reserve Police Officers. In addition, the City is served by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department and the Oregon State Police.


Medical Facilities: Doctors’ offices are in nearby St. Helens, two miles away.


Emergencies: Call 9-1-1 for emergencies: fire, police, and ambulance services. Call C-Com at 503-397-1521 for non-emergency matters or for water and sewer or animal control issues.


Click HERE for additional information about Columbia City, Oregon.



CompanyUtility TypeContact
Hudson Garbage ServiceHome Garbage,Recycling & Yard Debris Pickup503-397-1534
Columbia River PUDElectric503-397-1844
CenturyLinkPhone & DSL800-244-1111
Northwest Natural GasNatural Gas800-422-4012
ComcastCable, Internet & Phone800-824-8264
City of Columbia CityWater & Sewer503-397-4010

City of Columbia City • P.O. Box 189 • 1840 Second Street • Columbia City, OR  97018 • (503) 397-4010 • Contact Us