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West Linn
West Linn, Oregon
West Linn City Hall
West Linn City Hall
Flag of West Linn
Official seal of West Linn
City of Hills, Trees and Rivers
Location in Oregon
Location in Oregon
Country United States
State Oregon
County Clackamas
Incorporated 1913
Named for Lewis F. Linn
 • Total 8.09 sq mi (20.95 km2)
 • Land 7.42 sq mi (19.22 km2)
 • Water 0.67 sq mi (1.73 km2)
105 ft (32 m)
 • Total 25,109
 • Estimate 
 • Density 3,603.23/sq mi (1,391.29/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (Pacific)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 503
FIPS code 41-80150
GNIS feature ID 1128884

West Linn is a city in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. A southern suburb within the Portland metropolitan area, West Linn developed on the site of the former Linn City, which was named after U.S. Senator Lewis F. Linn of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, who had advocated the American occupation of the Oregon territory as a counterclaim to the British.

The Sullivan hydroelectric plant opened in 1889, and harvested energy from nearby Willamette Falls. The adjacent Willamette Falls Paper Company began operations the same year.

As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 25,109.


Prior to settlement by Oregon pioneers, the area which became known as West Linn was the home of ancestors of some of the present-day Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon.

19th century

Major Robert Moore was an early settler arriving in 1839—before the Champoeg Meetings—having been the senior member of the first attempt to create an American state in Oregon, the Peoria Party. Sometime after journeying around the Willamette Valley and Columbia Basin, Moore bought title to approx. 1,000 acres (400 ha) on the west side of Willamette Falls, across the Willamette River from Oregon City, from a local Native American chief, on which he platted a town he called "Robin's Nest" in early 1843.

For many years Linn City was a political and commercial rival to the adjacent town of Oregon City, but it suffered a series of natural and man-made setbacks. A major fire and the Great Flood of 1862 put a halt to the pioneer settlement in 1861, dispersing many of the surviving family members throughout the Pacific Northwest.

20th century

West Linn was incorporated in 1913 and merged with the adjacent town of Willamette in 1916, which had incorporated five years earlier. When the City of West Linn incorporated in 1913, it encompassed West Oregon City, Bolton, Sunset and Willamette Heights. The incorporation allowed the settlements to obtain needed services, utilities, and improvements without annexing to Oregon City. After considerable debate on a name, the city founders decided to honor the pioneer town that Moore had established. The city's population historically grew steadily, but in recent years has leveled off. The 1860 census listed 225 residents. By 1920, the number had grown to 1,628. The 1960 census set the population at 2,923, and by 1970, West Linn had grown to more than 7,000. The city’s population has continued to grow each year. Currently, the city’s population is 25,250.

21st century

In 2011, the City of West Linn was the Top-Ranked Oregon City on the CNN/Money Magazine 'Best Places to Live 2011' List. Citing 'breathtaking views of the Cascades and relatively low local taxes,' the Number 69 listing includes a photo of Central Village, and also mentions the Music in the Park concert series, the historic Willamette area, the farmer's market, and the Street Dance. The City of Sherwood is the only other Oregon city to make the 2011 listing, coming in at Number 100. In 2009, the City of West Linn was included on the 'Best Places to Live 2009' list. Oregonians move to the hilltop homes here for a scenic view of the Cascades and relatively low local taxes. With Portland just 25 minutes away, most residents commute into the city during the week. Weekends are spent enjoying waterfront recreation: West Linn sits at the junction of two rivers. On summer evenings, residents enjoy picnic dinners over concerts in the park. Locals also flock to a revitalized downtown area, Historic Willamette, which offers a farmer’s market and, occasionally, dancing in the street.

In 2012, the City of West Linn was named Tree City USA Community by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to urban forestry. It is the 19th year West Linn has earned this national honor from the Arbor Day Foundation, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. “We all benefit when communities like West Linn place a high priority on planting and caring for trees, one of our nation’s most beautiful resources,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Trees shade our homes and add beauty to our neighborhoods, and they also provide many environmental, economic and social benefits. We applaud West Linn’s elected officials, volunteers and citizens for providing vital care for its urban forest.”


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.05 square miles (20.85 km2), of which, 7.39 square miles (19.14 km2) is land and 0.66 square miles (1.71 km2) is water. The city is located between the Willamette and Tualatin rivers; it includes the former townsites/developments of Willamette, Bolton, Multnomah City, Sunset City, and West Oregon City. Willamette was incorporated in 1908, the City of West Linn was incorporated in 1913, and the two towns merged in 1916. Later annexations brought in the Cedaroak, Marylhurst and Hidden Springs neighborhoods. Infill created the Tanner Basin and Tannler neighborhoods.

The Nature Conservancy maintains the Camassia Natural Area in central West Linn as one of its conservancy preserves. The 26-acre (11 ha)-area is located on a rocky plateau exposed by the Bretz Floods and now named after the camas which bloom there in spring; it hosts about 300 other species, including the white rock larkspur, a species located in only a half dozen other places in the world. It supports Oregon white oak-madrone woodlands, a stand of quaking aspen, wet meadows, ponds, and vernal pools.

The Mary S. Young State Recreation Area, located between Oregon Route 43 and the Willamette River, featuring a large off leash dog area, soccer fields and 5-8 miles worth of trails is located in West Linn.

West Linn is located in the area where the Willamette Meteorite was placed by the Missoula Floods.


Extremes range from −2 °F (−19 °C), recorded in 1950, to 107 °F (42 °C), recorded in 1956 and 1981.

Climate data for West Linn, OR
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 66
Average high °F (°C) 49
Average low °F (°C) 37
Record low °F (°C) −2
Precipitation inches (mm) 6.78


Old Town Willamette
Historic Willamette Business District.
Sadie White House - West Linn Oregon
Historic Gothic revival house, Willamette District
Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 1,628
1930 1,956 20.1%
1940 2,165 10.7%
1950 2,945 36.0%
1960 3,933 33.5%
1970 7,091 80.3%
1980 11,358 60.2%
1990 16,367 44.1%
2000 22,261 36.0%
2010 25,109 12.8%
2019 (est.) 26,736 6.5%

The median income for a household in the city was $72,010, and the median income for a family was $83,252 (These figures had risen to $94,844 and $108,821 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $61,458 versus $38,733 for females. The per capita income for the city was $34,671, among the state's top five. About 2.9% of families and 3.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.6% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 25,109 people, 9,523 households, and 7,081 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,397.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,311.9/km2). There were 10,035 housing units at an average density of 1,357.9 per square mile (524.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.7% White, 0.7% African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.0% of the population.

There were 9,523 households, of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.8% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 25.6% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 41.5 years. 26.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.3% were from 25 to 44; 33.4% were from 45 to 64; and 11.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.


Public schools in West Linn, including West Linn High School, are part of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. It is also home to Columbia Academy, a private school licensed by Applied Scholastics.

The city operates the West Linn public library as part of the Library Information Network of Clackamas County.

Notable people

  • Steve Blake, former professional basketball player
  • Gert Boyle, the chairwoman of Columbia Sportswear, resident beginning in 1987
  • Darlene Hooley, United States Congresswoman
  • Nate McMillan, former head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers
  • Cade McNown, football player
  • Cole Gillespie, baseball player
  • Michael Harper, former basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers
  • Robert Moore, founder of Linn City
  • Brandon Roy, former basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers
  • Chael Sonnen, mixed martial artist
  • Mitch Williams, baseball player
  • Monty Williams, former NBA player, former assistant coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, head coach of the Phoenix Suns
  • Payton Pritchard, basketball player
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