Rainier, Oregon

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Rainier is a city in Columbia County, Oregon, United States. The population was 1,687 at the 2000 census. Rainier is located on the south bank of the Columbia River across from Kelso and Longview, Washington



Rainier was founded in 1851 on the south bank of the Columbia River by Charles E. Fox, the town's first postman. First called Eminence, its name was later changed to Fox's Landing and finally to Rainier. The name Rainier was taken from Mount Rainier in Washington, which can be seen from hills above the city. Rainier was incorporated in 1881.[3]

For much of the last quarter of the twentieth century, Rainier was known to the rest of Oregon as home to Trojan Nuclear Power Plant, the only commercial nuclear reactor in the state, which supplied electricity to Portland and its suburbs starting in March 1976. This reactor was closed periodically due to structural problems, and in January 1993, it was decommissioned after cracks developed in the steam tubes. On May 21, 2006, the cooling tower was demolished.

The closing of the Trojan plant set off a decline in the number of businesses in the city. While some retail and services are available in the city, there is currently, for example, no supermarket remaining in the city. Services are available in neighboring Clatskanie, St. Helens, and in Longview, Washington.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.8 km²), of which, 1.6 square miles (4.2 km²) of it is land and 1.0 square miles (2.6 km²) of it (38.40%) is water.

Rainier is surrounded by a number of rural communities. In the past, these places acted as separate communities. Today, most businesses and services have left these rural sites, and the communities are part of a large unincorporated area that receive services out of Rainier. These communities include Fern Hill, Hudson, Alston, Apiary, Goble, and Prescott. Except for Prescott, which is an incorporated city (despite having neither a post office nor a separate telephone exchange), little remains to identify these places today other than left-over identifying signs or historic landmarks, such as an abandoned or converted school buildings. Residents here may say they live in Rainier or will alternatively use the name of the individual community.[citation needed]

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