Hayden Island is an island in the Columbia River between Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon. The wide main channel of the Columbia (and the Washington/Oregon state line) passes north of the island. To the south, sheltered by the island, is a smaller channel known as North Portland Harbor. Much of Hayden Island (and connected Tomahawk Island to the east) is within Portland city limits, and recognized as one of its 95 neighborhoods.
Hayden Island has had different names through history: e.g. Menzies Island and Painted Image Island. And for a time, both Hayden Island and Tomahawk Island, until that morphed into just Hayden Island when dredge material was deposited between two land masses.
Interstate 5 provides the only roadway connection to the island, via the northernmost Oregon exit, to the rest of North Portland and, with the Interstate Bridge, to Vancouver to the north. The BNSF Railway crosses North Portland Harbor (via the Oregon Slough Railroad Bridge) and the western part of the island to the west of I-5, before crossing the Columbia via the Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge 9.6. The east end of the island, often called Jantzen Beach, has highly developed retail areas near the freeway, hotels, offices, manufactured home communities, and condominium complexes. Further east there are several houseboat moorages and marinas.
Until the Interstate Bridge opened in 1917 ferries provided service between Portland and Vancouver from landings on the island's north shore. After the opening of the bridge, streetcar service opened Hayden Island to amusement park developments due to its beaches and strategic location. Jantzen Beach, the last operating amusement park, closed in 1970. Tomahawk Island, just off the east tip of Hayden Island, became another amusement park—Lotus Isle—for a few years in the 1930s.
In 1792, the island was discovered by Lieutenant William Robert Broughton, commander of the Royal Navy survey brig HMS Chatham, who named it Menzies, after the botanist of his ship Archibald Menzies and naming Vancouver after his commander George Vancouver. In 1805, Lewis and Clark named the island Image Canoe Island after a large canoe carved with images of men and animals emerged from the opposite side of the island.
Hudson's Bay Company called it Vancouver Island. And in the early 1800s it was called Shaw Island for Colonel W. Shaw who owned land on the island. In 1851, the island was renamed for the Oregon pioneer and early Vancouver, Washington settler Gay Hayden who owned the island after settling there in 1851 upon hearing of the Donation Land Claim Act a year after it was passed. He built a grand home and lived on the island for five years with his wife Mary Jane Hayden and twin children.