The Port of Kalama lies on the northeast banks of the Columbia River in southwest Washington State. The Port of Kalama is part of the Columbia River Waterway system. The Port of Kalama is located about 10 nautical miles (17 kilometers or 10.5 miles direct) north-northwest of the Port of St. Helens. The Port of Kalama is also about 25 nautical miles downriver (45 kilometers or 28 miles direct) north of the Port of Portland, Oregon. The Port of Kalama is part of the Longview-Washington Metropolitan area. In 2010, the population of the Port of Kalama was 2344.
When it was unofficially incorporated in 1871, the Port of Kalama the northern end of the ferry from Goble, Oregon, operated by the Northern Pacific Railway. The Port of Kalama was an important link in the rail system until rail bridges in Portland were constructed in 1909.
The Port of Kalama was born when the Northern Pacific's General John W. Sprague drive a stake at the beginning of the railroad's Pacific Division in 1870. The railroad started its service to Puget Sound and Commencement Bay. Eight hundred men came to build the railroad in 1871, and schedule service between the Port of Kalama and Tacoma started in 1874.
In 1884, a railroad ferry started carrying people and goods across the Columbia River. The ferry operated for 25 years. The ferry had capacity for 12 passenger or 27 freight railcars.