Historic Landmarks Board: Historic Neighborhoods
Forest Grove's history is rooted in education and religion. The founders of the town came to the region as missionaries. Missionary Alvin Thompson Smith was the first to settle in the area, building a cabin in 1841.
The region was developing as a farming region, but neighbors were few and far between in the 1840s. In 1854, Smith built a two-story Greek Revival house for himself and his wife, Abigale. The house still stands today on the south edge of town, with the help of a group of dedicated friends working hard to preserve the important structure.
The Reverend Harvey Clark arrived a year later in 1842 and settled a land claim north of the Smiths. He started a Congregational Church, one that also served as a school house. In 1847, Tabitha Brown arrived and started an orphanage in conjunction with the school. By 1849, the Tualatin Academy was established. One must understand that in 1854, the 36 square miles surrounding the Forest Grove area contained only 25 to 30 landowners. Families lived on their individual farms, as the large acreage of these their land claims made them quite isolated from their neighbors. Agriculture was the primary occupation of early Forest Grove residents. The creation of Tualatin Academy and the town soon to be known as Forest Grove that sprung up around it, forever altered this dispersed development pattern. The Academy evolved into the Pacific University of today. For a more thorough history of Forest Grove, click here.
The Historic Downtown is an undesignated area that is centered at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Main Street. From the intersection, the historic core runs northward a block along Main Street and for several blocks along Pacific Avenue.
The late 1880s brought a boom to Forest Grove with the arrival of land speculators and developers. The "Gay Nineties" saw the development of electricity and water facilities in Forest Grove. Much of brick downtown was developed during this period. The names of the buildings repeat in the names of the grander houses in Forest Grove. The downtown core fortunately avoided the fire of 1919 and survives today very much intact.
To download the history (i.e., context statement) for the downtown (approximately 120k), click here.
To see detail on a historic resource in the Historic Downtown, either point your mouse to a historic resource on the map below and click, or if you know the address, click on the address link at the bottom of the page.
The Clark District
The Clark National Historic District was created south of downtown in 2002. It is a roughly rectangular area with irregular borders of 19th and 16th Avenues on the north and south, and A and Elm Streets on the west and east.
Central School is on the west edge, Rogers Park on the east edge. The area is residential with a scattering of churches. The Historic District contains 178 historic sites. The area is named after the Reverend Harvey Clark and his wife, Emeline. With the help of A.T. Smith, the Clarks built a log cabin on their land claim north of the Smiths. Reverend Clark was instrumental in the creation of the Tualatin Academy. Much of the land where the Clark Historic District stands was donated to the Academy by Clark as an endowment. The land was originally platted into one-acre lots. The land was purchased and houses were built for local residents in a wide variety of occupations. This variety translated into a spectrum of architectural styles from Second Empire to Bungalow.
To download the entire history for the Clark Historic District (approximately 3mb), click here.
To see detail on a historic resource in the Clark Historic District, either point your mouse to a historic resource on the map below and click, or if you know the address, click on the address link at the bottom of the page.
The Naylor-Walker Neighborhood area is north of the downtown and west of Pacific University. The area is residential containing some of the oldest houses in Forest Grove.
Many of Forest Grove's local historic landmarks are located in this neighborhood. Thomas G. Naylor and the Reverend Elkanah Walker settled donation land claims west and north of Harvey Clark, respectively. Both gave land to found the Tualatin Academy. Many of the names connected to the houses are repeated on the downtown commercial buildings. The area contained a small commercial district on its southeast edge that was devastated by a fire in 1919.
To download the history (i.e., context statement) for the Naylor-Walker Neighborhood (approximately 6mb), click here.
To see detail on a historic resource in the Naylor-Walker Neighborhood, either point your mouse to a historic resource on the map below and click, or if you know the address, click on the address link at the bottom of the page.
The Southside Neighborhood, as its name implies, is south of downtown. It is also abuts the southern edge of the Clark Historic District. The residential neighborhood is bounded roughly on the north by 16th Avenue, south by 10th Avenue, east by Hawthorne Street, and west by Main Street.
The area includes the South Park Addition (1891), Bailey’s Addition and Smith Addition (1906), Knob Hill Addition (1909), and Bowman Addition (1946). The oldest homes naturally fall in the South Park Addition. About 75% of the houses in South Park Addition are 50 years old or older, and about 25% of those houses were constructed before 1915. The intersection of 15th and Elm has the most significant concentration of historic homes in the addition with the Watts House (1905), the site of the original Tualatin Academy; the Bailey House (1892) next door; and the Marble House (1890) across the street. However, the Southside Neighborhood historically contains only a few of the high style houses of the wealthy of Forest Grove, concentrating instead on a large percentage of the middle class houses of Forest Grove.
To download the entire history (i.e., context statement) for the Southside Neighborhood (approximately 3mb), click here.
To see detail on a historic house in the Southside Neighborhood, either point your mouse to a historic house on the map below and click, or if you know the address, click on the address link at the bottom of the page.
|2206 12th Ave
2128 15th Ave
2204 15th Ave
2339 15th Ave
|2406 15th Ave
2422 15th Ave
2434 15th Ave
|2237 16th Ave
1502 Ash St
1414 Birch St
|1320 Cedar St
1506 Cedar St
1504 Elm St