Forest Grove, Oregon Custom Home Builder

by Delahunt Custom Homes

Forest Grove is a city in Washington CountyOregonUnited States, 25 miles (40 km) west of Portland. Originally a small farm town, it is now primarily a bedroom suburb of Portland. Settled in the 1840s, the town was platted in 1850 and then incorporated in 1872, making it the first city in Washington County. The population was 21,083 at the 2010 census, an increase of 19.1% from the 2000 census (17,708).

Located in the Tualatin Valley, Oregon routes 8, and 47 pass through Forest Grove with 47 and 8 signed as the Tualatin Valley Highway south and east of the main part of the city, respectively, Oregon Route 8 signed as Gales Creek Road west of the city, and Oregon Route 47 signed as the Nehalem Highway north of the city. Pacific University has been the most distinctive aspect of the town throughout its history. Old College Hall on campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with nine other structures in the city. Local employers include the university as well as Tuality Forest Grove Hospital.


The principal landmark of Forest Grove is Pacific University, a private school of higher education. Its significant buildings include Old College Hall and Marsh Hall. Forest Grove, as well as CorneliusGales Creek, and Dilley, are all part of the Forest Grove School District.

Public Transportation

Forest Grove is within the TriMet district, and public transit service is provided by TriMet’s bus line 57-TV Highway/Forest Grove, which operates seven days a week. Line 57 connects the city with Hillsboroand Beaverton, via the Tualatin Valley Highway, and links Forest Grove with the Portland region‘s light rail system (MAX) in Hillsboro. Yamhill County Transit Area (YCTA) bus line 33-Hillsboro/MAX also stops in Forest Grove weekdays, at the intersection of Pacific Avenue & Highway 47 (Quince Street), and runs from Hillsboro to Gaston, Cove Orchard, YamhillCarlton & McMinnville via Highway 47, where riders can transfer to other YCTA buses running throughout Yamhill County.

Living in  Forest Grove, Oregon Custom Home Builder

The Pacific Northwest lifestyle is legendary and we are fortunate to enjoy some of the best of it. We have protected our original historic charm and small town friendliness. If you want a lifestyle without the pressures of big city living, our slower pace, nationally ranked schools, low crime, affordable housing, historic downtown, sporting and cultural organizations, abundant parks, excellent shopping and surrounding scenic beauty, then Forest Grove may be your ideal city.

We take pride in civic involvement and our events, streetscapes and beauty reflect this. Since the earliest days of our settlement, we have valued and preserved our trees and greenery, which has earned us the Tree City USA distinction for twenty consecutive years.

Accessibility. When you are ready for “a big city experience”, Downtown Portland with its busy cultural calendar, major sporting events and nightlife is just thirty minutes away via excellent State Highways and just one traffic light.

Affordable are predominantly single-family. The medium house value is $160,000 and new homes are priced between $140,000 and $500,000.

Community pride. Our strong sense of community pride is on show throughout the year when Historic Downtown comes alive with colorful and entertaining events that celebrate our heritage, passions and fun loving nature.

Enviable lifestyle. The Pacific Northwest lifestyle is legendary and we are fortunate to have some of the best of it. Besides our low crime rate and the village feel of our historic downtown, you’ll find a variety of wineries, concerts, events, forests, lakes and scenic golf courses provide the backdrop for an idyllic lifestyle.

Low cost energy. We offer some of the lowest costs for electricity in the Portland metro area without sacrificing reliability. Power is sourced from 100% renewables.

Schools and Education. There are ten local schools that are catering to the area’s 5,800 school-age children. These schools have “exceptional” ratings. Pacific University, adjacent to Historic Downtown, was established 150 years ago and is highly regarded for its liberal arts and professional health programs.

Shopping. The interesting specialty shops in Historic Downtown and the nearby malls provide a wide range of shopping opportunities for everything from groceries and furniture to appliances and sporting goods.

Sports. The city has 357 acres of parkland and open space, including facilities for soccer and baseball, a BMX course, skateboard park, tennis courts, an aquatic center and bowling alley.

If there is information you need that you can’t find online, please call City Hall at 503.992.3200 or email us at

City History for  Forest Grove, Oregon Custom Home Builder

The native tribes of the Tualatin branch of the Kalapuya Indians lived in the Forest Grove area prior to being settled by European immigrants in the 1840’s. The first settlers were Alvin and Abigail Smith, the Clarks and the Littlejohns. They built a log cabin in September 1841. In 1844, Harvey Clark arrived in the area and joined with Alvin Smith to start the Congregational Church. In 1845, Thomas Naylor claimed 562 acres near the present day downtown. By 1845, Forest Grove numbered 15 families and was referred to as West Tualatin Plains.

In 1849, Harvey Clark and Tabitha Brown established the Tualatin Academy, a school for children of settlers and a home for orphans. The Academy became a major attraction to new settlers. The charter was amended to add Pacific University. Both schools operated until 1915 when Tualatin Academy ceased operations due to competition with public schools. In 1859, the name Forest Grove was officially recognized for the area around Pacific University. This name probably referred to the grove of oak trees on and around the University.

Farming was the predominant occupation. In 1869, a 100-ton steamship carrying both freight and passengers began operating on the Tualatin River from Emerick’s Landing just east of Forest Grove. The first rail was established in 1869. This spurred industrial growth around the stop. By 1870, 396 people lived in Forest Grove and the community started to diversify with only 33% of the population employed as farmers. The rest were merchants and craftsmen or professionals working at the school. The City was formally incorporated in 1872.

The first newspaper, The Independent, was established in 1872. Electric power came to Forest Grove in 1892 and a City ordinance was passed in 1893 requiring all buildings in the downtown core to be constructed of brick to reduce the risk of fire. Many of these buildings remain in active use today. In the early 1900’s, the City continued to grow as electric streetcar service and rail lines connected Forest Grove with Portland and McMinnville. In 1914 the name of Tualatin Academy was officially changed to Pacific University. During the period of 1915-1940, the population grew little topping out at 2,450 in 1940. The Great Depression and major forest fires affecting logging in the Tillamook Forest hurt the local economy and slowed growth. After World War II, significant growth resumed and has continued to today. By 1947, the number of building permits issued was three times the number in 1938. Population grew from 2,450 in 1940 to 8,275 in 1970 to 20,380 today. Developed acreage increased from 406 acres in 1948 to 1,984 acres in 1985. Led by food and beverage processing and manufacturing, the local economy includes concentrations of value-added wood products, high-tech industry, education, and health care, while the main agriculture products include nurseries, winemaking and blueberries. Housing types include apartments, homes constructed of modest frame construction built in the 1950’s to modern full-amenity executive housing. Today, Forest Grove is a full service city with both urban and rural elements that make it an attractive place to live, work, learn and play.