Willsonville Custom Home Builder

Todd Delahunt – Delahunt Custom Homes

Wilsonville is a city primarily in Clackamas CountyOregonUnited States. A portion of the northern section of the city is in Washington County. Originally founded as Boones Landing due to the Boones Ferrywhich crossed the Willamette River at the location, the community became Wilsonville in 1880. The city was incorporated in 1969 with a population of around 1,000. The population was 13,991 at the 2000 census, and grew to 19,509 at the 2010 census. Slightly more than 90% of residents at the 2000 census were White, with Hispanics as the largest minority group.

Located within the Portland metropolitan area, the city also includes the planned community of Charbonneau on the south side of the river. The city is bisected by Interstate 5 and includes I-5’s Boone Bridgeover the Willamette. Public transportation is provided by the city’s South Metro Area Regional Transit, which includes Wilsonville Station on the Westside Express Service operated by TriMet. Students in public schools attend schools in the West Linn-Wilsonville and Canby school districts, including the only traditional high school, Wilsonville High SchoolClackamas Community College and Pioneer Pacific Collegeboth have campuses in the city.

Wilsonville has a council-manager form of government and operates its own library, public works, and parks department. Fire and police protection are contracted out to other regional government agencies. The city is home to several technology companies including Mentor Graphics, along with Stream Global Services, the largest employer in the city. Wilsonville contains many distribution and manufacturing buildings adjacent to Interstate 5 such as regional distribution facilities for Coca Cola and Rite Aid. Retail centers include Argyle Square on the north and the Town Center Shopping Center to the south. Media in Wilsonville consists of the Portland area broadcast stations, regional newspapers, and the local Wilsonville Spokesman newspaper.

History of Willsonville Custom Home Builder

Alphonso Boone, the grandson of Daniel Boone, settled in what would later become Wilsonville in 1846 and established the Boones Ferry across the Willamette River in 1847.The ferry gave rise to the community of Boones Landing, which eventually grew into Wilsonville. Originally, the area was part of what became Yamhill County, but was transferred to the current Clackamas County in 1855. The first post office was established in 1876 with the name, Boones Ferry.

Wilsonville became the name of the community on June 3, 1880, named after the first postmaster, Charles Wilson. That same year the first school, Wilsonville Grade School, was opened as a single-room building. By 1890, the railroad had reached town and the community contained depot, several hotels, a saloon, a tavern, a bank, and several other commercial establishments. In 1897, the twelve school districts in the vicinity of Wilsonville up to Lake Oswego merged to create a single district. A railroad bridge was built across the river for the Oregon Electric Railway beginning in 1906. The bridge was completed the next year and service from Wilsonville south to Salem began in 1908.

A new Methodist church was built in the community in 1910, which was used until 1988 and is still standing. Two years later, a new two-room school replaced the old one-room school, which in turn was replaced by a modern school in the mid 1900s, all on the same property. In 1939, the wooden trestle part of the railroad bridge across the Willamette caught fire and burned. Boones Ferry was decommissioned after the Boone Bridge opened in 1954 carrying what was then the Baldock Freeway, and is today Interstate 5.

In 1961, the Dammasch State Hospital mental hospital opened on the west side of the community. Gordon House, the only house in Oregon to be designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was built in 1963 near what became Charbonneau and moved to the Oregon Garden in 2001.[  Wilsonville was flooded in 1964 and the first fire station was built in 1966. Wilsonville was incorporated as a city in 1969 with a population of about 1,000. In 1971, the planned community of Charbonneau on the south side of the river was annexed into the city the year after development began.

Tektronix built a campus in the city beginning in 1973, which was later sold to Xerox. The following year Wilsonville’s city hall relocated from Tauchman House at what is now Boones Ferry Park to a trailer and the next year the first city manager was hired. A standalone post office was built in 1976 at Boones Ferry and Wilsonville roads, with city police protection added in 1979. In 1980, the city reached a population of 2,920, and in 1982 the library was opened. The next year, a new city hall was opened, replacing a trailer that had served as city hall since 1975.

In 1988, the city opened their first library building, which replaced the one-room library located in space leased from the school district. The population grew to 7,106 at the 1990 census, and in 1991 the Town Center Shopping Center along Wilsonville Road opened. Due to growth in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, the school board approved building a new high school to be located in Wilsonville in 1992.

Willsonville Custom Home Builder

Author Walt Morey owned an estate in Wilsonville and after his death in 1992, his widow sold the property to a developer. The housing development built on that property, Morey’s Landing, bears his name as does the children’s section of the Wilsonville Public Library. Walt Morey Park, a bear-themed park located in Morey’s Landing, contains a life-size 8-foot-tall wooden statue of Morey’s most famous literary creation, Gentle Ben.

Living Enrichment Center, a New Thought Church with as many as 3,000 members, was headquartered in Wilsonville from 1992 until 2004. The church closed that year after problems that including money laundering by the church leaders led to the bankrupting of the church.

In 1995, Dammasch State Hospital was closed by the state of Oregon, and the site was then proposed as a location for what became the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, which opened in 2001 at a different site to the north of the old hospital grounds. In protest of the construction of the prison, specifically the effect on property values, Larry Eaton began erecting school buses on his property. The former grounds of the state hospital are, as of 2009, under development as Villebois, a primarily residential complex. Also in 1995, Wilsonville High School opened as part of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, the first high school in the city’s history. In 1998, lack of an adequate long-term water supply forced the city to suspend adding any new developments to the city. A new water treatment plant on the Willamette River opened in 2002 to address this need.

The Wilsonville Public Library was expanded to nearly four times the size of the 7,500-square-foot (700 m2) 1988 building with an expansion finished in 2002. Wilsonville Primary School was closed in June 2001, and later sold with the property and turned into a shopping center, anchored by an Albertsons supermarket. In September 2006, Wilsonville opened a new $9.9 million, two-story brick and steel city hall after a controversy concerning its location led to unsuccessful attempts to recall several elected officials in the city, including the mayor.

Todd Delahunt
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Todd Delahunt

Delahunt Homes is a residential, custom, luxury home builder serving the Portland Metropolitan area and other parts of the Pacific Northwest. We've been building custom dream homes featured in The Street of Dreams since 1992.
Todd Delahunt
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