Historical Markers in
Washington County, Oregon

Oregon was the first state in the United States to legalize physician-assisted suicide. In 1994, Oregon voters passed the Death with Dignity Act, which allows terminally ill patients to obtain a prescription for a lethal dose of medication to end their lives.
Washington County, Oregon, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by the Atfalati tribe of the Kalapuya people, who thrived along the Tualatin River. European settlement began in the early 1800s, when trappers and traders arrived in the region. In 1843, the Oregon Trail opened, leading to an influx of settlers.

The creation of Washington County took place in 1843, making it one of the oldest counties in Oregon. It was named after the first President of the United States, George Washington. The county initially covered a vast area, stretching all the way from the Columbia River to California. Over time, its borders were reduced as new counties were established. Today, Washington County is located in northwest Oregon and covers an area of over 700 square miles.

In the late 1800s, the arrival of the railroad had a significant impact on the growth of Washington County. It brought new opportunities for trade and transportation, leading to the development of communities such as Hillsboro, Forest Grove, and Beaverton. Agriculture also played a crucial role in the county's early history, with the fertile soil and mild climate supporting crops, including wheat, hops, berries, and timber.

In the 20th century, Washington County experienced rapid urbanization and industrialization. The establishment of high-tech companies, such as Intel in the 1970s, led to the region becoming known as the "Silicon Forest" and a center for technology and innovation. Today, Washington County is a thriving area with a vibrant economy, diverse population, and a blend of urban and rural landscapes. It is home to numerous parks, nature reserves, and cultural attractions, making it an attractive destination for residents and visitors alike.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Washington County, Oregon.

  • 1840s - The area that is now Washington County was originally inhabited by the Tualatin people, who were displaced by European settlers.
  • 1847 - The Provisional Legislature of Oregon created Tuality District, which encompassed present-day Washington County.
  • 1850 - Tuality District was renamed Washington County after the first President of the United States, George Washington.
  • 1852 - Hillsboro was established as the county seat.
  • 1888 - The Oregon Electric Railway connected Portland to Forest Grove, spurring growth and development in the county.
  • 20th century - Washington County experienced significant population growth due to suburbanization and the expansion of industries such as technology and manufacturing.
  • 1978 - The Intel Corporation established its first large-scale manufacturing facility in Washington County, contributing to the area's reputation as the "Silicon Forest".
  • 2000s - The county continued to attract high-tech companies, leading to further economic growth and an increase in population.
  • 2020 - Washington County remains a thriving area with a diverse population and a strong economy.