5 Things You Didn’t Know About Forest Grove, Oregon

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There’s no doubt that many people find Portland a desirable place to call home yet resist living in the city proper due to real estate prices and a preference for a quieter lifestyle. The good news is that Portland is surrounded by several suburbs, just as desirable in their own right, offering people the possibility of the quieter, more affordable lifestyle they want with easy access to Portland and all its amenities.

Forest Grove, Oregon has a lot to offer. Here, we share five things you might not know about Forest Grove, a quiet, growing community located just twenty-five miles west of Portland.

Check them out and see if this up-and-coming suburb is a good fit for everything you want in a home.

1. Forest Grove is Home to Pacific University

Home to five colleges—Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Health, and Optometry—Pacific University, one of Forest Grove’s most prominent landmarks, has been providing higher education to students since 1854. Prior to that, the site served as a school and orphanage, beginning in 1847, for the orphans of the Applegate Trail party.

Pacifica’s mascot, a bronze recasting of the original Qilin statue, a mythical Chinese creature from the Qing Dynasty, was gifted to the university in 1896 by missionary J.E. Walker and his mother. Named Boxer early on by Pacific’s Chinese and Japanese students in recognition of the community’s cultural diversity, the current statue has a history of its own.

After the first statue was presented, it and its subsequent replacement disappeared twice. Finally, in 2006, a 12-ft. tall replica of the statue was placed in the university’s central park, continuing to serve as a reminder of the original’s symbolism of wisdom and prosperity.

Oregon’s only federally-designated Asian Pacific Islander Serving Institution, Pacific has been educating and shaping the minds of its students since its conception. Highly respected as Oregon’s Number 1 private research institution in the Pacific Northwest, it has been a place many have considered a top choice when selecting a school to shape their careers.

Even Harvey Scott, The Oregonian’s best known editor, had his heart so set on an education at Pacific University, the closest college to him at the time. He walked from home to Forest Grove to attend, the area we know today as Olympia-Tacoma.

2. Forest Grove was the First City in Washington County

Forest Grove owns the honor of being Washington County’s first city. It began as a small farm town, settled in the 1840s. It was platted in 1850 and incorporated in 1872. The 2020 census reported Forest Grove’s population at 26,225, an increase from 21,083 in 2010.

Before the 1840s when Euro-Americans settled the area, the Atfalati band of the Kalapuya tribe lived and worked in the area.

The name Forest Grove was suggested by Pacific University trustee J. Quinn Thornton, and the name was selected by a board of trustees meeting in 1851.

3. Forest Grove is Home to One of Oregon’s Largest Giant Sequoias

Much of the Portland metro area is blessed with still-standing ancient sequoia trees. Forest Grove itself is home to more than a hundred of these giants, many of which are at least 140 years old.

One particular sequoia, known as one of the oldest in the state of Oregon, is located on the corner of Pacific Avenue and B Street in Forest Grove. This beautiful giant, recognized as an Oregon state heritage tree measures 32 feet around and 152 feet tall.

4. Premier Vintage Car Show

Unknown to many, Forest Grove is home to one of four premier vintage car shows in the entire United States. Concours d’Elegance, an annual summer event, has been in operation for almost 30 years and draws thousands visitors from all over to view hundreds of pre- and post-World War II classic cars from the Pacific University campus.

5. Forest Grove is Wine Country

Wineries abound in and around Forest Grove! There’s a long list of purveyors of the grape in nearby towns, and from this list, eight of them have a Forest Grove zip code!

Forest Grove’s location, the far north end of the Willamette Valley, makes it the ideal place to experience Oregon Wine Country. In fact, the Forest Grove area boasts the most wineries in the Portland metro area.

Forest Grove is a Great Place for Real Estate Investment

With the annual average home sale price in Forest Grove at the end of 2021 coming in at $502,900, according to the most recent RMLS report, compared to Portland’s $571,900, we can see the affordability factor the quiet community offers (in comparison).

This puts Forest Grove’s real estate price increase over the past year at 15.5%. Needless to say, prices keep rising everywhere. Looking for a brand new home? Forest Grove has several approved subdivisions in progress with several others in the review process.

Approved Subdivisions

  • Pacific Woods Subdivision—21 parcels for single-family attached homes located at 2345 26th Avenue
  • Lee Meadow Subdivision—12 parcels for single-family detached homes located at 1350 Gales Creek Road
  • Kingwood Commons Planned Development—20 parcels for single-family attached homes located at 2354 Kingwood Street.
  • Farmstead Crossing—14 single-family attached residential lots, 117 single-family detached residential lots, with one wetland tract and one water quality trace. Under construction.

Proposed and/or Under Review

  • David Estates—221 single-unit attached and attached homes on 24.5 ares north of David Hill Road
  • 26th Avenue—25 single-family attached residential lots located at 2520-2522 26th Avenue
  • Parkview Terrace Subdivision—133 single-unit detached residential lots and 32 single-unit attached townhomes

There are currently 86 homes for sale in and around Forest Grove.

Interested in Buying a Home in Forest Grove?

Now that you know a little more about Forest Grove and can see the potential this growing community offers, give us a call at 503-773-0000. Our top 1% buyer’s team would love to show you all the Forest Grove homes for sale and help you find the one that’s right for you!

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