5 Things You Didn’t Know about Sherwood, Oregon

Tucked into a quiet corner of the Tualatin Valley, Sherwood is a suburb of Portland that doesn’t feel like a suburb so much as its own quiet town. Centered around a quaint downtown, this little nook of the greater Portland area exudes history and charm. But while Sherwood maintains a small town feel, don’t mistake that for small town thinking.

There’s something for everyone in this community, whether you’re looking for arts and culture, dining, or peace and quiet. Today let’s take a peek at five of the most interesting – and little known – aspects of Sherwood, Oregon, one of the best kept secrets in the Portland suburb market.

#1 – Yes, There Is a Connection to Robin Hood

When you first heard the name Sherwood, did you think of Sherwood Forest? Well, that was intentional, to an extent. Sherwood has a long history, and so does its name. First settled by the Tualatin peoples, Sherwood saw its first influx of non-native settlers in the mid 1800s, especially following the California Gold Rush of 1849. In 1885, a man by the name of J. C. Smock granted the railroad access through his property, and the town became known as Smockville.

Now, Smockville is not the most attractive name in dictionary, in our humble opinion. And apparently the townspeople agreed, since they allowed a prominent business man, Robert Alexander, to rename it Sherwood after his hometown of Sherwood, Michigan. Now, we have no idea if the Michigan town has any connection to Robin Hood. But local lore here goes that Alexander also claimed the woods surrounding the town to be reminiscent of Sherwood Forest in England.

We’ll never know exactly how true that is, but it does make for good marketing. And luckily, Sherwood can back up the claim with a number of beautiful parks and abundant greenery. If you’re searching for something a little more untouched, just to the north you’ll find the Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge. This beautiful territory, which sits in a part of the Tualatin River floodplain, boasts a huge number of native species of plants and animals.

#2 – Sherwood Is a Wine Destination

We all know that Oregon is famous for its vineyards. But you might not always have to time to trek out all the way into what we think of as “wine country.” Located only 30 minutes from downtown Portland, Sherwood still offers up a lot for wine lovers. To date, it homes seven estate vineyards. Take a tour, sample the goods, and be back in Portland by dusk (after taking a walk in the beautiful rolling hills of the wineries to sober up, of course). Or, stop in downtown and enjoy the small town charm before heading back to the city.

Better yet, you could always snag a piece of real estate in this paradise for yourself. With downtown Portland only a half hour drive away, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on any of the city excitement.

#3 – Sherwood Promotes Access to the Arts

Remember when we said Sherwood isn’t a place for small town thinking? There’s truth to that, and there isn’t. It’s a community that values the arts, yes, but it also wants everyone to have access to them.

One of our favorite hallmarks of the Sherwood community is the Sherwood Center for the Arts. This little corner for creativity resulted from big dreams, a labor of love that came alive thanks to community support. The first inklings for this wonderful community center date back to 2001, but in 2015, the center officially opened. They offer a number of programs from arts education to community theater to showing local artists’ work.

So what does this tell us about Sherwood as a city? That they care about fostering creativity for all the segments of their community. The classes range from those for young children to those for adults of any age. And they even offer a program called “Parents Night Out,” which provides affordable child care so parents can, well, you get the point.

#4 – Sherwood Has Highly Rated Schools

Sherwood may not come with the aura of prestige of a larger suburb like West Linn, but that doesn’t mean it can’t offer up an excellent education. For one thing, Niche gives them an A rating for schools. But another thing we’ve found, having written about Portland neighborhoods and suburbs for so long, is it can be difficult to get good information about schools. Have you ever found yourself asking, how do I even figure out what school serves a certain address? You aren’t alone.

School websites are often labyrinthine and less helpful than they ought to be. So when we see one that’s helpful, clear, and well-designed, we see that as a pretty good sign. Sherwood School District’s website is clean and direct. It provides helpful and easy-to-find links to necessary information and services. Granted, some projects have been put on hold given the pandemic, but if you check out their resources page, you can easily access information about programs and major news about the school system.

#5 – Sherwood Hosts Some of the Coolest Events in the PDX Area

And now we’re back to Robin Hood, and to Portland being weird. A tradition that dates back over 50 years, the Sherwood Robin Hood Festival celebrates the city’s name and heritage with music, food, dancing, and of course, costumes. Merry men, women, children, and anything in between will find something to love here. Local vendors add to the fun, and the brave (and competent) can try their hand at the archery tournament.

Prefer your nostalgia a little less medieval and a little more vintage? Sherwood has you covered on that front too, with the Cruisin’ Sherwood Classic & Custom Car Show. What stated off as an informal gathering of small town folks showing off their cars has bloomed into one of Portland’s biggest and liveliest car shows. It’s family friendly (but still has a beer garden, naturally), and surely a spectacle not to miss.

Interested in a Home in Sherwood?

Whether you want to ditch Portland for a quieter suburb, or buy in Portland and visit Sherwood, our our top 1% sellers agents and top 1% buyers agents are here to help. If we’ve piqued your curiosity today about Sherwood, Oregon, give us a call and find out more about what Sherwood has to offer!

March 22, 2021

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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