Some of the most frequently asked questions and tools for answering them are below.
Our volunteers at FHFG consult a few resources in order to answer this question, and most of these resources are available online!
Washington County Government: Historic Records
1. Check the Washington County Records inventory first to find out what kinds of records are available
2. In the Public Records Request Portal: create an account and log in
3. Go to "County Public Records" > Submit a Request to the County > Fill out Request Form.
Some county records have already been digitized or are available through other request methods:
InterMap GIS database : Shows tax lots and sometimes links to historic property tax information
Washington County Cartography Office : More maps related to property boundaries
Court Records : Links to resources for requesting court records; you will need names and/or case numbers
Deeds, Mortgages, Marriage Licenses : See "Get a copy of a recorded document"
The best source overall for finding historical photographs of the Forest Grove area is WashingtonCountyHeritage.org. This site contains thousands of historic images from the collections of Friends of Historic Forest Grove, Pacific University, Forest Grove City Library, Five Oaks Museum, and more.
If you cannot find photographs there, some additional places to check include:
- Pacific University Archives. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about any undigitized photos in their collections. (Most of their collections are about the university, its students and faculty.)
- Forest Grove News-Times newspaper archives on microfilm: these are free to use at the Forest Grove City Library whenever it is open.
- Try asking on the Historic Forest Grove Facebook page! With over 2,000 members, someone may know where to find the picture you need!
The best source overall for finding historical photographs of the Forest Grove area is WashingtonCountyHeritage.org; see their Reproductions page for notes on how to request permission to use an image there.
If you already know that FHFG is the owner of the original photograph that you wish to use, please Contact Us with a description or link to the photograph and a note about how you would like to use it.
FHFG has a few articles on this site about prominent people, places and events in our past (see the Learn tab), but there is so much more that we have not yet covered! A few sources that are particularly useful for reference include:
Splendid Audacity: the Story of Pacific University (free ebook)
The first section of this ebook provides an excellent introduction to the early history of Forest Grove. Later chapters go into depth about the history of the university. Check the index for local names, places and events!
Forest Grove - Images of America (printed book available through Amazon or at the Library)
This book was authored by Lisa Amato and Mary Jo Morelli (past FHFG president): it contains many pictures and an overview of our history.
Forest Grove Indian School Web Site and Video
This web site and video, both produced by Pacific University, document some of the tragic history of the federal boarding school for Native American children that once existed in Forest Grove (1880-85).
Although known best as a place to find historic photographs, many of the descriptions of photos contain great information about local events, people and places!
For more sources, see our "Recommended Readings" page, or Contact Us for help!