Tualatin is located 12 miles southwest of Portland, accessible by I-5 and I-205 and Highway 99W. The Tualatin River runs through the city, often carrying canoes and kayaks along its tree-lined expanse. More than 110 acres of parklands and an active tree preservation and planting program have earned Tualatin the nickname “Tree City, U.S.A.”
Home builders have flocked to Tualatin to satisfy the metro area’s demand for new homes on good-sized lots, not too far from Portland. Tualatin is within Portland’s urban growth boundary. Developments such as Fox Hill, Victoria Woods, Lakeridge Terrace, Hedges Park, Hedges Estates and Lake Forest, seem to have sprouted almost as many new homes as there are trees.
In 1985, Tualatin’s urban renewal agency bought 19 acres in the town’s core and set about building the downtown Tualatin never had. The result is Tualatin Commons, a 3-acre man-made lake surrounded by a hotel, restaurants, office buildings, apartments, condos and shops. Construction was completed in 1994.
Now, Tualatin residents can go into town, stroll around the lake and enjoy outdoor concerts every Friday night in July and August. In early August, there’s the venerable Crawfish Festival at Tualatin Commons and nearby Tualatin Community Park, where residents munch on miniature crustaceans and enjoy the festival atmosphere.
Though many residents commute to nearby Hillsboro, Beaverton or Portland for work, Tualatin employs about 9,000 people in its own community, including about 1,100 at the Tigard-Tualatin School District, 760 at Legacy Meridian Park Hospital and 700 at United Parcel Service.
Tualatin offers 260 acres of community parks and greenspaces. This includes: Tualatin Commons with a man-made lake, Tualatin Community Park with a skate park, Brown’s Ferry Park with Tualatin River access, Ibach Park, Atfalati Park and Jurgens Park. In addition, the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge has a number of public access points.
In 1853, Samuel Galbreath began a ferry service crossing the Tualatin River from a village he called “Galbreath”. The town’s name was changed to “Bridgeport” when Galbreath built the first bridge across the Tualatin River in 1856. Located along one of the first “improved” roads, Boone’s Ferry Road, Bridgeport thrived by attracting business from Portland throughout the Willamette Valley.
In 1886, the Portland & Willamette Railway Company purchased a right-of-way through John Sweek’s land on the Tualatin River’s west bank opposite Bridgeport. Profiting from the sale, Sweek took advantage of the railroad’s location and platted a town around the depot – he called the new town Tualatin. The City of Tualatin was incorporated in 1913 at which time an official government was formed.