Tualatin Historical Society (THS) was formed in 1986 to preserve and interpret the rich and colorful history of the Tualatin area (eastern edge of Washington County and west edge of Clackamas County). We fulfill that mission through our publications, programs, collections, exhibits and events, and our effort to save historic sites.
Tualatin Historical Society Founders
Above left: Karen Lafky Nygaard December 13, 1925~October 6, 2011
Right: Loyce Martinazzi
With no building to call our own over that time, we did our work through monthly meetings, occasional publications and special events. In 2002, we launched a digital conservation project to preserve our collection of 2000 historic photos (Tualatin’s Visual Chronicle). Occasional displays of our few historical artifacts are arranged in exhibit cases at our community library/city hall, neighborhood schools, senior center and at a mini-museum during the annual Tualatin Crawfish Festival. We enjoy an active volunteer board and dozens of volunteers who willingly respond to each need. The co-founders of the Society continue to serve actively, including editing of signature publications.
In mid-2003, Tualatin’s oldest church built in 1926 was suddenly given to the Society, but it needed to be moved in the face of commercial development. Thanks to hundreds of volunteers and the City of Tualatin, we raised over $400,000 in cash and in-kind donations. The building was relocated July 17 and grand opening was held February 11, 2006.
Tualatin Heritage Center is an active community resource owned by the City of Tualatin but operated by Tualatin Historical Society. It sits near Sweek Pond on park property not far from the original town site and the Tualatin City Park. A footbridge connects to Cook Park in Tigard, inviting easy access to pedestrians, bikers and skateboarders. A commuter rail service, WES (Westside Express Service) recently launched their morning and afternoon runs. The Tualatin area regains its popularity as a destination for Portlanders who in earlier eras traveled by electric train to Tualatin Country Club and nearby river swimming resorts. Now we can attract them to the new Bridgeport Village “lifestyle center,” Tualatin Commons (man-made lake surrounded by businesses), and an ever-changing Heritage Center with opportunities to learn from the past and contribute their own voices for the future.