From Rags to Riches: A Hillsboro History

Hillsboro, Oregon, home to approximately 105,164 (2016 Census) people of various ethnicity and social classes, and is considered to be the fifth-largest city in Oregon. It’s home for one of the biggest companies in the world, Intel, together with other high-tech companies.This is one of series of articles dedicated to the home our our new clinic location in Hillsboro!

The Kalapuya settlement in the late 1700’s

But before it rose to the developing city that it is now, this area had been inhabited by a native tribe called the Atfalati tribe of the Kalapuya. They settled in the area where the city of Hillsboro stands 10,000 years before white colonization. The tribe moved to different places whenever they experience good weather for fishing, hunting, and foraging.

Alas, the Kalapuya’s population plummeted after battling with smallpox, malaria, and syphilis in the late 18th century when Europeans brought the disease. From almost 2,000 tribe members, down to 65 in 71 years (1780-1851). The US government sent the remaining natives to the Grande Ronde reservation to preserve their population.

The Birth of Hillsborough

As the Atfalati tribe of the Kalapuya’s population dwindled, the area wherein they used to live slowly became home to more and more European-American people. It was founded by David Hill, Richard Williams, and Isaiah Kelsey in 1841. But before being named after David Hill, the area formerly had two names: East Tualatin Plains and Columbia.

In February 1850, it was then named “Hillsborough,” in honor of Hill. The reason, being, was because he sold a part of his land to the county. David Hill was supposed to receive $200 for his property. Unfortunately, he died before he even got the payment, so his wife, Lucinda, received the money.

A few years after they named the place, it was then shortened to Hillsboro, because they thought Hillsborough had too many letters. Their first school was established in October 1854, which was only a log cabin. The community’s method of transportation to Hillsboro were riverboats on the Tualatin River in 1867.

The Budding of a Town’s Bright Future

The town’s first mayor was Alfred Luelling in 1876, same year Hillsboro was legally called the Town of Hillsboro by the Oregon Legislature. In 1923, the city then altered their charter and switched to a council-manager type of government. They had six city councils, a part-time mayor for significant policies, and a city manager for day-to-day operations.

The Oregon and California Railroad line ran to the south of the town in 1871. The city didn’t want to supply land in exchange for the railroad connection. But in September 1908, the Oregon Electric Railway opened. 5,000 people had gathered as it was the first to reach the community. Furthermore, the Southern Pacific Railroad began their interurban service (January 1914) on a separate line, providing transport for people between Hillsboro and Portland. Unfortunately, it discontinued its Hillsboro service in July 1929, and the Oregon Electric Railway lasted until July 1932.

In 1852, a brick building stood proudly to house the county government and a courthouse in 1873. In the following years, the courthouse was then remodeled. A clock tower was added in 1891, and the structure was further expanded in 1912, where they added an annex. The Justice Services Building was incorporated into the courthouse in 1972, which was also its last major remodeling.

The following are the establishments that were built in Hillsboro (in chronological order):

  • First fire department (1880)
  • Drinking water and electricity distribution system (1892-1893)
  • First sewer system (1911)
  • Hillsboro’s own water system (1913)
  • Carnegie City Library (1914)
  • World’s second-tallest radio tower (1921-1952, demolished in 1952)
  • Intel Corporation (1979)
  • TriMet’s Metropolitan Area Express or MAX rail line (1998)
  • Cultural Center (2004)
  • New City Hall (2005)
  • SolarWorld (2008)
Hillsboro’s Memories of the Old Days

Even if it has grown into the big city that it is now, Hillsboro never failed to look back and preserve their history. The town has properties recorded on the National Register of Historic Places or the NRHP, including:

  • Old Scotch Church (1876)
  • A house in Frank Imbrie Farm (1866)
  • Zula Linklater House (1923)
  • Harold Wass Ray House (1935)
  • Rice-Gates House (1890)
  • Edward Schulmerich House (1915)
  • Charles Shorey House (1908)
  • Richard and Helen Rice House aka Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals (1952)
  • Old Washington County Jail (de-listed in 2008)
  • Manning–Kamna Farm (1883)
  • Malcolm McDonald House in Orenco (listed in 2015)

Today, Hillsboro is proud to have found that their hometown pride has worked alongside their progressive values. They believe that big cities don’t produce greatness; people do. You can find out more about Hillsboro on their website. Go check them out!

Read more about our Hillsboro Physical Therapy Clinic

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Alice Holland, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Director at Stride Strong Physical Therapy
Alice earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from USC in 2007, and have practiced Physical Therapy for 12+ years in the Outpatient Orthopedic Setting. Certified in ASTYM, she also has been a featured expert on Physical Therapy on numerous publications including health.com, healthline.com and yahoo.com.
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Latest posts by Alice Holland, DPT

Ana Lucia Pinheiro
Ana Lucia Pinheiro
02:18 20 Oct 17
This place is amazing. I am so happy I found Stride Strong PT. Alice pays attention to all of the details, she watches every single move I make, my posture, and the way I move through every exercise. She is very knowledgeable, she was able to pin-point the problems in my back and she has a plan to help me become stronger where I need. The place is brand new, huge, and has nice exercise machines. I tried a few physical therapists in the area, and Alice is TOP, second to none, and I feel super lucky to have found her. Highly recommended!!
Prashant Gupta
Prashant Gupta
01:00 02 Oct 17
Dr. Alice at Stride Strong is one of the best PTs I have come across. Her attention to detail and assessment of the root cause of injury is very good. She is excellent in evaluating pain patterns and giving a training schedule for a rehab & injury prevention, she is extremely knowledgeable. I would strongly recommend Stride Strong to anyone looking for PT. It is easily the best PT clinics in Hillsboro area.
steven zollin
steven zollin
20:57 14 Sep 17
Highly recommend Stride Strong Physical Therapy , Alice showed me proper form to assist in recovery with my shoulder and is very knowledgeable.
Lindsay Nied
Lindsay Nied
23:33 18 Dec 17
I recently had a massage from Joel at the Hillsboro location. He was able to work on an ongoing issue I have been experiencing with my back after a sports injury, and I left feeling so much better. The whole facility looked incredible, and everyone I met was friendly and welcoming. I would highly recommend Stride Strong for massage and physical therapy.
JoAnn Hatch
JoAnn Hatch
08:20 08 Nov 17
Dr. Sydney is by far the absolute best physical therapist I've worked with ever! Her expertise in designing highly effective and efficient exercise plans is beyond compare. I feel so much better as my strength and function increases. She comes up with the most brilliant and fun ideas to motivate. To my delight she even offered to come to my home in Vancouver and work with me on my own equipment including a Stott Pilates Reformer. Talk about going above and beyond! Couldn't be more grateful I found her!!!
Clare Perry
Clare Perry
21:58 23 Oct 17
A full hour of a dedicated PT professional's time without aides or techs? That's just one of the things that sets this clinic apart from others. Competent, professional, and amiable, Dr. Alice Holland and her team are the best in the area. While I generally see them at the Cedar Mill Clinic on Cornell, situational constraints took me to their new Hillsboro clinic today near Intel Jones Farm. Beautifully furnished, spacious with easy parking and access. May you continue to grow and thrive, Stride Strong!
Joyce Heideman
Joyce Heideman
08:28 11 May 18
After foot surgery I went to Stride Strong for therapy with Alice Holland. She helped me reach my full mobility again by continuously introducing new and challenging exercises. The entire staff is friendly and professional. They are always on time and do not rush. I look forward to doing 1/2 marathons again and riding my recumbent trike. Thank you Stride Strong for your care and high level of expertise.
Suad Daher
Suad Daher
20:48 28 Feb 18
The best physical therapy ever. Both JP and Sydney were a great PT, they helped me understand how I can help treat my injury and how it may have caused. And also they informed about so many techniques that I can use to help my injuries or any other injuries I get in the near future. They are both friendly and nice to talk too, and verbunformative. And there is also Krystal, she is the best front desk receptionist ever, she is nice and friendly and can easily manage your schedule based on the patients comfort if they want to schedule or not. She can help and she replies fast to any patients email. And she is easy to talk to. Thank you Stride Strong Physical Therapy.
Amanda O'Rourke
Amanda O'Rourke
21:38 15 Jun 18
In just a month I've seen great progress! I've been incorporating the exercises taught to me into my daily workout routine. Im very happy with my continued results.
Albert Szal
Albert Szal
23:43 10 Jun 18
Mary Szal here: I've had three sessions with Brittany at the Hillsboro location. I can say that she has been the most effective and instructive physical therapist I've ever experienced. Her personality, energy, knowledge and results are top notch.
Osa Phiangdae
Osa Phiangdae
00:05 22 Mar 18
Awesome place for PT. Hillsboro location has plenty of parking and very spacious. I had the pleasure to work mostly with Dr. Alice Holland and JP. I came in with a shoulder injury and thank goodness they understood what I was going through. They are the best of what they do, I would recommend Stride Strong to anyone who needs PT.
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