Friends of Historic Forest Grove is committed to enhancing and promoting the historic environment of Forest Grove through education in areas of historic interest while acknowledging national, state and local cultural resources.
People often ask us what makes us so passionate about our dedication to the Alvin T. Smith house. “Why,” they say, “Do you work so hard to preserve this building?” They shake their heads and talk about costs of restoration and logistical problems. They see the difficulties inherent in our mending this grand old treasure. They see only the problems; we see the possibilities.
The history of Forest Grove, the home of AT Smith, Tabitha Brown and Harvey Clark, is a magnificent testimony to man’s determination to persevere in the face of adversity. AT Smith was trained as a carpenter and he built his home in the middle of a wilderness. He sawed, hewed, and shaped oak beams as large as 12″ x 12″ x 30 feet. He created a classic Greek Revival house, acknowledged to be one of the finest examples of that style west of the Rocky Mountains. If Alvin Smith could build by hand a building sturdy enough to withstand one-hundred and sixty Oregon winters, we should surely do our part now to preserve it. It is a diamond covered in layers of dust, just waiting to shine again.