503-992-1280 info@fhfg.org

Surviving & Thriving During a Pandemic 


preserving Forest Grove History

Friends of Historic Forest Grove is committed to preserving our local history, educating present and future generations about our past, and fostering a community for history enthusiasts.


Please help us continue this mission with a financial gift.

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Volunteer Hours in 2020

Local Historic Properties in forest Grove

Surviving During Covid

Financial Impact of COVID

Just as it has hit our national economy, our local businesses, and residents, COVID has hit FHFG too. Our revenue is down 50% this year because we cannot hold fundraising events. The Museum has been closed as well and overall donations are down significantly.


We responded to the initial lockdown by introducing the Coronavirus Journal project. We celebrated Historic Preservation month with a coloring contest using pictures from the FHFG coloring book. We invested more in our social media. We designed programming with a high community impact and low upfront costs.


A new editor revamped our quarterly newsletter with a new format & new look. With more pictures, more articles, and more information about the Forest Grove history. We decided to hand deliver the newsletter to help our members survive their social isolation. We greeted our members with “Hellos” and “Can we help with anything” from a distance behind a mask.

Coronavirus Events

As the weather got warmer, we celebrated our Native American heritage with a lawn sign exhibit from the Five Oaks Museum, This is Kalapuyan Land. We participated in the statewide celebration of Women’s Suffrage called Chalk the Vote. We created our own lawn sign exhibit exploring the history of Women’s Suffrage in Forest Grove.

Thriving During the Pandemic

“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.” – Denis Waitley

Historic Home Recognition

Even during the pandemic, FHFG has been able to recognize  6 historic homes by issuing a wooden plaque that is displayed on the outside of the home.


Preserving Stories from our Past

FHFG is committed to preserving stories from our past, such as these. We record oral histories from lifelong residents.

Remembering the Lakeside in Hillside

Remembering the Lakeside in Hillside

A little over three miles up Thatcher Road from the Plaid Pantry is Tom Meier’s Three Mile Museum, a wonderfully elusive and eclectic spot loaded with artifacts of early Oregon. A visual treasure-trove of hardware and electronics from the 1920s and thirties, the...

The Origin of Our Stringtown

The Origin of Our Stringtown

I was biking last summer and found myself on one of the most scenic roads in our area: Stringtown. As I peddled, always keeping an eye out for the speeding semis heading to the ubiquitous nurseries, I wondered whether this road would lead me to some lost village in...

Summertime in Forest Grove

Summertime in Forest Grove

Back in the day, when I was a kid, the city swimming pool was where you'd find me. In my early years, my mom would take me to the little kids' pool, but I had my eye on the big pool, both of which were outdoors. Early on, my parents realized that me taking swimming...

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Progress on Our Top Priorities

Our top priorities are preserving the AT Smith House and expanding our Museum & Library at the Old Train Station.  In addition, we want to continue our public outreach programs as well as preserve local historic resources and artifacts.

The FUTURE OF THE AT Smith House

AT Smith House was built in 1854 and FHFG acquired it in 2005.  It’s on the Historic National Register in 1971.

NEW EVENTS AT THE Museum & Library

Fondly known as “The Old Train Station,”, this former Southern Pacific Railroad station is home to FHFG and serves as a museum highlighting about 150 years of local history.


Not able to hold events like the Garden & Homes tours,  we are investing in social media like live video streams.

Living History

This year we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Suffragettes with a COVID-safe ‘Chalk the Vote.

Outreach & EDUCATION

Unable to meet in person, we are still reaching out to the public with virtual & outdoor programming.

Make a Donation
$3,600 Raised

Our end of year goal is $7,000

Please help us reach our goal so that we can grow the programs that we have today.
Get Involved
I volunteer with FHFG because I think its important for people to know their past, and the history, the stories, of where they live.  I love helping people learn that information.
- Skip Buhler, Active Volunteer

Thank you to our Grantors and Partners!

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Why are FHFG Members so Committed?

Martha Khoury, Vice President

“Before we even moved to Forest Grove in 1995, we came on the garden tour with some friends. We found a relatively affordable house to buy in Old Town, and the rest is history.

Friends of Historic Forest Grove was a great way to plug into the community. Some of our best friends were made through FHFG.

It has been a good group for my children to participate in, especially getting those volunteer hours in high school. It is a place for them to connect with, and gain an appreciation for, folks of a different generation and the place they grew up.

Now that my children are out of the house, I’m happy to serve on the board. The marketing committee is a good fit for my skills – an opportunity to give back in a meaningful way – as well as a great way to connect to the broader Forest Grove community. “

Gary Eddings, Board Member

“Moving back to our original hometown after retirement from jobs in Central Oregon just seemed the right thing to do, mostly for family reasons.  Buying a house built across the street from the Elementary School while both my wife and I attended there really brought me back to my old neighborhood.

Making the acquaintance of Jim Morris and Don Skinner down at the Old Train Station  made the memories of the old hometown grow in relevance. Small town America, especially 1950s and 1960s versions, was and is the topic of many great hours of conversation in our Thursday “Blathering Gatherings”.  We hash out who we are and how we got to be “us” amongst a varied cast of “blatherers” now living in the FG vicinity, but having grown up all over the country. One very important value of Friends of Historic Forest Grove is our joint effort to promote the memories of every town and city which produced the unique individuals who now call our town home.”

Alanna Colwell, Board Member

I am a member of FHFG because connecting communities with shared history is my passion. When history is preserved for the future it is a teaching tool and way to connect with each other and ourselves.

Eddie Glenn, Treasurer

Living in a historic home, I love that Forest Grove has such a rich history and like helping preserve it.

Mary Jo Morelli, AT Smith Property Manager

“As a 4th generation Oregonian, I look to my pioneer roots, trying to understand the motivation to make dangerous journeys for something better. I look back to those people to understand the journey that is life. Having spent much of my childhood on the family land claim, I was steeped in the artifacts and stories of people and times past. This shaped my interest in history and Friends offers me an outlet to share Forest Grove with others in a thoughtful and relevant way and to build a sense of place through the relationships within the community.”

Don Skinner, OTS Manager

“I volunteer as a way to give back to my hometown that I love so much.  I could volunteer in other ways but I know I wouldn’t enjoy any of those other possibilities as much as I do in sharing the history of this special place.”

Terri Erskine, Volunteer

“Anyone familiar with American history and the early settlement of the West will find Forest Grove to be a microcosm of these happenings.  All of the drama, bravery, tragedy, successes and failrures of that early time also took place right here! It is an amazing story and I volunteer not only to help tell it but to see as best I can that it is faithfully reported, faults and all, so we can celebrate thos successes and learn from our mistakes.  History will teach is if we listen and not try to make it fit our current image.

Having a chance to work at the Old Train Station, The AT Smith House and with a rtifacts that represent the lives of several generations of “Grovians” is a fascinating privilege and I enjoy the camaraderie that volunteering for Friends offers.  I have gotten to see how well the local community helps and supports one another and have made some close friends while serving on the board of directors. I have learned so much about not only history but commerce, city government, community health, preservation, event planning—you name it!—as I make myself available to work and play with other like-minded volunteers.”

Skip Buhler, Volunteer

“I volunteer with FHFG because I think its important for people to know their past, and the history, the stories, of where they live.  I love helping people learn that information.”