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Wilsonville, Oregon

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Wilsonville is a city primarily in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States A portion of the northern section of the city is in Washington County It was founded as Boones Landing because of the Boones Ferry which crossed the Willamette River at the location, the community became Wilsonville in 1880 The city was incorporated in 1969 with a population of approximately 1,000 The population was 13,991 at the 2000 census, and grew to 19,509 as of 20106 Slightly more than 90% of residents at the 2000 census were white, with Hispanics comprising the largest minority group

Located within the Portland metropolitan area, the city also includes the planned community of Charbonneau on the south side of the river The city is bisected by Interstate 5 and includes I-5's Boone Bridge over the Willamette Public transportation is provided by the city's South Metro Area Regional Transit, which includes Wilsonville Station on the Westside Express Service operated by TriMet Students in public schools attend schools in the West Linn-Wilsonville and Canby school districts, including the only traditional high school, Wilsonville High School Clackamas Community College and Pioneer Pacific College both have campuses in the city

Wilsonville has a council-manager form of government and operates its own library, public works, and parks department Fire and police protection are contracted out to other regional government agencies The city is home to several technology companies including Mentor Graphics, along with Stream Global Services, the largest employer in the city Wilsonville contains many distribution and manufacturing buildings adjacent to Interstate 5 such as regional distribution facilities for Coca Cola and Rite Aid Retail centers include Argyle Square on the north and the Town Center Shopping Center to the south Media in Wilsonville consists of the Portland area broadcast stations, regional newspapers, and the local Wilsonville Spokesman newspaper


  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography
    • 21 Climate
  • 3 Demographics
    • 31 2010 census
    • 32 2000 census
  • 4 Economy
  • 5 Culture
  • 6 Government
  • 7 Education
  • 8 Transportation
  • 9 Notable people
  • 10 Sister city
  • 11 See also
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links


Alphonso Boone, the grandson of Daniel Boone, settled in what would later become Wilsonville in 1846 and established the Boones Ferry across the Willamette River in 18477 The ferry gave rise to the community of Boones Landing, which eventually grew into Wilsonville7 Originally, the area was part of what became Yamhill County, but was transferred to the current Clackamas County in 18558 The first post office was established in 1876 with the name, Boones Ferry8

Wilsonville became the name of the community on June 3, 1880,9 named after the first postmaster, Charles Wilson10 That same year the first school, Wilsonville Grade School, was opened as a single-room building11 By 1890, the railroad had reached town and the community contained depot, several hotels, a saloon, a tavern, a bank, and several other commercial establishments8 In 1897, the twelve school districts in the vicinity of Wilsonville up to Lake Oswego merged to create a single district12 A railroad bridge was built across the river for the Oregon Electric Railway beginning in 19068 The bridge was completed the next year and service from Wilsonville south to Salem began in 19088

A new Methodist church was built in the community in 1910, which was used until 1988 and is still standing13 Two years later, a new two-room school replaced the old one-room school, which in turn was replaced by a modern school in the mid 1900s, all on the same property11 In 1939, the wooden trestle part of the railroad bridge across the Willamette caught fire and burned8 Boones Ferry was decommissioned after the Boone Bridge opened in 1954 carrying what was then the Baldock Freeway, and is today Interstate 57

In 1961, the Dammasch State Hospital mental hospital opened on the west side of the community8 Gordon House, the only house in Oregon to be designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was built in 1963 near what became Charbonneau and moved to the Oregon Garden in 200114 Wilsonville was flooded in 1964 and the first fire station was built in 19668 Wilsonville was incorporated as a city in 1969 with a population of about 1,0001516 In 1971, the planned community of Charbonneau on the south side of the river was annexed into the city the year after development began1216

Tauchman House at Boones Ferry Park

Tektronix built a campus in the city beginning in 1973, which was later sold to Xerox16 The following year Wilsonville's city hall relocated from Tauchman House at what is now Boones Ferry Park to a trailer and the next year the first city manager was hired8 A standalone post office was built in 1976 at Boones Ferry and Wilsonville roads, with city police protection added in 19798 In 1980, the city reached a population of 2,920, and in 1982 the library was opened16 The next year, a new city hall was opened, replacing a trailer that had served as city hall since 197516

In 1988, the city opened their first library building, which replaced the one-room library located in space leased from the school district17 The population grew to 7,106 at the 1990 census, and in 1991 the Town Center Shopping Center along Wilsonville Road opened1618 Due to growth in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, the school board approved building a new high school to be located in Wilsonville in 199212

Author Walt Morey owned an estate in Wilsonville and after his death in 1992, his widow sold the property to a developer The housing development built on that property, Morey's Landing, bears his name as does the children's section of the Wilsonville Public Library19 Walt Morey Park, a bear-themed park located in Morey's Landing, contains a life-size 8-foot-tall wooden statue of Morey's most famous literary creation, Gentle Ben20

Living Enrichment Center, a New Thought Church with as many as 3,000 members, was headquartered in Wilsonville from 1992 until 200421 The church closed that year after problems that including money laundering by the church leaders led to the bankrupting of the church22

In 1995, Dammasch State Hospital was closed by the state of Oregon, and the site was then proposed as a location for what became the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, which opened in 2001 at a different site to the north of the old hospital grounds23 In protest of the construction of the prison, specifically the effect on property values, Larry Eaton began erecting school buses on his property24 The former grounds of the state hospital are, as of 2009, under development as Villebois, a primarily residential complex Also in 1995, Wilsonville High School opened as part of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, the first high school in the city's history16 In 1998, lack of an adequate long-term water supply forced the city to suspend adding any new developments to the city16 A new water treatment plant on the Willamette River opened in 2002 to address this need16

The Wilsonville Public Library was expanded to nearly four times the size of the 7,500-square-foot 700 m2 1988 building with an expansion finished in 200225 Wilsonville Primary School was closed in June 2001, and later sold with the property and turned into a shopping center, anchored by an Albertsons supermarket2627 In September 2006, Wilsonville opened a new $99 million, two-story brick and steel city hall after a controversy concerning its location led to unsuccessful attempts to recall several elected officials in the city, including the mayor28


Boeckman Creek in Memorial Park

Wilsonville is located on the southern edge of the Portland metropolitan area sitting at an elevation of 154 feet 47 m above sea level5 Primarily in the southwestern part of Clackamas County, the northern section is in Washington County29 It is located on the north side of the Willamette River around where Alphonse Boone established the Boones Ferry7 Neighboring cities are Tualatin on the north, Sherwood to the northwest, and Canby and Aurora to the southeast Newberg in Yamhill County is approximately 14 miles west along Wilsonville Road The Willamette separates the majority of the city from Charbonneau, a planned community and neighborhood within the city limits, on the south30

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 742 square miles 1922 km2, of which 721 square miles 1867 km2 is land and 021 square miles 054 km2 is water2 Waterways in addition to the Willamette River include Arrowhead Creek, Meridian Creek, Basalt Creek, Seely Ditch, Boeckman Creek, and Coffee Lake Creek31 The Boeckman and Coffee Lake creeks account for 85% of the runoff in Wilsonville32 Coffee Lake Creek is on the west side of the city and includes Coffee Lake and the Coffee Lake Wetlands The foothills of the Chehalem Mountains lie to the west of Wilsonville, with most land within the city on level ground

Wilsonville divides the city into 16 neighborhood groups, designated A through P33 Within each of these planning areas are individual neighborhoods, and occasionally a neighborhood spans several of these groups33 For instance the Villebois development covers areas D through G33 Individual neighborhoods include Charbonneau, Wilsonville Meadows, Canyon Creek North, Town Center, RiverGreen, Frog Pond, and Old Town to name a few33 Wilsonville’s Old Town neighborhood, the oldest of the neighborhoods, is located south of Wilsonville Road along Boones Ferry Road adjacent to the landing of the old Boones Ferry and contains the original portions of the town3435


Wilsonville, as part of the Willamette Valley, is within the Marine west coast climate zone Summers in Wilsonville are generally warm, but temperatures year-round are moderated by a marine influence from the Pacific Ocean36 Wilsonville receives most of its precipitation during the mild to cool winter months, with the wettest period from November through March36 July and August are the warmest months with an average high temperature of 81 °F 27 °C, while December is the coolest month with an average low of 34 °F 1 °C37 December is also on average the wettest month with 662 inches 168 mm37 The highest recorded temperature, 105 °F 41 °C, has occurred on August 11, 1981; August 13, 1977; August 18, 1977; and September 3, 19883839 Wilsonville's lowest ever recorded temperature was −15 °F −26 °C on December 23, 199840

Climate data for Wilsonville, Oregon
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F °C 65
Average high °F °C 48
Average low °F °C 36
Record low °F °C 8
Average precipitation inches mm 617
Source: The Weather Channel37


Historical population
1970 1,001
1980 2,920 1917%
1990 7,106 1434%
2000 13,991 969%
2010 19,509 394%
Est 2016 23,768 218%
US Decennial Census42
2013 Estimate43

The city has a significant population of families that use Wilsonville as a halfway point between jobs in different cities, mainly Salem and Portland44 Wilsonville incorporated with an estimated 1,000 residents in 1969 and grew to 2,920 people at the 1980 Census,45 and to 7,106 in 1990 In 2000, the census placed the population at 13,991, which rose to 19,509 in 2010646 Of those counted, approximately 1,500 are inmates at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility that opened in the city in 200147

2010 censusedit

As of the census3 of 2010, there were 19,509 people, 7,859 households, and 4,658 families residing in the city The population density was 2,7058 inhabitants per square mile 1,0447/km2 There were 8,487 housing units at an average density of 1,1771 per square mile 4545/km2 The racial makeup of the city was 853% White, 15% African American, 10% Native American, 38% Asian, 04% Pacific Islander, 48% from other races, and 32% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 121% of the population

There were 7,859 households of which 299% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 453% were married couples living together, 100% had a female householder with no husband present, 40% had a male householder with no wife present, and 407% were non-families 329% of all households were made up of individuals and 118% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 228 and the average family size was 293

The median age in the city was 362 years 22% of residents were under the age of 18; 88% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 322% were from 25 to 44; 238% were from 45 to 64; and 133% were 65 years of age or older The gender makeup of the city was 466% male and 534% female

2000 censusedit

As of the census of 2000, there were 13,991 people, 5,937 households, and 3,775 families residing in the city The population density was 2,0853 people per square mile 8051/km² There were 6,407 housing units at an average density of 9549 per square mile 3687/km² The racial makeup of the city was 905% White, 22% Asian, 07% African American, 07% Native American, 02% Pacific Islander, 32% from other races, and 27% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 69% of the population

There were 5,937 households out of which 304% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 515% were married couples living together, 83% had a female householder with no husband present, and 364% were non-families 283% of all households were made up of individuals and 97% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 234 and the average family size was 289 Median home cost was $200,972 in 2000 and had grown to $316,400 by 2006

In the city, the population was spread out with 246% under the age of 18, 94% from 18 to 24, 314% from 25 to 44, 202% from 45 to 64, and 144% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 35 years For every 100 females there were 945 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 917 males

The median income for a household in the city was $52,515, and the median income for a family was $65,172 This income level is higher than the county, state, and national median income levels48 Males had a median income of $43,480 versus $28,395 for females The per capita income for the city was $29,786 About 30% of families and 56% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37% of those under age 18 and 82% of those age 65 or over


Wilsonville has often had more jobs in the city than residents due to its location along Interstate 544 This location has led to the city becoming headquarters for several major local and national companies, as well as home to facilities of several national companies44 Companies with their headquarters in the city include design software maker Mentor Graphics;49 imaging systems manufacturer FLIR Systems; and shoe retailer Solestruck49 GI Joe's, a sporting goods and automotive parts retailer was based in Wilsonville until bankruptcy in 2009,50 as was drugstore chain Thrifty PayLess until it was bought by Rite Aid in 1996,5152 and video rental retailer Movie Gallery and its subsidiary Hollywood Video were as well until bankruptcy in 201053

Mentor Graphics headquarters

Copier and printer manufacturer Xerox operates a large facility in Wilsonville, and is the city's largest employer5455 The company acquired the color printing and imaging division of Tektronix corporation in 200056 Xerox, Mentor Graphics, and FLIR are all adjacent to each other north of Boeckman Road along Parkway Avenue Projector maker InFocus was headquartered in the city until December 2009 and was located next to FLIR57 InFocus and Mentor were both founded by former employees of Tektronix58

Wilsonville is home to many other business located in industrial parks straddling Interstate 5 that are filled with manufacturing and distribution facilities59 Xerox and Mentor Graphics are the city's two largest employers as of 2006, the only two to employ more than 1000 people54 Other large employers in the city are Tyco Electronics Precision Interconnect, Sysco, Rockwell Collins, and Rite Aid4954 Additionally, Coca-Cola operates a bottling plant in the city60 Nike had one of its US distribution centers for footwear in Wilsonville until closing it in 20094961

Retail in Wilsonville is concentrated mainly along Wilsonville Road near the Interstate 5 interchange59 This includes the Town Center Shopping Center and related developments along Town Center Loop, which includes Fry's Electronics, one of the largest employers in the city54 Fred Meyer opened a 145,000-square-foot 13,500 m2 store along with space for 20 other businesses at their Old Town Square where Boones Ferry and Wilsonville roads meet62 At the north end of town is the 42-acre 17 ha Argyle Square shopping center that opened in 2003, which includes a Target store, Office Depot, and Costco as anchor tenants5963 South of the Willamette River, Charbonneau has a small commercial center with about 10 shops30

Microsoft had a plant, producing the Surface Hub, from 2015 to mid-2017, with the loss of 124 jobs64


Media in Wilsonville consists of the 28 radio stations and 7 television stations broadcast in the Portland media market, regional newspapers such as The Oregonian, and the local paper, the Wilsonville Spokesman49 The Spokesman is published once a week on Wednesdays and has a circulation of 3,17665 There is a single movie theater operated by Regal Cinemas, which contains nine screens The theater opened in 1996 and featured the first stadium style seating in the Northwest66

Town Center Park picnic shelter

Wilsonville Public Library, founded in 1982, is a member of Library Information Network of Clackamas County and had an annual circulation of 493,000 in 2006 to 200767 The library is located adjacent to Wilsonville Memorial Park, the largest and oldest of the city's 12 parks68 Memorial Park includes a water feature, athletic fields, and the Stein-Boozier Barn used as meeting space, among other amenities68 Town Center Park also has a water feature along with a visitor's center operated by the Clackamas County and the Oregon Korean War Memorial Other parks in the city are River Fox Park, Park at Merryfield, Montebello Park, Hathaway Park, Courtside Park, Tranquil Park, Willamette River Water Treatment Plant Park, Willow Creek/Landover Park, Canyon Creek Park, and Boones Ferry Park located on the Willamette River at the landing for the defunct Boones Ferry69

The Wilsonville Community Center holds classes and community programs as well as community meeting space Wilsonville holds an annual arts fair each May called the Wilsonville Festival of Arts70 Another annual event, Wilsonville Celebration Days, started in 2000 and replaced Boones Ferry Days71 A farmers' market started in 2009 at the Villebois development, held on Sundays from May into October72 Charbonneau Golf Club is the only golf course in the city, with Langdon Farms and Sandelie just to the south and east respectively Wilsonville also is along the Willamette Greenway series of open spaces and trails73 Wilsonville is the setting for the 2008 film Wendy and Lucy74


Play area at Murase Plaza in Memorial Park

Wilsonville has a home rule charter and is a council-manager governed municipality where the unelected city manager runs day-to-day operations7576 The current city manager is Bryan Cosgrove The mayor and four-person city council are elected to four-year terms, with Tim Knapp as mayor term ends 2017 and council members of Julie Fitzgerald, Scott Starr, Charlotte Lehan and Susie Stevens77

Fire protection and police protection are contracted to other area governmental agencies Fire services are provided by Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, and that agency operates two fire stations in the city78 Police service is contracted out to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, with a lieutenant serving as the chief of police and officers using vehicles marked as Wilsonville Police79 The city’s Parks and Recreation Department runs 12 parks, with Memorial Park the largest at 126 acres 51 ha6880

Wilsonville also provides its own water supply and wastewater treatment49 The wastewater system was built in 1972, while the water system was upgraded with a new treatment plant in 200249 Water is drawn from the Willamette River from the Wilsonville Water Treatment Plant built at a cost of $46 million in conjunction with the Tualatin Valley Water District8182 The city used to use wells to provide drinking water, but those began to run dry in the late 1990s83 The plant’s initial capacity was 15 million gallons per day, but can be expanded to 120 million gallons per day82 Neighboring Sherwood will begin receiving water from the plant in 201281

The city has a single library branch, a 28,677-square-foot 2,6642 m2 building on Wilsonville Road67 The majority of the city is within the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, but the Charbonneau area is part of the Canby School District30 Public transit is provided by the city through SMART, though TriMet has connections via buses at the northern limits of the city and with the Westside Express Service commuter rail

At the federal level, Wilsonville is primarily within Oregon's 5th congressional district, represented by Kurt Schrader, but the portions lying within Washington County are in the 1st district, represented by Suzanne Bonamici84 In the State Senate, the city is in District 13, represented by Larry George In the House, the city is represented by John Davis in House District 2685 In addition, Wilsonville lies within District 3 Carl Hosticka of the Metro regional government86


Wilsonville High School entrance

Most of Wilsonville is in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District WLWSD, however those portions south of the Willamette River are within the Canby School District87 Areas just to the west lie within the Sherwood School District87 Lowrie Primary, Boeckman Creek and Boones Ferry primary schools serve K-5 students from Wilsonville in WLWSD Students in grades 6–8 attend Inza R Wood Middle School, and high school students attend Wilsonville High School or the Arts and Technology High School ArtTech Neither the Canby or Sherwood districts operate schools within Wilsonville87

The city is also in the Clackamas Community College District and has a satellite campus on Town Center Loop88 Opened in 1992, the campus was originally known as the Oregon Advanced Technology Center89 The private, for profit Pioneer Pacific College operates a campus, their main campus, in the city along Interstate 5 near the Boeckman Road overpass90

Boeckman Creek Primary School opened in 1990 and has 649 students,91 with a mascot of the Bobcats92 Boones Ferry replaced the old Wilsonville Primary School in 2001;26 its 809 students make it the largest primary school in the district,91 and are known as the Dragonflies Wood Middle School opened in 1980 and has 699 students, known as the Wolverines91 Wilsonville High has been the home of the Wildcats since the 1,002-student91 school opened in 199593 The ArtTech charter high school has 85 students,91 and opened in 200594


Boone Bridge

Interstate 5 runs north-south through the middle of the city and crosses the Willamette River on the Boone Bridge95 Wilsonville has two interchanges with the freeway north of the river, at Wilsonville Road on the south and where Boones Ferry Road meets Elligsen Road on the north end of town95 To the south of the river, the Charbonneau interchange crosses I-5 at the southern limit of the city Boeckman Road is the only other street that crosses I-5 and links the western and eastern parts of Wilsonville95 Wilsonville Road, 95th Avenue, Boones Ferry Road northern portion is Oregon Route 141, Boeckman Road, Town Center Loop, French Prairie Drive, Elligsen Road, Parkway Avenue, and Stafford Road are the main roads in the city96

Transit service used to provide by TriMet, but the city decided to "opt-out" and now operates South Metro Area Regional Transit SMART61 SMART has connections with Salem's transit service,44 Canby's transit service, and TriMet The Westside Express Service WES, a commuter rail line to Beaverton, began operations in February 200997 Wilsonville Station is the southern terminus of the nearly 15-mile 24 km line operated by TriMet, and the station is the hub for SMART services98

Freight rail service is provided by the Portland and Western Railroad over the same tracks as WES, with connections to BNSF Railway49 These tracks run north-south and cross the Willamette over the Portland and Western Railroad Bridge The city does not have an airport, with Aurora State Airport to the south as the closest public field and Portland International Airport 17 miles north as the closest commercial airport49 Although located along the river, there are not any port facilities, though there is a marina located on the eastbank south side of the Willamette49

Notable peopleedit

Former territorial governor George Law Curry See also: Category:People from Wilsonville, Oregon

The city has been home to a variety of notable people ranging from politicians to athletes and authors Famous politicians to call Wilsonville home include former governor George Law Curry,99 Congresswoman Edith Green,100 federal judge James M Burns,101 and former mayor and state representative Jerry Krummel102 Athletes of note have included football player Derek Devine,103 professional golfer Brian Henninger,104 and baseball player and manager Del Baker105 Those prominent in the legal field are Gordon Sloan,106 and R William Riggs107 Others include children's author Walt Morey,108 ferryman Alphonso Boone, businessman Tom Bruggere,109 and baseball coach Mel Krause,110 and actor Frank Cady111

Sister cityedit

Wilsonville has one sister city relationship The city established a relationship with Kitakata, in the Fukushima province in Japan in 1988112 Kitakata in the northern part of Honshū has an estimated population of around 55,000 Then Wilsonville Mayor Jerry Krummel visited Japan in 1994 to attend a ceremony honoring Kitakata's 40th birthday113 The mayor of Kitakata visited Wilsonville in 2008 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the relationship114

See alsoedit

  • Oregon portal
  • List of ghost towns in Oregon – Boones Ferry was a ghost town subsumed by Wilsonville


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  92. ^ McCarthy, Linda March 14, 1991 "South Zoner: West Linn district devises new elementary school attendance areas" The Oregonian p 9 
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  105. ^ Lednicer, Lisa Grace March 10, 2005 "Wilsonville steers past a dead end for street names" The Oregonian p D2 
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  107. ^ Wong, Peter May 3, 2004 "Supreme, appeals court" Statesman Journal p 4C 
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  110. ^ Smith, Jeff June 14, 2008 "Baseball's advocate at UO dies at 80" The Oregonian p E1 
  111. ^ Green Acres' actor Frank Cady dies in Wilsonville
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External linksedit

  • Official website
  • Entry for Wilsonville in the Oregon Blue Book
  • Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce
  • Historic images of Wilsonville from Salem Public Library

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