History of Forest Heights

The Tualatin Valley, viewed from a majority of homes in Forest Heights, was once occupied by the Atfalati (or Tualatin) band of Kalapuya Indians. The Atfalati moved throughout the valley during the spring, summer and fall and spent winters in permanent villages along the Tualatin River and its tributaries. Evidence supports the Atfalati inhabiting Beaverton, Tualatin and Cedar Mill and strongly suggests they also inhabited what is now NW Portland, including Forest Heights.

In 1850, the Oregon Donation Land Act opened up land to homesteaders who claimed most of the Tualatin Valley within five years. Mill Pond, which is now a private park in Forest Heights, was the original mill pond for the Jones Lumber Mill. Cedar and Oak trees were logged from the land that is now Forest Heights. Although the Jones family sold their mill in 1869, the original mill changed hands several times before finally closing in 1892. Mill Pond now serves as part of the Forest Heights Master Drainage Plan and still flows into the tributaries where the Atfalati wintered over.

There were a number of wildfires that burned parts of the West Hills in recorded history, and parts of Forest Heights burned as recently as the 1950’s. The idea of Forest Park Estates was formulated in 1969, as the brain child of four men: Homer Williams, Rob Bissell, Roland Haertl and Neal Marlett. Although a group of local neighbors initially fought the project, in 1983 the Oregon Court of Appeals cleared the way for construction of Forest Heights Estates (later named Forest Heights). Homer Williams sold off 601 acres of his share of the property to Nauru Phosphate Royalties, a corporate entity from the island nation of Nauru. In 1989, Nauru hired George Marshall and Dan Grimberg to handle the development work in Forest Heights.

In its current state, Forest Heights occupies 601 acres and consists of 1126 single family home lots, 684 high density units in 14 self-maintained subassociations, 160 apartments, and a small retail center. The Forest Heights Homeowners Association manages 215 acres of common area, including 6 miles of trails, a park and a playground; provides extensive landscaping; and maintains 11 entrance monuments.