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Forest Grove featured at museum this month

Get in free this Saturday if you bring proof of city residency


NEWS-TIMES PHOTOS: CHASE ALLGOOD - Forest Grove is the city of the month at the Washington County Museum, which offers a variety of historical paraphernalia in this exhibit--and free museum admission for Forest Grove residents (bring proof!) this Saturday, Feb. 20.Did you know Forest Grove was almost named Vernon?

That was the first name suggested by city founders at an 1851 meeting of Tualatin Academy trustees.

It's one of the interesting fun facts and memorabilia you can find at the Forest Grove exhibit this month in the Washington County Museum, where Forest Grove residents can get in free this Saturday, Feb. 20, if they bring proof of residency (usual cost $6 adults, $4 children, seniors, students and military).

If you're there this Saturday at 1 p.m., you'll also get to see re-enactments of Forest Grove history, presented by costumed Friends of Historic Forest Grove members.

The museum has been featuring different Washington County cities each month. The exhibit includes items related to the 1856 A.T. Smith House, including this small model.

In addition to a collection of old-time photos of Forest Grove, including views of downtown a century ago, the exhibit features a large photo-replica of a flag sewn in 1855 by Tabitha Brown and her students. The original flag, which is on display in Pacific University's Old College Hall museum, was carried into the Indian Wars of 1855-56 and features red stars, possibly because white cloth was scarce.

The exhibit also includes paraphernalia from Forest Grove's old train station, century-old high school yearbooks, old advertising and labels, the A. T. Smith House quilt (stenciled with help from Forest Grove children), a whole display on the city's barbershop madness, and more.

Chuck Olson sometimes wore this 'boater' hat when performing (over 35 years) with his barbershop quartet, The Aliens. The style was popular a century ago and often showed up during Forest Grove's annual Gay 90s celebrations. Olson loaned all the other barbershop paraphernalia in the exhibit as well.

Forest Grove children stenciled some of the squares on this A.T. Smith House quilt (right), one of several A.T. Smith-related items in the Forest Grove exhibit.

The Forest Grove exhibit includes old-time advertising and memorabilia from long-ago businesses.

This photo replica shows an 1855 flag that was sewn by Forest Grove founder Tabitha Brown and carried by Company D of the First Oregon Volunteers in a war with the Yakima Indians in 1855.