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New Tigard neighborhood park to reflect history


Construction begins to transform heavily wooded area, historical site

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO 2009 - The Tigard Historical Association hosts several events each year, including it's annual Apple Harvest Festival each autumn. Its headquarters on Southwest Canterbury Street will become part of a new city park set to open this summer.Residents near Southwest Canterbury Lane in Tigard will soon have a new city park to call their own.

(right click and click View Image for larger version of this map)Construction is set to begin next month on East Butte Heritage Park, the 3-acre property near Southwest 103rd Avenue, which houses the John Tigard House museum and a heavily wooded area to the south.

The park is the latest in a series of new parks and park improvements the city has made since voters approved a bond in 2010, giving the city $17 million to purchase new parkland and revamp existing park space.

The city has owned the parkland on Canterbury Street since 2009, but has done little to develop the heavily wooded area until now.

At East Butte, city planners hope to add a playground, picnic tables, shelter and restrooms, as well as a walking path, room for parking and a new sidewalk along Southwest 103rd Avenue.

That’s all good news to Martha Worley, the president of the Tigard Historical Association , which operates out of the John Tigard House on the park’s northern edge.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” she said. “We are looking forward to it being a place for people to gather. Hopefully, when they are there, they will see our cute little house and want to come visit us. I think it’s great for the neighborhood.”

The group has been forced for years to use parking and restrooms at nearby Calvin Presbyterian Church during its events.

Construction isn’t expected to impact the Historical Association much, Worley said.

The land has been the home of the John Tigard House since 1979, when it was moved from its ancestral location on Pacific Highway.

The house, which was originally built in 1880 by John Tigard, was slated for demolition in the 1970s.

The house was moved to Canterbury Street and turned into a museum of Tigard’s early history by the Tigard Historical Association.

The museum displays early Tigard memorabilia, artifacts and furniture. It also hosts several events each year.

But the museum isn’t the only historical connection to the future park — even its name harkens back to an earlier time.

When settlers, including the Tigard family, first settled in the area in the 1800s, they named it East Butte.

That name stuck for decades until the 1880s, when the city was renamed Tigardville in honor of city founder Wilson Tigard in the 1900s.

A small handful of trees will be removed from the site during construction, but the vast majority will remain, said Steve Martin, Tigard’s parks director.

Residents are invited to attend a groundbreaking ceremony today (Thursday) at 5:30 p.m. at the site, 10310 S.W. Canterbury Lane.

Tigard Mayor John L. Cook will speak, and light refreshments will be served.

After the groundbreaking, construction is set to begin over the next two weeks, and should be completed by August, Martin said.