City History

The first people to live in Sherwood were the Tualatin Indians. They roamed the area for many years before the first white men came. The first wagon train arrived in Oregon in 1843, and by 1853, Sherwood was being settled by farmers. They built their houses of the logs taken from the forest which once covered the area. They grew nearly everything they needed. Twice a year they took the three day journey into Portland for staples like salt, sugar and syrup.

By 1870, many families had moved into the area we now call Sherwood. In 1885, J.C Smock granted the railroad the right-of-way through his property. In 1889, he and his wife Mary Ellen Sebastion then planned and named the streets surrounding the railroad tracks. The town which emerged was known as Smockville.

In the early 1890's, Sherwood's main industry was a brickyard that supplied building bricks for most of Portland's growth. Most of Sherwood's commercial buildings were built at this time, including the nine-block area known as Old Town. (The original home of J. C. Smock and Mary Ellen Sebastion now stands at 260 NW First Street, between Washington and Main.)

The brickyard closed in 1895, and a year later, a terrible fire razed most of the business district. The citizens' only defense was a bucket brigade. Another fire in 1911 caused the city council to recommend that all new buildings be fireproof - thus the hotel at 20 NW Washington was rebuilt by Ed Colfelt of fireproof brick. That same building is now the Colfelt Office Center.

With the brickyard closed, the economy diversified to include a fruit and vegetable cannery and tannery, which supported Sherwood until 1971. Today, the city's main industry is manufacturing.

In 1911, Sherwood's city limits were one square mile, and a population of 350. Today, Sherwood's population is 16,115 and the city limits have expanded to four and a half square miles. With the growth comes thriving business and modern amenities - all amongst the small town charm and friendliness that defines Sherwood.