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Portland’s neighbor to the west in the Tualatin Valley, Beaverton is located in Washington County, Oregon. Portland’s metropolitan region includes the city as one of its major cities. With a population of 97,494 in 2020, it ranked as the county’s second biggest city and Oregon’s seventh largest. Similarly to its neighbor, Hillsboro, Beaverton serves as an important commercial hub for Washington County. Nike Inc.’s global headquarters may be found there, however they are technically located on unincorporated county territory rather than within the municipal boundaries.
When European-American settlers arrived in the Tualatin Valley in the 19th century, a hunter-gatherer group from the Kalapuya people lived there. Chakeipi, which translates to “place of the beaver,” was the name of their settlement near the confluence of the Beaverton and Fanno creeks; the earliest white immigrants referred to this area as Beaverdam. In 1847, Lawrence Hall staked the first property claim and built a mill for grinding grain. The town was incorporated in 1893 after the arrival of a railroad, which had previously stimulated expansion in the surrounding minor farming villages.
The Inception of Beaverton
There formerly lived a native people known as the Atfalati in the present-day Tualatin Valley and Beaverton region. The name was originally Tualatin but was mispronounced by Westerners. The people of this tribe were foragers who relied mostly on vegetation for sustenance. They fashioned their clothing, homes, and other possessions from a wide range of plant materials. Despite their success, the Atfalati people began to drastically reduce their numbers in the late 1700s.
Chakeipi was the name of the Native American settlement that was between the Beaverton and Fanno streams. The first inhabitants called the area Beaverdam, which means “place of the beaver.” The name was altered to Beaverton in the nineteenth century.
Researchers and Inventors
Before American Robert Gray sailed into the Columbia River in 1792, no Westerners had set foot in the Pacific Northwest. Lt. William Broughton of the British Royal Navy, working under Capt. George Vancouver, sailed upriver from their base by one hundred miles later that same year. Along the way, he saw a rocky outcrop and dubbed it “Commander’s Point” in tribute to his superior officer.
In 1806, American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark conducted the first known overland voyage to the Pacific Northwest. They stopped for the night at the present-day city of Vancouver, Washington on the way back. According to Lewis, there is no better place for a town to be established west of the Rocky Mountains than in this location.