Annual Meeting of Tualatin Historians

The temperature topped out at 95 degrees on Saturday. There were about 50 people from our community who came out to the historic Shute Farm on the East Tualatin Plains to congregate under a 200-year-old oak tree. When John C. Shute and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Constable purchased the property in 1888, it served as their first home. The farm is located at 4825 NE Starr Street. On this day, we had a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the history, the region, and its rich history in this place where the modern age of the Pacific Northwest was born.

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The annual meeting of the group dedicated to the preservation and protection of historic sites and the education of the public about the history of Hillsboro, Oregon, and the Tualatin Valley was held at the Hillsboro Historical Society. The keynote speaker for the occasion was David Ellis, one of the region’s leading archaeologists. In addition, Judy Gates Goldmann, a board member of the Humane Society of the United States, received a museum-quality handmade maple bowl.

An old-growth maple tree on the historic Meek farm north of Hillsboro provided the wood for this bowl’s construction. As a descendant of Joe and Virginia Meek, the founding fathers of Washington County and pivotal figures in the formation of the state of Oregon, Goldmann has a unique perspective on statehood in Oregon.

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Tours of the house, the old red barn, and the adjoining Methodist Meeting House memorial, which will be dedicated later this year, made for a memorable day for everyone who participated. For the children of Joe and Virginia Meek as well as the location of their Meeting House, which was the first government and religious facility in Oregon Territory, a memorial will be built in their honor.

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