Sequoias in Oregon? When in California you'll marvel at the giant Sequoias in the Sierra Nevada mountains. But, in the land of the Douglas Fir tree, why are there Sequoias?
Many of the Sequoia, especially those in Hillsboro, Oregon are attributed to the Porter family who came west to Oregon, from Ohio, in 1847. John Porter developed an interest in trees and started a nursery on his farm.
He then got gold fever. He heard about the California Gold Strike and, like many others rushed to the California gold country. Being a tree farmer, he was taken with a Sequoia forest in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He didn't strike it rich in gold country but he did, according to the story, fill his saddle bags with Sequoia seed cones and returned to his tree farm in Oregon.
He cultivated the seeds and went around Washington County planting seedlings and sold them to those wanting unusual trees on their property.
You can see a small grove of the Sequoias on the grounds surrounding the Washington County Courthouse in Hillsboro. Five trees remain of the original eight that were planted. There is a plaque there commemorating the memorial grove.
As you walk Washington County communities like Forest Grove and Hillsboro you'll find single ancient Sequoias looming over back yards, in parks and on church grounds. Well over a century old, these beautiful tall trees have broad trunks and stand out as a memorial to the pioneers that settled the area.