The City of Cornelius is known as Oregon’s Family Town, and was recently named one of 10 All-American Cities. There are approximately 12,400 residents in Cornelius, and the city recently opened a three story building that will house the library as well as 45 units of affordable housing. When you visit Cornelius you will see that they embrace the diversity of their community, and wish to be a place that is known as a community who welcomes, and supports others.
Cornelius was built in the 1870s thanks to the railroad coming through to get agriculture from the orchards. One of the successful early settlers was T.R. Cornelius. After serving the Washington County Volunteers and fighting five battles, T.R. Cornelius eventually followed the Gold Rush to California. In time he returned to Oregon and his 1,300 acre farm where he helped to build a grain warehouse, creamery, two sawmills, a grocery store, several houses and barns.
During this same period of time Ben Holladay built the railroad depot in the area known as Free Orchards. It was home to the post office and telegraph line. While both men made vital contributions towards the creation of Cornelius the townspeople agreed that the city should be named after T.R. Cornelius in honor of his contributions to the development of the community, and the fact that he was one of the first settlers to the area.
Today, Cornelius sits in between Hillsboro, and Forest Grove, just west of Portland. It is a great place to go and pick berries in the summer, go hike the neighboring Chehalem Mountains or visit local vineyards. As you can see Cornelius continues to stay true to its roots as a vibrant agricultural community.