Interpretive Panels Installed Along the Vineyard & Valley Scenic Tour Route

Here is some recent news to share from our friends at the Washington County Visitors Association that road trippers and wine lovers will love!

Panels Provide a Glimpse into the Rich Agricultural and Pioneer History of Washington County

BEAVERTON, Ore.  – The first two of four new interpretive panels were installed this month along the Vineyard & Valley Scenic Tour Route, a 50-mile driving tour, from Helvetia to Sherwood, through the agricultural and historical region of Washington County, Oregon. Each panel offers a quick lesson about the area’s history, and bridges the area’s history with today’s modern culture.

Located at the Old Scotch Church in Hillsboro, a history of Washington County interpretive panel provides a historical perspective about the earliest settlers in the area, from the Atfalati tribe of the Kalapuya Native Americans, to the arrival of early settlers Joe Meek, Joseph Gale and David Hill. The location is fitting, as Meek’s grave and headstone can be found in the church’s cemetery.

An interpretive panel that illustrates the rich agricultural history of Washington County is at the Smith Berry Barn, also located in Hillsboro. From the 1870s to present day, this panel provides a brief account of some of the area’s earliest farmers, as well as the site itself.

The Vineyard & Valley Scenic Tour Route is an experiential tour through Washington County’s rural countryside, with opportunities to stop at the various attractions along the route: wineries, farms, pioneer settlements, wetlands and natural habitats. The route officially was launched in April 2009, and several projects have enhanced the site, including the installation of crop signs, created with the assistance of the Oregon Agribusiness Council.

Two additional installations of interpretive panels, which will explore the area’s natural and viticultural history, are slated for completion in 2011.

About the Washington County Visitors Association

The Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA) serves the region’s tourism industry by actively promoting Washington County, Ore., to travelers outside of the Portland Metropolitan area as a tourism destination for leisure, business and sporting events. Washington County is scenically situated between Portland and the Oregon Coast, and spans 727 square miles. The destination includes the growing communities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Durham, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, King City, North Plains, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville. For more information about the WCVA, visit www.yourwaytoplay or www.visitwashingtoncountyoregon, or call 503-644-5555.

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