The City of Banks lies in the northern edge of the wine-rich Tualatin Valley, just west of Portland and Beaverton in Washington County. The current population of more than 1,450 residents make the town of Banks a true community. Nestled in Oregon Wine Country, between the Cascade Mountains and the Oregon Coast Range, Banks strives to be an environmentally-sensitive city respectful of the nearby farms and forest. Banks offers opportunities for both business and pleasure, convenitently located halfway between the picturesque Oregon Coast and the Portland metropolis. Washington County has seen tremendous growth in the past few decades. High-tech industries began locating in the eastern part of the county as early as the 1950s, and today more than half of Oregon's 53,000 high-tech jobs are located there. Following the increase in jobs, there was an increase in both housing and service industries, resulting in a great deal of new development. Western Washington County, however, remains rural and picturesque with the major economic base stemming from agriculture and some logging. This small-town rural atmosphere is the perfect place to raise a family while staying within a ten minute commute to the high-tech industries of Washington County. Arbor Village is a community located in Banks with an independent Homeowners Association and beautiful park. With three golf courses, antique and craft shops, a public library, and several restaurants located within the city limits, Banks has something for everyone for the relaxing life of the Oregon countryside.
BANKS, OREGON HISTORY
Early American pioneers settled in Banks around 1840 using Government donation land claims of 640 acres each. The original land claim held by Peyton Wilkes is now the site of the town of Banks, Oregon. Peyton Wilkes chose the west fork of Dairy Creek because the nearby plentiful oak trees supplied the tanbark he needed for his tanner's trade. White Oak trees are native to the valleys of western Washington County, and are are considered the king of all western oaks. By the 1860s, a small community had formed around the Wilkes property and, appropriately, it was called "Wilkes". In the 1890's the Wilkes' children divided the remaining 160 acres and sold it to the Schulmerich family and the Banks family, who were dairy farmers. A Post Office was established in the area on January 21, 1902, named after brothers John and Robert Banks, who owned land next to the Union Point Cemetery on Banks Road and were instrumental in developing Banks next to the new Railroad built throughout the area. Banks' historic United Methodist Church (originally known as the community church) was started in 1908, built by Mike Schrammel and Phil Parmley and dedicated in 1909. By 1920, Banks looked like many other small Oregon pioneer towns, with a less than impressive building stock and dirt roads, but its strong community made it a good place to live. The town was incorportated in 1921, with a population of 75 residents. In 1910, 100 Japanese families came to Banks and started raising strawberries. By 1950, acreage had grown to where the Banks 1950 Bar-B-Q program reported that 4,000 tons of berries were handled annually in Banks.
LOCATION AND SCHOOLS
The city of Banks is located between U.S. Route 26 (Sunset Highway) and State Highway 6 (Wilson River Highway), Banks offers quick access to the coastal beaches and many hiking and camping opportunities in the Tillamook State Forest and the Clatsop State Forest. Banks is located just minutes away from L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park.