Like many towns in the Willamette Valley, Tigard was originally settled by several families, the most noteworthy of which was the Tigard family, headed by Wilson M. Tigard. Arriving in the area known as "East Butte" in 1852, the family settled and became involved in organizing and building the East Butte School, a general store (which starting in 1886 housed the area's post office) and a meeting hall, and renamed East Butte to "Tigardville". The Evangelical organization built the Emanuel Evangelical Church at the foot of Bull Mountain, south of the Tigard store in 1886. A blacksmith shop was opened in the 1890s by John Gaarde across from the Tigard Store, and in 1896 a new E. Butte school was opened to handle the growth the community was experiencing from an incoming wave of German settlers.
The period between 1907 and 1910 marked a rapid acceleration in growth as Main Street blossomed with the construction of several new commercial buildings, Germania Hall (a two-story building featuring a restaurant, grocery store, dance hall, and rooms to rent), a shop/post office, and a livery stable. Limited telephone service began in 1908.
In 1910, the arrival of the Oregon Electric Railway triggered the development of Main Street and pushed Tigardville from being merely a small farming community into a period of growth which would lead to its incorporation as a city in 1961. The town was renamed Tigard by the railroad to greater distinguish it from the nearby Wilsonville, and the focus of the town reoriented northeast towards the new rail stop as growth accelerated.
1911 marked the introduction of electricity, as the Tualatin Valley Electric company joined Tigard to a service grid with Sherwood and Tualatin. William Ariss built a blacksmith shop on Main Street in 1912 that eventually evolved into a modern service station. In the 1930s the streets and walks of Main Street were finally paved, and another school established to accommodate growth.
The city was the respondent in (and eventual loser of) the landmark property rights case, Dolan v. City of Tigard, decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1994. The case established the "rough proportionality" test that is now applied throughout the United States when a local government evaluates a land use application and determines the exactions to require of the recipient of a land use approval.
In the 2004 general elections, the city of Tigard won approval from its voters to annex the unincorporated suburbs on Bull Mountain, a hill to the west of Tigard. However, residents in that area have rejected annexation and are currently fighting in court various moves by the city.
Appointed to fill out term
Died in office
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.9 square miles (28.2 km²), of which, 10.9 square miles (28.1 km²) of it is land and 0.09% is water.
There were 16,507 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 34.1% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $51,581, and the median income for a family was $61,656. Males had a median income of $44,597 versus $31,351 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,110. About 5.0% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.
North of McDonald street, Tigard, along with Metzger and the unincorporated Bull Mountain area, uses the 97223 ZIP code for incoming mail, while the southern half of the city uses 97224, as does the nearby city of King City and the community of Durham. All mail for both ZIP codes are processed in Portland. The Tigard Post Office on Main street has a ZIP code of 97281, which is used only for post office boxes. Local phone numbers may be within the 503 or 971 area codes.
During the Portland Rose Festival every summer, the Tigard Festival of Balloons is held at Cook Park near Tigard High School. The tallest building in the county is a 12-story building at Lincoln Center.