MAX Points: Clackamas to Hillsboro
I have been wanting to go the the ends of the lines for awhile. One end is Clackamas Town Center on the green line; the Max Station is by the big mall surrounded by other shopping centers and a free park and ride garage. This was the starting point for me and Portland Rebel Mary C. Our destination: Hillsboro, at the end of the blue line.
Why Hillsboro? It is named after Oregon pioneer David Hill and was incorporated in 1876. It’s downtown reflects its long history and the charm of a small town. The giant sequoias in front of the Washington County Courthouse, for example, were planted in the 1880s, from cones that John Porter (Porter and Sons Nursery) brought back from his California gold mining adventure. No doubt its hometown feel contributed to Hillsboro being named among the best places to retire.
We got off at the last stop– the Hatfield Government Center at the corner of Adams Ave and Main Street-and ambled along Main Street, several blocks of historic buildings, shops and restaurants.
The Venetian Theatre and Bistro began in 1888 as the First National Bank of Hillsboro. The second part of what is now the theater was constructed originally in 1887. It first was occupied by a general merchandise store at street level with a printing shop and office above. It was the Hillsboro Town Theatre for years and now is the Venetian.
Getting to Hillsboro is easy. We changed from the Green to Blue line at the Gateway Station, but really, at that point, all three lines–Red, Green, and Blue– head into Portland on the same tracks. They follow a different path after Rose Quarter, but you can still change lines at Pioneer Square downtown. Five dollars covers the all day pass ($2 for an honored citizen). It is a real bargain. It is a long trip but relaxing. The only underground station is at Washington Park/Oregon Zoo. We passed by the 1906 town of Orenco (formed by the Oregon Nursery Company) and decided to visit there on another trip.