Downtown Gresham from City Park
Downtown Gresham from City Park
Location in Multnomah County, Oregon
Coordinates: 45°28′58″N 122°26′00″W / 45.48278°N 122.43333°W / 45.48278; -122.43333
CountryUnited States
Named forWalter Q. Gresham
 • MayorTravis Stovall[1]
 • City23.65 sq mi (61.26 km2)
 • Land23.52 sq mi (60.91 km2)
 • Water0.13 sq mi (0.35 km2)
Elevation384 ft (117 m)
 • City114,247
 • Estimate 
 • RankUS: 273rd
OR: 4th
 • Density4,857.65/sq mi (1,875.55/km2)
 • Urban
2,104,238 (US: 23rd)
 • Metro
2,509,489 (US: 25th)
Time zoneUTC–8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC–7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
97030, 97080, 97233
Area code(s)503 and 971
FIPS code41-31250
GNIS feature ID2410663[3]

Gresham (/ˈɡrɛʃəm/ GRESH-əm) is a city located in Multnomah County, Oregon, United States, immediately east of Portland. It is considered a suburb within the Greater Portland Metropolitan area. Though it began as a settlement in the mid-1800s, it was not officially incorporated as a city until 1905; it was named after Walter Quintin Gresham, the American Civil War general and United States Secretary of State.

The city's early economy was sustained largely by farming, and by the mid-20th century the city experienced a population boom, growing from 4,000 residents to over 10,000 between 1960 and 1970. The population was 114,247 at the 2020 census,[4] making Gresham the 4th most populous city in Oregon.


Downtown Gresham in 1918

The area now known as Gresham was first settled in 1851 by brothers Jackson and James Powell, who claimed land under the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850. They were soon joined by other pioneer families, and the area came to be known as Powell's Valley.[7] In 1884, a local merchant petitioned the United States Post Office Department for a post office in his store, and offered to name it after Postmaster General Walter Q. Gresham if his request was granted. At the same time, other members of the community secured a post office called "Campground", another name for the area, referencing the religious camp meeting ground located there and the valley's usefulness as a stop-off for travelers on their way to Portland. Once the Post Office Department realized its mistake, it revoked the Campground post office.[8][9]

Gresham was incorporated in 1905, the year of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition; its population at the time was 365. Lewis Shattuck, son of a pioneer family, was the first mayor.[10] The town's economy was fueled largely by farming, including berries, grapes, and vegetables. At the time, trains ran between Gresham and Portland on an hourly basis. Gresham's early settlers would go on to form the outlying communities of Boring, Sandy, Fairview, and Estacada.[7]

Gresham's city library, which began as a small book collection in the town's general store, was officially established as the Gresham Branch Public Library in 1913 with a grant from the Andrew Carnegie library fund.[11][12]

Gresham General Hospital opened in 1959 in downtown Gresham. In 1984, the hospital moved to Stark Street and became Mount Hood Medical Center.[13][14]

In August 2016, the town was the place of the racially motivated murder of Larnell Bruce.[15]


Johnson Creek in Gresham

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.43 square miles (60.68 km2), of which 23.20 square miles (60.09 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.60 km2) is water.[16] The total area includes parts of Fairview Creek and Johnson Creek.


Gresham is located twelve miles (19 km) from downtown Portland; the dividing line between Portland and Gresham's city limits is roughly at SE 162nd Avenue in some areas, and 172nd Avenue in others.[17] Gresham's north and south borders are divided along U.S. Route 26, also known as the Mount Hood Highway, which begins on its western border along Powell Boulevard, then continues on Burnside Street before returning to the Mount Hood Highway in east Gresham. The city is located roughly seventy miles (110 km) east of the Oregon Coast.

Though much of Gresham is relatively flat, it is characterized by a hill on its eastern border. Northeast Gresham is also hilly, particularly where the city meets Troutdale toward the Columbia River.[18] Its elevation is 325 feet (99 m).[19] Johnson Creek, which begins at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, runs westward through Gresham, with 23 percent of the creek's watershed running through the city.


Gresham, like most of western Oregon, has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb/Csa). Summers feature pleasant mornings, very warm and sunny afternoons and only very occasional rainfall, whereas winters are cloudy with cool to cold afternoons, occasional frosts, and frequent long rainy periods.

Climate data for Gresham, OR
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 46
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 34
Average precipitation inches (mm) 6.09


Historical population
2022 (est.)111,621[5]−2.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[21]
2020 Census[4]

2020 census

As of the 2020 census, there were 114,247 people and 44,816 households residing in the city.

Gresham, Oregon – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2000[22] Pop 2010[23] Pop 2020[24] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 71,194 72,549 68,097 78.92% 68.71% 59.61%
Black or African American alone (NH) 1,618 3,530 5,665 1.79% 3.34% 4.96%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 704 808 878 0.78% 0.77% 0.77%
Asian alone (NH) 2,969 4,446 6,791 3.29% 4.21% 5.94%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 217 698 1,213 0.24% 0.66% 1.06%
Other race alone (NH) 99 148 559 0.11% 0.14% 0.49%
Mixed Race or Multi-Racial (NH) 2,672 3,431 7,001 2.96% 3.25% 6.13%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 10,732 19,984 24,043 11.90% 18.93% 21.04%
Total 90,205 105,594 114,247 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 105,594 people, 38,704 households, and 25,835 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,551.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,757.3/km2). There were 41,015 housing units at an average density of 1,767.9 per square mile (682.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 76.0% White, 3.5% African American, 1.3% Native American, 4.3% Asian, 0.7% Pacific Islander, 9.8% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.9% of the population.

There were 38,704 households, of which 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.2% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.22.

The median age in the city was 33.6 years. 26.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.1% were from 25 to 44; 24.5% were from 45 to 64; and 10.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.

2000 census

As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $43,442, and the mean income for a family was $51,126. Males had a median income of $37,701 versus $27,744 for females. That is a difference of $9,957. The per capita income for the city was $19,588. About 8.4% of families and 12.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.2% of those under the age of 18 and 6.7% of those 65 and older.

2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates

Arts and culture

Historic sites

Louise Home Hospital and Residence Hall

There are several National Register of Historic Places sites located in Gresham. The Louise Home Hospital and Residence Hall, is located in west Gresham, and serves as a social services facility. Other sites include: the Jacob Zimmerman House, a farmhouse built by German-American settlers in 1874; the Hamlin–Johnson House, a farmhouse built in 1888; the Emanuel and Christina Anderson House and William Gedamke House, both Victorian Queen Anne homes built circa 1900; the Gresham Carnegie Library, built in 1913; the Dr. Herbert H. Hughes House, built in 1922; the Charles and Fae Olson House, a modernist home built in 1946; and the David and Marianne Ott House, a ranch home built in 1952.[25]

Parks and recreation

There are numerous parks in Gresham, such as Main City Park, located near downtown Gresham. Other parks include East Gresham Park, Pat Pfeifer Park, Red Sunset Park, and Clatsop Butte Park, an upland butte located south of Powell Butte, which lies between Portland and Gresham. Other public points of interest are the Arts Plaza and Gresham Pioneer Cemetery, established in 1859.

Bicycle/pedestrian trails


The City of Gresham operates under the council–manager form of government. The mayor and city council are elected to be the legislative and policy-making body for the city.

The council appoints a city manager who is responsible for the daily operations of the city.[26] The interim city manager is Eric Schmidt, appointed in December 2023 for a six-month term or until a new city manager is selected.[citation needed]

The city council consists of the mayor and six councilors, all of whom serve four-year terms. Elections are held in November of even-numbered years. In election years divisible by four, (e.g., 2000, 2004, 2008), three councilors are elected. In election years not divisible by four, (e.g., 1998, 2002, 2006), the other three councilors and the mayor are elected.


Gresham is served by three school districts: Centennial, Gresham-Barlow, and Reynolds.[27] High schools include Gresham High School, Sam Barlow High School, Springwater Trail High School, Centennial High School, and Reynolds High School. Private schools include Portland Adventist Elementary School, Eastside Christian School, and Morningstar Montessori school.

Mount Hood Community College is also located in Gresham, and is the only college located within the city limits. It offers associate degrees, as well as bachelor's programs through a partnership with Eastern Oregon University. According to the US Census, 27.16% of the Gresham residents had a bachelor's degree, while 9.93% had earned a master's degree or above.[19]




Gresham is accessed from the west via Interstate 84 and via U.S. Route 26 from the east.

Mass transit

MAX Blue Line in Gresham
East 162nd Avenue
East 172nd Avenue
East 181st Avenue
Rockwood/E. 188th Ave.
Ruby Junction/E. 197th Ave.
Civic Drive
Gresham City Hall
Gresham Central TC
Cleveland Avenue station

Gresham is serviced by TriMet's bus system and the MAX Light Rail Blue Line, which includes the following MAX stations:

Gresham is also served by the fareless Sandy Area Metro shuttle bus to Sandy, Oregon.

Notable people

Sister cities

Gresham's sister cities are:[28]


  1. ^ "Mayor Travis Stovall | City of Gresham". The City of Gresham. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  2. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Gresham, Oregon
  4. ^ a b c "Explore Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2022". United States Census Bureau. December 31, 2023. Retrieved December 31, 2023.
  6. ^ "Who are you: The quest to name ourselves". Portland Tribune. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Gresham". PDX History. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  8. ^ "Gresham". Online Highways Home. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  9. ^ Chilton, W.R. (1993). Gresham: Stories of Our Past: Campground to City.
  10. ^ Hoff 1910, p. 156.
  11. ^ Endicott, Anne (July 6, 2012). "Telling the story of where we call home". Gresham Outlook. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  12. ^ Hottle, Molly (April 12, 2012). "Gresham Focus: Tour of buildings becomes a living history lesson". Oregon Live. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  13. ^ Reed, Watford (April 3, 1983). "Contract awarded for Gresham hospital project". The Oregonian. p. B1.
  14. ^ Jeffries, Pat (October 26, 1984). "Move is quite an operation". The Oregonian. p. D17.
  15. ^ Green, Aimee (April 16, 2019). "Race-fueled murder with Jeep brings life sentence with 28-year minimum for Russell Courtier". oregonlive.
  16. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  17. ^ "Portland, Oregon City Limits and Urban Services Boundary". City of Portland. April 7, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  18. ^ "City of Gresham, OR". TopoQuest. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Analysis of Gresham City, Oregon". City Melt. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  20. ^ "Average Weather for Gresham, OR - Temperature and Precipitation". Retrieved January 22, 2011.
  21. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  22. ^ "P004: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – Gresham city, Oregon". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  23. ^ "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Gresham city, Oregon". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  24. ^ "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Gresham city, Oregon". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  25. ^ "National Register of Historic Places" (PDF). June 6, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 9, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  26. ^ "Governance and Management". City of Gresham. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  27. ^ U.S. Census Bureau Geography Division (December 18, 2020). 2020 Census – School District Reference Map: Multnomah County, OR (PDF) (Map). 1:184,230. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 19, 2023.
  28. ^ "Blossoming cities: Gresham and Ebetsu". The Outlook. November 10, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2020.