Sherwood is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States. Located in the southeast corner of the county, it is a residential community in the Tualatin Valley southwest of Portland. The population was 11,791 at the 2000 census. The 2006 estimate is 16,115 residents. Indirectly named for the Sherwood Forest in England, it was first incorporated in 1893 as a town.
What is now the Sherwood area was originally inhabited by the Atfalati band of the Kalapuya nation. The first significant wave of United States emigrants arrived in 1842. Native Americans were relocated to reservations after the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850-5 gave American citizens exclusive ownership of these lands. The relocation process took place under the guidance of a series of federal employees, most notably Superintendent of Indian Affairs Joel Palmer, who was severely criticized for his humane treatment of the tribes.
The California Gold Rush of 1849 caused a dramatic shift in the area's economy. Oregon City, Oregon is located on a stretch of the Willamette River that had always been attractive to trade since prehistoric times, when trading activity was dominated by the Chinookan tribe. When settlers of European extraction began arriving in large numbers, Oregon City became (arguably) the "End of the Oregon Trail". After the Gold Rush, however, Portland, Oregon replaced Oregon City as the area's most important center of trade and commerce. Sherwood is located within twenty miles (32 km) of both cities.