Five Oaks Historic Site Interpretive Panels

Hillsboro, OR
Illustration by Aki Ruiz

The Five Oaks Historic Site is a local landmark in Hillsboro, Oregon, whose history as a Native gathering place dates back before colonization. Named after the five ancient oaks that once stood there, the site itself is inconspicuously situated inside of a modern business park. Working with the Five Oaks Museum, named in honor of the site’s legacy, I designed a new set of interpretive panels for the site.

The new panels replaced original ones installed in the 1990’s. Working with the constraints of an existing kiosk, we designed panels that would open a siteline to the trees, to better incorporate the two. The illustration and text were roughly conceived based on a seasonal round, meaning that instead of using a linear timeline to organize the material, we used a series of ecological and seasonal motifs. The content was written to center the area’s Native history and ecology. The overarching narrative theme was honoring the relationship of care between people and the site. A distinct wayfinding sign was also created, recognizing the site’s Kalapuya name, Chatakuin.