In 1962, Oregon became the first state in the United States to implement a bottle deposit program. The program required a 5-cent deposit on beverage containers, which could be redeemed when the containers were returned.
Columbia County, Oregon has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Native American tribes, including the Chinook and Clatskanie tribes, inhabited the region for centuries before European settlement. In the early 19th century, explorers and fur traders, such as Lewis and Clark, ventured into the area, marking the beginning of the region's interaction with European settlers.

In the mid-19th century, Columbia County experienced a significant influx of settlers, drawn by the prospects of fertile land and natural resources. The establishment of the Oregon Trail and the completion of the Columbia River Highway in the late 1800s further encouraged the growth of Columbia County. The county went through several name changes before settling on its current name in 1854, reflecting its position along the Columbia River.

The late 19th century saw the rise of industries such as logging, fishing, and coal mining. The timber industry, in particular, played a crucial role in shaping the county's economy and identity. The Oregon-American Lumber Company, headquartered in Rainier, became one of the largest lumber producers in the world at the time.

With the decline of the timber industry in the latter half of the 20th century, Columbia County has sought to diversify its economy. Today, the county boasts a mix of industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. The natural beauty of the region, with its lush forests, rivers, and scenic views, continues to attract visitors and residents alike. Columbia County's rich history is celebrated through various museums, historical sites, and events that highlight the region's unique heritage.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Columbia County, Oregon.

  • 1805 - Columbia County is explored by the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  • 1825 - The first permanent settlement is established in the present-day Columbia County.
  • 1854 - Columbia County is officially established by the Oregon Territorial Legislature.
  • 1880 - The population of Columbia County reaches over 5,000 people.
  • 1920 - The Columbia River Highway is completed, improving transportation in the county.
  • 1965 - The St Helens School District is formed.
  • 1981 - Columbia County Historical Society is established to preserve the county's history.
  • 1996 - The county seat is moved from Hillsboro to St Helens.
  • 2007 - The Scappoose Bay Marine Park is opened, providing recreational opportunities for residents.