Oregon was the first state in the United States to have a bottle bill. In 1971, Oregon passed a law requiring a refundable deposit on beverage containers. This law was later adopted by other states and is now common throughout the United States.
Sherman County, located in north-central Oregon, has a rich and fascinating history. The area was initially inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Wasco and the Paiute tribes. European settlement began in the mid-1800s when pioneers arrived in search of fertile land for agricultural purposes.

The name Sherman County was inspired by the prominent Civil War general, William Tecumseh Sherman. The county was officially established on February 25, 1889. Early settlers faced numerous challenges in developing the area due to the harsh climate, especially the strong winds commonly known as the "Big Blow." However, they persevered and established successful wheat farms, which became the primary industry in the region.

Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Sherman County experienced economic growth and development. The construction of railroads improved transportation and facilitated the export of wheat to markets beyond the local area. By the 1920s, the county had become one of the leading producers of wheat in the state.

In the mid-20th century, technological advancements and irrigation projects further transformed agriculture in Sherman County. Irrigation systems, such as those on the John Day and Columbia rivers, allowed farmers to expand their crops beyond wheat, including potatoes, barley, and other produce. Today, Sherman County remains an agricultural powerhouse, emphasizing sustainable practices and embracing modern technology to maximize productivity while preserving the beauty of the region.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Sherman County, Oregon.

  • 1843: Sherman County is home to several Native American tribes, including the Wasco, Paiute, and Warm Springs tribes.
  • 1855: The Wasco Native American tribe signs the Treaty with the Tribes of Middle Oregon, ceding their lands to the United States government.
  • 1870: The community of Moro is established as the county seat of Sherman County.
  • 1889: Sherman County is officially established by the Oregon Legislative Assembly, with its boundaries defined.
  • 1890s: The agricultural industry begins to thrive in Sherman County, with wheat becoming the main crop.
  • 1891: The construction of the first railroad through Sherman County begins, greatly improving transportation and trade opportunities.
  • 1902: The town of Grass Valley is incorporated, becoming one of the major settlements in Sherman County.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression and droughts severely impact the agricultural industry in Sherman County.
  • 1948: The John Day Dam is completed on the Columbia River, providing irrigation water for farming in Sherman County.
  • 1950s: The construction of highways and improvements in infrastructure further develop Sherman County.
  • 1973: The Wind-Notch Butte Wind Farm, one of the first wind energy projects in the United States, is established in Sherman County.
  • 1980s: Conservation efforts, such as the Sherman County Soil and Water Conservation District, are implemented to protect natural resources.
  • 2000s: Sherman County expands its focus on sustainable agriculture and renewable energy, promoting wind and solar projects.