The city of Portland, Oregon was named after Portland, Maine. The city's founder, Asa Lovejoy, had lived in Portland, Maine and wanted to name the new settlement after his former hometown.
Umatilla County, located in northeastern Oregon, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Cayuse and Umatilla peoples. These tribes thrived off the land, relying on hunting, fishing, and gathering for their livelihoods.

In the 19th century, European settlers began to arrive in the region. The Oregon Trail, a major wagon route that stretched from Missouri to Oregon, passed through Umatilla County, attracting pioneers seeking a fresh start in the West. This influx of settlers led to conflicts with the Native American tribes, most notably the Cayuse War of 1847-1855.

With the discovery of gold in the nearby Blue Mountains in the 1860s, Umatilla County experienced a boom in population and economic activity. Towns such as Pendleton and Umatilla City sprung up, catering to the needs of gold miners and settlers. Agriculture also became a significant industry, with ranching and wheat farming dominating the landscape.

In the 20th century, Umatilla County continued to evolve. The development of irrigation systems allowed for the expansion of crop cultivation, leading to the growth of orchards and vineyards. The establishment of the Umatilla Army Depot during World War II brought both economic opportunities and military presence to the county. Today, Umatilla County remains an important agricultural hub, known for its wheat, fruit, and wine production, while also embracing its Native American heritage through cultural events and preservation efforts.

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

  • 1862 - Umatilla County is established on September 27.
  • 1864 - Pendleton becomes the county seat.
  • 1881 - The Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company's main line reaches Pendleton.
  • 1904 - The Round-Up, a famous rodeo and western event, is first held in Pendleton.
  • 1918 - A deadly influenza pandemic spreads to Umatilla County.
  • 1942 - The Umatilla Indian Reservation is established.
  • 1981 - The Umatilla Chemical Depot, a major Army installation, begins operations.
  • 1994 - The Umatilla River flood causes significant damage in the county.
  • 2000 - Umatilla County's population exceeds 70,000 for the first time.