The Oregon State Capitol has a unique feature - a working beehive on its roof. The hive, which was installed in 2010, is home to over 50,000 honeybees and is part of the Capitol's sustainability efforts.
Wallowa County, located in northeastern Oregon, has a rich history shaped by both indigenous cultures and the arrival of European settlers. The region was originally inhabited by the Nez Perce tribe for thousands of years, who relied on hunting, fishing, and gathering as their primary means of sustenance. In the early 19th century, fur trappers and explorers began to venture into the area, establishing trade relationships with the Nez Perce.

The arrival of white settlers in the mid-19th century brought significant changes to Wallowa County. In 1877, Chief Joseph and his Nez Perce tribe were forced out of the area, leading to the tragic events known as the Nez Perce War. This marked a turning point in the county's history, as the Native American population declined and European settlers began to establish permanent settlements.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the rapid growth and development of Wallowa County. Ranching and agriculture became the primary industries, and small towns began to spring up throughout the region. The completion of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company's rail line in the early 1900s further stimulated economic growth, connecting the area to wider markets.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Wallowa County experienced some challenges related to societal changes and economic fluctuations. The decline of the timber industry and changing agricultural practices had an impact on the local economy. However, the county has managed to maintain its rural character and has increasingly embraced tourism and recreational activities as an economic driver. Today, Wallowa County remains an area of natural beauty, cultural significance, and a testament to the resilience of its inhabitants throughout history.

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

  • 1800s: The area of present-day Wallowa County was home to the Nez Perce Native American tribe.
  • 1850s: European settlers began to arrive in the area, attracted by the fertile land and abundant natural resources.
  • 1871: Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce tribe signed the Treaty of Walla Walla, which designated the Wallowa Valley as their permanent reservation.
  • 1877: The Nez Perce War began when the U.S. government ordered the removal of the Nez Perce from their reservation in the Wallowa Valley.
  • 1880s: The town of Enterprise was founded as the county seat of Wallowa County.
  • 1914: The Hells Canyon National Recreation Area was established, protecting the natural beauty of the area.
  • 1988: The Nez Perce National Historic Trail, which traces the route of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce during the war, was designated.
  • Today, Wallowa County is known for its stunning natural landscapes, outdoor recreational opportunities, and rich Native American history.