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.
Wasco County, Oregon, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Before the arrival of European settlers, the area was inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Wasco, Wishram, and Warm Springs tribes. These tribes relied on the Columbia River for fishing and trade, and the area became an important hub for regional commerce and cultural exchange.

European settlers began to arrive in the early 19th century, attracted by the region's abundant natural resources and fertile lands. In 1845, a military expedition led by John C. Frémont explored the area and documented its potential for farming and settlement. The Oregon Trail, which passed through present-day Wasco County, brought more settlers to the region in the following decades.

In 1854, Wasco County was officially established, encompassing a vast area that included parts of present-day Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming. The county quickly became an important center for trade and transportation, with the Columbia River serving as a major route for steamboats and barges. The city of The Dalles, located on the Columbia River, emerged as the county seat and became a bustling commercial and cultural hub.

The late 19th century saw significant growth and development in Wasco County. The railroad reached the region, opening up new opportunities for industry and trade. Agriculture, particularly wheat farming and fruit orchards, thrived due to the county's fertile soil and favorable climate. The production and export of agricultural goods became a cornerstone of the local economy, and The Dalles became known as the "Cherry City" due to its abundant cherry orchards.

Today, Wasco County continues to be an important agricultural and commercial center in Oregon. Its rich history is celebrated through various historic sites and museums, providing residents and visitors with a glimpse into the county's past. The natural beauty of the area, including the Columbia River Gorge, attracts outdoor enthusiasts and tourists alike.

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

  • 1843 - The first known settlers arrive in the area that would become Wasco County.
  • 1845 - The area becomes part of the Oregon Territory.
  • 1854 - Wasco County is established as an official county in the Oregon Territory.
  • 1859 - Oregon becomes a state and Wasco County remains a part of the state.
  • 1870 - The city of The Dalles is designated as the county seat.
  • 1880 - Agriculture becomes a major industry in Wasco County.
  • 1892 - The Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company establishes a rail line through the county, boosting transportation and trade.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression leads to economic hardships in Wasco County.
  • 1960s - The US Army Corps of Engineers constructs The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River, impacting local communities.
  • 1980 - The Rajneeshee cult, led by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, briefly settles in Wasco County, leading to controversy and legal battles.
  • 1990s - Tourism becomes a growing industry in the county, fueled by outdoor recreational activities.
  • 2006 - Wasco County celebrates its 150th anniversary.