Washington is the only state named after a president that is not located on the East Coast.
Located in southwestern Washington state, Pacific County has a rich history that dates back centuries. The region was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples, particularly the Chinook, Chehalis, and Willapa tribes, who relied on the abundant resources of the land and sea. European exploration began in the late 18th century, with British and Spanish sailors navigating the coast and encountering these native communities.

In the early 19th century, American fur traders established contact with the local tribes, setting the stage for increased influence from outside settlers. The Lewis and Clark expedition, which passed through the region in 1805, played an important role in the exploration and mapping of the area, further sparking interest in the potential of the Pacific Northwest.

The arrival of settlers accelerated in the 1850s, following the establishment of several trading posts and the discovery of gold in nearby areas. Pacific County was officially created in 1851 as one of the original counties of Washington Territory. The county was named after the Pacific Ocean, which borders its western edge, highlighting its strategic coastal location.

As settlers began to establish permanent communities, industries such as logging, fishing, and agriculture became vital to the local economy. The abundance of timber in the area led to the development of logging operations, while the bountiful waters of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding rivers provided plentiful fishing opportunities. Agriculture also thrived, with cranberry cultivation becoming a particularly successful and iconic industry in the county.

Today, Pacific County continues to be a picturesque destination that offers stunning natural beauty, historic landmarks, and a strong connection to its rich past. With a blend of small rural communities and coastal towns, the region remains closely tied to its maritime and logging heritage, while also embracing nature-based tourism and recreational opportunities.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Pacific County, Washington.

  • 1805 - Pacific County is first explored by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • 1849 - The area becomes part of Oregon Territory.
  • 1851 - Pacific County is officially established as a county of Washington Territory.
  • 1852 - The county seat is established in Oysterville.
  • 1860 - The town of South Bend is platted.
  • 1874 - The county seat is relocated to South Bend.
  • 1889 - Pacific County becomes part of the newly established state of Washington.
  • 1913 - The first automobile bridge to cross the Willapa River is built.
  • 1930 - The Pacific County Courthouse in South Bend is constructed.
  • 1942 - During World War II, a Japanese internment camp is established in Pacific County.
  • 2010 - Pacific County experiences severe flooding from heavy rains.