||A Chronology of Small Towns in Oregon
||Thousands of years before present
Native Americans inhabit the region we define as Oregon today.
Spanish galleons explore the coast of Oregon.
Captain Robert Gray enters the river we now call the Columbia and names it after his ship, the Columbia Rediviva.
Oregon's streams, rivers, and lakes teem with beaver, and trade in beaver pelts attracts explorers, trappers, and traders to the region.
Captains Lewis and Clark travel with their party from Missouri to the mouth of the Columbia River. President Thomas Jefferson believes a settlement at Astoria will be a key to expanding the American empire west all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
Astoria is established by the Pacific Fur Company.
The first sawmill is built in the Pacific Northwest.
Dr. John McLoughlin founds a town at Willamette Falls which later becomes Oregon City. Hall Jackson Kelley organizes the "American Society for Encouraging the Settlement of the Oregon Territory."
The first shipment of Oregon timber is sent to China.
Missionaries led by Jason Lee arrive at Fort Vancouver, and later establish the Willamette Mission near Salem.
The first cattle drive of the West arrives in Oregon from California.
The Willamette Valley receives cattle from the California surplus. Farming and stock-raising with Andalusian blacks supplant the fur economy in the Willamette Valley.
Civil government is established in the Oregon Country. Major immigration to Oregon begins along the Oregon Trail, with over 53,000 people traveling the Oregon Trail between 1840 and 1850.
Acts to prohibit slavery and to exclude blacks and mulattoes from Oregon are passed.
Small town of Portland is platted along Willamette River - only 16 blocks.
The Oregon Territory is organized.
Donation Land Claim law is passed, causing more settlers to move to the Oregon Territory. Congress provides for the renegotiation of treaties with the Indians of the territory. Gold is discovered in the Rogue River Valley, leading to the establishment of cities and towns in Southern Oregon. Population of Oregon is 12,093.
Portland is incorporated as a city.
Gold is found along Jackson Creek in southern Oregon.
Joel Palmer becomes Superintendent of Indian Affairs. He later implements the reservation system in Oregon.
Rogue River Indian Wars are fought.
Treaties are signed with the Columbia River tribes. The tribes cede most of their lands, but reserve exclusive rights to fish within their reservations and rights to fish "at all usual and accustomed places
Congress ratifies the Oregon State Constitution, and the state accepts the congressional proposal to be admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.
Daily stagecoach line is established between Portland and San Francisco. Frontier minister Thomas Condon pronounces John Day Fossil Beds a "scientific treasure."
Population of state is 52,465.
Congress passes the Homestead Act, allowing 160 acres to those who will live on and work the land. Gold is discovered in eastern Oregon, in Baker and Grant counties. Baker City becomes known as "Queen City of the Mines."
Salem is voted the state capital. Transcontinental telegraph service to Portland via California is begun.
The first salmon cannery on the lower Columbia River begins production.
Population of state is 90,923.
Modoc Indian war.
Nez Perce Indian War. Chief Joseph states, "I will fight no more forever."
Population of state is 174,768.
The transcontinental railroad is completed.
Grand Ronde Indian Community, Inc. is formed.
The first Northwest paper mill is built on the Columbia River at Camas.
Oregon-California railroad is built. Local railroads throughout Oregon are built.
Population of state is 317,704.
Rail lines extend into Prineville, Lakeview, and later Redmond, Burns, and Bend, all of which become active cow and sheep towns. The railroad makes Shaniko one of the world's principal wool markets. Population of state is 413,536.
Railroad bypasses Gardiner, connecting to Florence.
Coos Bay is selected as Southern Pacific Railroad terminal.
Federal District Court in Sohappy v. Smith affirms Indian treaty fishing rights in Columbia River.
The United States enters World War I.
Population of state is 783,389.
The Great Depression begins.
Population of state is 953,786.
Oregon Coast Highway is finished.
Oregon passes Washington as the leading timber producer in the nation.
Population of state is 1,089,684.
The United States enters World War II.
Camp Adair founded near Albany. From 1942-1947 it is the second largest city in Oregon, with 50,000 soldiers and prisoners of war.
The lumber industry begins to convert to a diversified forest products industy.
Oregon has 1,573 lumber mills, turning out more than 7 billion board feet.
Population of state is 1,521,341.
Population of state is 1,768,687.
First grapes are planted in Oregon for wine industry.
The National Environmental Policy Act is passed. Population of state is 2,091,533.
The Oregon Forest Practices Act, the first of its kind in the United States, requires resource protection during logging.
Statewide land use planning is approved. Congress passes the Endangered Species Act.
John Day Fossil Beds are designated a national monument.
Kinzua, Fossil's largest employer, is closed.
A coalition of ranchers, miners, loggers, developers, farmers, and others create the Sagebrush Rebellion and argue for more local control over land management and natural resources.
Population of state is 2,633,321.
Oregon Shines, a statewide vision for the future of Oregon, is adopted.
Population of state is 2,842,321.
Fossil establishes its first Internet access line.
1,000 small towns exist in Oregon. One out of four Oregonians live in small towns. In 2000 population of Oregon is 3,421,399.