Chronology of Douglas County History

1592 to 1755Peak of Spanish interest and exploration on Pacific Northwest coast.
1728 to 1768Peak of Russian exploration on Northwest coast.
1778Captain James Cooke reported a river at the position of the Umpqua.
1820 to 1821“Old Establishment” or “McKay’s Fort” - fur post for Northwest Company.
1826David Douglas travels through Willamette and Umpqua Valleys on botanical expedition with Hudson Bay Company.
July 1828Expedition from Sacramento Valley to Fort Vancouver led by Jedediah S. Smith massacred at mouth of Smith River.
1828Fort Vancouver trappers explore Umpqua country.
1836Fort Umpqua, Hudson Bay Company fur post, established at Elkton with Jean Baptiste Gagnier as manager.
1837Ewing Young passes through Umpqua Valley with cattle from California.
July 1843Provisional government of Oregon meeting at Champoeg divides Oregon into four administrative districts. The Southwestern district including western Umpqua Valley was called the Yamhill District and the Southeastern District including eastern Umpqua Valley was called the Champooick District.
1844Jesse Applegate appointed Surveyor General of Oregon.
July 1845Provisional government of Oregon elects George Abernethy first governor of Oregon.
December 1845Western Umpqua Valley part of Polk County. Eastern Umpqua Valley part of Champoeg County.
June 1846Lindsay and Jesse Applegate and Levi and John Scott lead wagon train over “Applegate Trail” (or Southern Route) from Fort Hall to Willamette Valley through Umpqua Valley.
1846Major Thorp, Job Hatfield, William Golden, Rufus Butler and party explore Umpqua Valley.
1847Drain settled by Warren Goodell.
December 1847Western Umpqua valley part of Benton County - County seat, Marysville (Corvallis); eastern Umpqua Valley part of Linn County - County seat, Albany.
August 1848General Joseph Lane appointed first Governor of the Oregon Territory by President Polk. Term of office, 1848-1850.
1849Jesse Applegate and family settled at Yoncalla.
June 1850Winchester Payne and Company of San Francisco expedition, on board the “Samuel Roberts,” founded towns of Scottsburg, Winchester, Umpqua City and Elkton. Scottsburg built as outfitting point for the mines of northern California and southern Oregon.
April 1851William H. Riddle settles at Cornutt near Riddle.
June 1851Joseph Lane elected Representative to Congress from Oregon Territory. Term of Office 1851 to 1859.
Sept 1851Aaron Rose settles at Deer Creek.
1851Joseph Knott, second settler at Canyonville, opens store.
Jan 1852Douglas and Jackson Counties created out of Umpqua County. Douglas County included that portion of the present County south of the north Umpqua River with County seat at Winchester. Jackson County included the present Jackson, Josephine, and Curry Counties with County seat at Jacksonville. Douglas County was named for Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois.
July 1852Umpqua County seat at Elkton.
1852Abraham Patterson and William P. Day first settlers in Camas Valley.
October 1853First public school in County organized at Garden Valley.
December 1853Coos County created out of portions of Umpqua and Jackson Counties. Included present Coos and Curry Counties with County seat at Empire City.
March 1854Rev. James H. Wilbur founds the first secondary school - The Umpqua Academy at Wilbur.
1855Deer Creek name changed to Roseburg.
October 1855Rogue River Indian Wars began.
1856Rogue River Indian Wars end and Indians moved to Siletz and Grand Ronde Indian Reservations.
1856U.S. Army builds Fort Umpqua at mouth of Umpqua River.
Dec 1856Camas Valley annexed to Douglas County from Coos County.
1857Umpqua Lighthouse constructed (destroyed in 1861).
1858Colonel (later “General Fighting Joe”) Hooker builds Hooker Road from Scottsburg to Camp Stewart.
February 1859Umpqua County seat moved to Green Valley.
July 1860The first “California-Oregon” stage run.
December 1861Great flood destroys Scottsburg.
August 1861 [sic]Umpqua County seat moved to Yoncalla.
September1862Addison C. Gibbs, early settler at Gardiner, elected Governor of Oregon. Term of office, 1862-1866.
October 1862Umpqua and Douglas Counties merged to form the present Douglas County.
1862School District Number 1 formed at Oakland.
1863Telegraph service reaches County.
October 1862 [sic]Voters fail to approve re-division of Douglas County. Umpqua County seat would have been Oakland. Douglas County could have chosen Canyonville, Myrtle Creek, Round Prairie or Roseburg.
1870Steamboat “Swan” reaches Roseburg.
October 1870City of Roseburg incorporated.
1872Ben Holladay’s Oregon and California Railroad reaches the County.
1872Moved to New Site (Oakland).
1873Coos Bay Military Road built from Coos Bay to Roseburg.
1873Coos Bay, Roseburg, and Eastern Railroad started at Marshfield. (Never reached beyond Myrtle Point.)
1874Ben Holliday and Henry Villard meet at Roseburg.
September 1877Stephen F. Chadwich of Roseburg, Secretary of State, September 1870 to September 1877 - Governor of Oregon, September 1877 to September 1878.
October 1878City of Oakland incorporated.
September 1880President Rutherford B. Hayes, General William Tecumseh Sherman, and Secretary of War Ramsey tour County. Stayed overnight in Roseburg.
August 1882Last “California-Oregon” stage run from Oregon.
October 1882County lines established.
1882Nes Odessa, Russian Jewish colony, founded at Glendale.
1893City of Riddle incorporated.
1893Drain Normal School opened. (Closed 1907.)
May 1894Oregon Soldier’s Home dedicated at Roseburg.
1895 to 1930Great prune era of Douglas County.
February 1901City of Yoncalla incorporated.
1901City of Canyonville incorporated.
1901City of Glendale incorporated.
1901City of Myrtle Creek incorporated.
August 1905Oregon Western Railway Company was incorporated - to build from Drain to Reedsport. (Project was abandoned 1914.)
1907City of Drain incorporated.
1909Sisters of Mercy established Mercy Hospital.
1911City of Sutherlin incorporated.
1913Port of Umpqua Commission founded.
April 1916Willamette Pacific Railroad opens Reedsport and Coos Bay to rail service to Eugene.
1917North Jetty on Umpqua River constructed by Corps of Engineers.
1919City of Reedsport incorporated.
June 1919Roosevelt Coast Military Highway authorized by Congress.
1925Canyonville Bible Academy founded.
1928Southern Pacific Railroad division moved from Roseburg to Eugene.
1932Veterans Administration Hospital started at Roseburg.
1948City of Elkton incorporated.
September 1953City of Winston incorporated.
September 1954Only nickel refinery in nation starts production at Riddle.
August 1959City of Roseburg partially destroyed in blast and fire.
October 1962Columbus Day Storm’s hurricane winds destroyed property throughout Douglas County.
December 1964Great Christmas flood.
November 1966Interstate-5 Highway completed.
December 1967Umpqua Community College dedicated.
March 1998Glenbrook Nickel Mine closure.