abounds in Portland, from historic homes to the
antique district in the neighborhood of Sellwood,
fine art and antiquities abound.
County, named for the Columbia River, was created
in 1854 from the northern half of Washington County.
It covers 646 square miles and is bounded on the
north and east by the Columbia River, on the west
by Clatsop County, and on the south by Washington
and Multnomah Counties. Columbia County was the
sixteenth county created in Oregon and is the
third smallest county in Oregon after Multnomah
and Hood River Counties.
and Clark explored this area in 1805-1806. Early
settlements were established by fur traders as
early as 1810. As American immigration increased
in the mid-1840s, lasting settlements began to
appear. The Yakima Indian War (1855-1859) drove
many Washington Territory residents south of the
Columbia River and helped boost the populations
of St. Helens and Columbia City.
first district court met in 1854 in Milton, which
served as the county seat until 1857 when it was
moved to St. Helens. St. Helens was founded in
1848 and took its name from the nearby Mt. St.
Helens. The present courthouse was built in 1906,
and an annex was constructed in 1968. Most county
offices are now housed in the annex. A new sheriff's
office and jail facility were recently opened
at another location.
County had a county court form of government until
1971 when a board of commissioners was elected.
The 2000 population of 43,560 represented a 15.98%
increase over 1990.
primary industries of Columbia County are timber,
fishing, water transportation, dairying, horticulture,
and recreation. The extensive stands of old growth
timber, which had attracted many of the early
settlers to the area, were completely logged over
by the 1950s. Second growth timber provides the
raw material for local lumber and paper mills.
The Trojan Nuclear Plant, located near Rainier,
was in operation from 1975 to 1993.
of The Oregon State Archives