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Sherman County, Oregon


The Sherman County Courthouse is located at 500 Court Street, Moro, OR 97039; phone: 541-565-3416.

Beginnings [1]

Sherman County, originally a part of Wasco County, was formally organized in February, 1889. The small county is bounded on the west by the Deschutes River, the north by the Columbia River, and the east by the John Day River. The Oregon Trail extended across the northern portion of the county near the Columbia River. The trail was the major route for pioneers crossing the state in the 1840s. Settlers did not venture into the interior of the county until the 1860s, but the area was noted for its abundance of bunch grass and natural springs.

The few settlers who homesteaded in the region in the 1860s and 1870s primarily used the bunch grass covered land for stock grazing (horses and cattle). A stage road was built in 1864 from The Dalles through Umatilla, Oregon enroute to Walla Walla, Washington. The road extended across the northern portion of the county and was used extensively. In 1868 a military road was constructed south from the Columbia River through the heart of what would become Sherman County, further opening the region for settlement. Around 1878 (population of region 42 people), settlers began successfully farming the land which ushered in the new influx of settlement in the 1880s. At this time, the land was used for farming and grazing.

  1. Sally Donovan, Principal, Donovan and Associates, John and Helen Moore House, Sherman County, OR, nomination document, 1993, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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