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  History and Maps of Douglas County 

Douglas County includes the entire watershed of the Umpqua River [one of the major rivers of western Oregon], and reaches from the crest of the Cascade Range in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. In addition to the Cascade Range, the county includes the Calapooya & Umpqua Mountains.  Douglas County is the fifth largest county in Oregon, nearly 40% is forestland. Much of the population is located in the fertile, temperate Umpqua Valley - including the towns of Roseburg, Oakland, Sutherlin, Yoncalla & Drain.  Inhabited prior to the pioneer settlement era of the late 1840's and early 1850's by several different bands of Native Americans, notably the: Lower Umpqua/Kalawatset, located in the western portion of Douglas County along the Umpqua estuary and the coast north and south of the river; Yoncalla/Kalapuya, located in the northern edge of the Umpqua Valley, along the Elk & Calapooya Creeks; Umpqua, located in the main Umpqua Valley along the creeks and river from the base of the Cascade to the eastern edge of the Coastal Range; Molalla, located in the rugged western slopes of the Cascade Range; and Cow Creek Band, located in the southwestern portion of the county, centering on Cow Creek.  As was true of most of the western lands, the first "pioneers" were the fur traders and trappers.  Members of the Hudson's Bay Company were in the Umpqua region in the mid-1820's.  Following the trappers were the missionaries, farmers, merchants and miners.  Between 1850 and 1900 was the primary settlement period, much of which was inspired by the Oregon Donation Land Act of 1850.  By 1860, there were 3,162 persons living in Douglas County according to the Federal Census.

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   For comments or questions, contact Ralph Turner
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This page updated 29 May 1998

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