Our People. Our Culture. Our History.
From our county seat in Madras to Culver, Ashwood, Gateway, Metolius, Camp Sherman, Warm Springs, The Big Muddy Ranch, The Crooked River, Lake Billy Chinook and beyond, the history of Jefferson County, Oregon is full of stories, adventures and characters.
Our view of Jefferson County is that it is inclusive—to be shared by everybody in the ethnically and culturally diverse population of Jefferson County, including the Anglo, Native American, and Hispanic communities, and visitors as well; and ongoing—embodying not only Native American pre-history and the early years of ranching, homesteading, and railroad building, but also the coming of irrigation after World War Two, the buildings of dams, the settling here of Hispanic people, and the emergence of Jefferson County as a center for recreation and tourism.
The Jefferson County Historical Society is also dedicated to the idea that the human history of a region can’t be adequately understood without an understanding of its natural history. As Central Oregonians, we are proud of our magnificent mountains and hills, canyons, and rivers, our bracing climate, our native plants and wildlife—and part of our mission is to promote an informed appreciation of the impact of these natural elements on the history of human life in this region.