The Society

Since its founding in the 1970s, the Jefferson County Historical Society has dedicated itself to recording, preserving, and promoting the recognition and understanding of the history of Jefferson County. Discover all that the society does.

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Membership in the Jefferson County Historical Society is inexpensive and pays rich dividends! If you’re interested in local history, and want to learn more about it through hands-on experience, why not join us as a JCHS/JCHM volunteer?

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The history of Jefferson County is a rich and colorful tapestry of stories that residents and visitors have been telling each other since Native people first entered this country, maybe 10,000 years ago. Explore the stories through text and audio.

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Our People. Our Culture. Our History.

Our view of Jefferson County (Madras, Culver, Ashwood, Gateway, Metolius, Camp Sherman, Warm Springs, The Big Muddy Ranch, The Crooked River, and Lake Billy Chinook) 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 II, 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.