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Celebrating a Century 

Deschutes County turns 100

Deschutes County is Oregon's youngest county, but this month, it's still turning the ripe old age of 100. It was 1914 when voters approved separating a portion of Crook County—itself part of the giant Wasco County until 1882— to form Jefferson County. In 1916, voters approved the creation of Deschutes County from Crook County.

Throughout Deschutes County's history, massive population growth has often been the name of the game. The county had an estimated 5,000 residents upon its formation, which doubled by 1920. Fast forward to modern times, when Deschutes County's population growth has outpaced every other Oregon county for the past 20 years, according to the Deschutes County website.

As part of Deschutes County's centennial celebrations, check out Deschutes.org/100years, and use the hashtag #DC100Years to share photos and memories.

Deschutes County Timeline


First known white men enter Central Oregon


Oregon Territory created


Oregon becomes a state


Crook County formed from Wasco County


Alexander M. Drake arrives in the future town of Bend


City of Sisters platted; Construction of Pilot Butte Canal begins


City of Redmond platted; City of Bend incorporated


City of Redmond incorporated; La Pine platted as a townsite; First electricity in Bend and Redmond; First attempt at creating Deschutes County from Crook County


Great Northern Railroad reaches Bend and Redmond


Dec. 13: Gov. James Withycombe proclaims Deschutes County as an official county


Drake Park created by city bond levy


Bend's Congress St. Apartments dynamited by moonshiners


First Water Pageant held on Mirror Pond


Deschutes County begins land-use planning


City of Sisters incorporated


Poma lift starts operating on Bachelor Butte


COCC breaks ground on Awbrey Butte


Astronauts arrive in Central Oregon to train for moon landing


Deschutes County population goes over 100,000 residents


Deschutes County turns 100 Current population: 175,268+, according to 2015 U.S. Census

Deschutes County Centennial Celebration

Deschutes Historical Museum,

129 NW Idaho Ave., Bend

Dec. 13, 11am-1pm


About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. While the pandemic reduced "hobbies" to "aspirations," you can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis. (Progress: slow.)
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