Oregon's provisional government created Clatsop County out of the northern and western
portions of Tuality District on June 22, 1844. Five days later all of Clatsop County
north of the Columbia River was used to create Vancouver County, in what is now
Washington. The Provisional and Territorial Legislatures further defined Clatsop
County's boundaries in 1845 and 1853.
The county currently occupies an area of 873 square miles and is bordered on the
west by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by the Columbia River, on the east by Columbia
County, and on the south by Tillamook County. Clatsop County was named for the Clatsop
Indians, one of many Chinook tribes living in Oregon.
Before 1850 most of Clatsop County's government activity occurred in Lexington.
Astoria, Oregon's oldest city, was founded in 1811 and as Astoria grew, activities
gradually shifted to that city. Astoria was chosen by electors to be the county
seat in 1854 and the first county government sat in Astoria in 1856.
The early sessions of the county court prior to 1855 were held in the homes of county
officials and private citizens, first in Lexington and later in Astoria. In 1855
a two-story frame courthouse was completed. The second courthouse was completed
in 1908 and is still in use. With state court offices using nearly all of the courthouse,
county offices are now located in administration buildings near the courthouse.
The first county government was organized in the mid-1840s with the election of
justices of the peace, clerk, sheriff, assessor, treasurer, and the formation of
district courts and the county board of commissioners. In 1964 the county court
was replaced by a board of commissioners. The voters of Clatsop County approved
a home rule charter in 1988, which called for a board of county commissioners as
the policy determining body of the county, and a county manager.
The principle industries of Clatsop County are fishing, lumber, and agriculture.
The Port of Astoria, created in 1914, is one of 23 Oregon port districts that support
the trade and commerce of Oregon. The population of Clatsop County was 37,695 in
2008, a 5.8% increase over 2000.
An increasing number of cruise ships now stop in Astoria as tourists enjoy its shops,
history, and nearby attractions. The Astoria Riverwalk, a paved trail that runs
along the banks of the Columbia River, combines with the Astoria Riverfront Trolley
to add to the recreational possibilities.
History from the
Oregon Secretary of State web site. Check it out, lots of good information