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Oregon Counties

There are thyirty-six counties in the state of Oregon. The Oregon Constitution does not explicitly provide for county seats.

Clatsop County, Oregon

Clatsop County Education, Geography, and HistoryClatsop County, Oregon Courthouse

Clatsop County is a county located in the state of Oregon. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 37,039. The county seat is Astoria. The county is named for the Clatsop tribe of Native Americans, who lived along the coast of the Pacific Ocean prior to European settlement.

Clatsop County comprises the Astoria, OR Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Clatsop County Name

Clatsop County was named for the Clatsop Indians, one of many Chinook tribes living in Oregon.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Clatsop County History

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 most of the courthouse, the majority of 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 administrative officer.

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. An increasing number of cruise ships now stop in Astoria as tourists enjoy its shops, history, and nearby attractions. The population of Clatsop County was 35,630 in 2000, a 6.99% increase over 1990.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,084 square miles (2,810 km2), of which 829 square miles (2,150 km2) is land and 255 square miles (660 km2) (24%) is water. The highest point is Saddle Mountain at 3,283 feet (1,001 m), part of the Northern Oregon Coast Range.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Columbia County (east)
  • Pacific County, Washington (north)
  • Wahkiakum County, Washington (north)
  • Tillamook County (south)
  • Washington County (southeast)


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