Old Historical State, County and City Maps of Oregon

Maps of Oregon

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Any old historical map of Oregon can be very useful in conducting research, especially in light of the now extinct communities. Several kinds of maps are available which can help in locating land, ghost towns, or farms. Most historical maps of Oregon were published in atlases.

If the researcher wants to plot mining claims, do on-site research, locate a specific town, find a cemetery, or perform any of several other actions, old maps of Oregon are absolutely essential.

Map of Oregon State with the Counties and the County Seats

Map of Oregon State with the Counties and the County Seats

One helpful map by Ralph N. Preston is Historical Oregon: Overland Stage Routes, Old Military Roads, Indian Battle Grounds, Old Forts, Old Gold Mines. That map collection begins with a trail map from Lewis and Clark’s 1804 expedition and includes multiple other maps, including maps listing old Indian battle grounds, mining areas, forts, military roads, and stage routes.

The Oregon Department of Transportation also has great county and city maps on file.

In the 1500s and 1600s, it is believed that sailors from both England and Spain sailed along the coast of what is now Oregon. However, it wasn’t until 1778 that the Northwest Passage was charted by Captain James Cook.

Then Captain Robert Gray came to the area in the Columbia and named the river that he found the Columbia, after his ship. At that time, the area was claimed for the United States by him.

The famous explorers Lewis and Clark explored the region in 1805. Then, in 1811, the Astoria fur depot was founded by John Jacob Astor. The Hudson Bay Company and the American settlers had many disputes over land control.

However, the Oregon Treaty, which was enacted in 1846, brought an end to those disputes, since it stated that the region was firmly out of British control and in the hands of the United States.

The Oregon Territory was organized on August 14, 1848 and was admitted the union as the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Oregon currently has 36 Counties.

Map of Oregon Major Cites

Map of Oregon Major Cites

States bordering Oregon are CaliforniaIdahoNevada and Washington. The 10 largest cities in Oregon are Portland, Eugene, Salem, Gresham, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Bend, Medford, Springfield and Corvallis.

Old Oregon Maps can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time.  This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records. Several types of maps are useful for genealogists.

Tracing the history of early families in Oregon is much easier if the researcher has an understanding of the types Oregon gazetteers and maps.

Map of Oregon County Formations 1843-1975

Map of Oregon County Boundaries and County Seats

Map of Oregon County Boundaries and County Seats

This Interactive Map of Oregon Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from 1843 to 1975.

Oregon contains 36 counties. In 1843 the first Oregon counties were formed. They were Clackamas County, Marion County, Washington County and Yamhill County. The last county to be formed was Deschutes County in 1916.

Oregon County Map Formation by Year

Oregon Map Abbreviations

  1. unorg. = unorganized
  2. g. = gained
  3. w. = with
  4. fr. = from
  5. atmt. = attachment
  6. exch = exchanged
  7. nca.= non county area
  8. ch. = changed
  9. Ba – Baker Co.
  10. Be – Benton Co.
  11. Cms – Clackamas Co.
  12. Col – Columbia Co.
  13. Coo – Coos Co.
  14. Cr – Crook Co.
  15. Csp – Clatsop Co.
  1. Lnn – Linn Co.
  2. Mal – Malheur Co.
  3. Mar – Marion Co.
  4. Mo – Morrow Co.
  5. Mu – Multnomah Co.
  6. Po – Polk Co.
  7. Sh – Sherman Co.
  8. Ti – Tillamook Co.
  9. Uma – Umatilla Co.
  10. Un – Union Co.
  11. Wal – Wallowa Co.
  12. Wco – Wasco Co.
  13. Wh – Wheeler Co.
  14. Wtn – Washington Co.
  15. Ya – Yamhill Co.

Old Historical Atlas Maps of Oregon

This Historical Oregon Map Collection are from original copies so you can see Oregon as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago.

Some Oregon map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the Oregon researcher.

External Oregon Map Links

Oregon County Map of Road and Highway's

The Oregon D.O.T. Highway Department has prepared a series of 2016 county road maps. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries, these maps of Oregon include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.

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