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Tillamook County, Oregon
Map of Oregon highlighting Tillamook County
Location in the state of Oregon
Map of the U.S. highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location in the U.S.
Founded December 15, 1853
Seat Tillamook
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,133 sq mi (2,934 km²)
1,102 sq mi (2,854 km²)
231 sq mi (598 km²), 17.30%
 - (2000)
 - Density

21/sq mi (8/km²)

Tillamook County is located in the U.S. state of Oregon. The county is named for for the Tillamook, a Native American tribe who were living in the area in the early 19th century at the time of European American settlement. In 2000, the county's population was 24,262. The county seat is Tillamook.[1]



Dairy farms dominate the county's fertile valleys, and it is the home of the Tillamook Cheese Factory, the county's largest business and private employer. Tillamook dairy products are available throughout the west and the rest of the country.


The state of Oregon owns 44% of the land inside the county boundaries, mostly as part of the Tillamook State Forest. The State Forest was created as a result of the 355,000 acre (1440 km²) Tillamook Burn. The reforested burn is rapidly maturing, and there is local expectation that it will assist in the recovery of the local timber industry. Three lumber mills currently operate in Tillamook County, one at Garibaldi, one in Tillamook, and one south of Tillamook at the former Naval Air Station.


The County's scenic coastline, which includes four bays and nine rivers, helps the tourist industry. U.S. Route 101, traveling the length of the Oregon Coast, brings many travelers through the county by car and bike. The coast also provides locations for vacation homes for inhabitants of nearby Portland and the Willamette Valley.

Tillamook County is the first in the continental United States to be declared ready for a tsunami. This designation was given by the Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after the county paid $15,000 for 27 warning sirens and an emergency radio system.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,452 km² (1,333 sq mi). 2,855 km² (1,102 sq mi) of it is land and 597 km² (231 sq mi) of it (17.30%) is water. At 3,706 feet (1130 m) in elevation, Rogers Peak is the highest point in the county and the highest in the Northern Oregon Coast Range.[2]

Adjacent counties[]


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 24,262 people, 10,200 households, and 6,793 families residing in the county. The population density was 8/km² (22/sq mi). There were 15,906 housing units at an average density of 6/km² (14/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 93.86% White, 0.22% Black or African American, 1.19% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 1.89% from other races, and 1.98% from two or more races. 5.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 10,200 households out of which 24.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.80% were married couples living together, 7.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.40% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.20% under the age of 18, 6.50% from 18 to 24, 23.50% from 25 to 44, 28.00% from 45 to 64, and 19.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 100.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,269, and the median income for a family was $40,197. Males had a median income of $31,509 versus $21,555 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,052. About 8.10% of families and 11.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.40% of those under age 18 and 8.10% of those age 65 or over.


Tillamook County, the twelfth county in Oregon to be organized, was established on December 15, 1853, when the Territorial Legislature approved an act to create the new county out of an area previously included in Clatsop, Yamhill and Polk Counties. Boundary changes were enacted with Clatsop County (1855, 1870, and 1893), with Lincoln County in 1893, Washington County (1893, 1898), and with Yamhill County in 1887.

The Coast Range behind Tillamook was the scene of a repeated series of forest fires called the Tillamook Burn between 1933 and 1951. In 1948, a state ballot approved the sale of bonds to buy the burned-over areas and have the state rehabilitate the lands. The state lands were renamed the Tillamook State Forest by governor Tom McCall on July 18, 1973. By the end of the twentieth century, the replanted growth was considered mature enough to be commercially harvested.

The Tillamook airbase for blimps was commissioned on December 1, 1942, as U.S. Naval Air Station Tillamook. The two hangars were closed after World War II and sold. One of the hangars was destroyed by a fire in 1992 and only two posts now remain. The surviving blimp hangar is a local landmark and the location of the Tillamook Air Museum.

The U.S. Mt. Hebo Air Force Station was a Cold War air defense installation from 1956 to 1980. Located south of Tillamook, at the top of 3154 foot high Mount Hebo, Air Force radars operated by the 689th Radar Squadron and the 14th Missile Warning Squadron were essential parts of the nation's integrated air defenses. The large radomes protecting the radars from adverse weather effects could be seen silhouetted against the sky from most of Tillamook County.

Development along U.S. Route 101 to the north of Tillamook during the last part of the 20th century has blocked part of the flood plain of the Wilson River, contributing to repeated winter flooding in the city.


Incorporated cities[]

Census-designated places (CDPs)[]

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Bayside Gardens
  • Blaine
  • Fairview
  • Foss
  • Happy Hollow
  • Three Rocks
  • Tierra Del Mar
  • Wheeler Heights (area located within the city of Wheeler)
  • Winema Beach

Other settlements and ghost towns[]



45°27′48″N 123°42′31″W / 45.46333, -123.70861

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Tillamook County, Oregon. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.