Sherman County

Your Resource To Moving to Sherman County, Oregon

Sherman County, Oregon lies between the deep canyons of the John Day River on the east and the Deschutes River on the west in north central Oregon. The mighty Columbia River forms the boundary on the north. Much of the boundary on the south is defined by the rugged canyons of Buck Hollow, a tributary of the Deschutes. The open rolling hills and steep narrow canyons of the county's 831 square miles, approximately 20 miles wide and 42 miles long, range in elevation from 185 feet on the Columbia River to 3,600 feet on the plateau in the south. The soil is mostly loess (wind-blown glacial silt) over residual soil from the underlying basalt with interspersed layers of volcanic ash. Six small towns — Biggs, Rufus, Wasco, Moro, Grass Valley and Kent — provide basic services for the 1,750 residents of the County. The county seat is Moro, elevation 1,807'. The economy is based on wheat, barley, cattle and tourism. For a list of annual events please visit: Sherman County: Calendar of Events.

Weather of the Sherman County

Situated on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, Sherman County features a hybrid climate, part Mediterranean and part Intermountain Region, meaning four distinct seasons and low annual precipitation. The Columbia Gorge, however, serves as a natural conduit for normal eastward migration of ocean-conditioned air masses from the Pacific. Much of the time these air masses tend to substantially modify extreme temperatures of both summer and winter. These strong marine influences are also reflected in the occurrence of precipitation more than half of which falls from November through February.

Demographics of Sherman County

County, State / Factor 1980 1990 2000 2004 (estimate)
Columbia Gorge Region
Population 63,480 65,409 75,169 76,250
Labor Force 31,520 32,840 39,407 41,317
Unemployment 3,245 2,768 2,591 3,967
Unemployment Rate 10.3 8.4 6.4 7.9
Sherman, OR
Population 2,172 1,918 1,934 1,900
Labor Force 1,037 910 1,044 897
Unemployment 76 50 57 95
Unemployment Rate 7.3 5.5 5.5 9.7
Source: Oregon / Washington State Employment Depts., US Census Information provided by: MCEDD Important Contact Info:
  • Assessor: 509-427-9400
  • Building: 509-427-9484
  • Planning: 509-427-9448
  • Public Works: 509-427-9448
  • Treasurer: 800-766-5403

Useful Websites of Sherman County, Oregon

History of Sherman County, Oregon

The county's first permanent white settler was William Graham, who located at the mouth of the Deschutes River in 1858. Next came innkeepers and stage station, ferry and toll bridge operators. Stockmen followed with herds of horses, cattle and sheep which ranged freely over the rolling bunchgrass hills. Jesse Eaton settled at the head of Spanish Hollow. Homesteaders, eager for land, arrived in the 1880s by steamboat, stage and wagon; shortly, farmers settled every quarter section. The area changed almost overnight from livestock country to a farming community as settlers built homes, plowed the grass and fenced the rolling prairie in order to receive government patents. Resources: Sherman County's Website