Douglas County was originally inhabited by the Umpqua Indians, however, following the Rogue River Indian Wars in 1856, most of the tribe was relocated the Grande Ronde Indian Reservation near Independence, OR. Seven families of the Umpqua Tribe retreated into the surrounding hills of the area now known as Canyonville and successfully eluded capture for several decades. This group of Indians is now a federally recognized tribe known as the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians.
Created on January 7, 1852, Douglas County was formed from the portion of Umpqua County that lay east of the Coast Range summit. Four years later, Camas Valley was annexed into Douglas County from Coos County and in 1862 the remainder of Umpqua County was absorbed into Douglas County.
The entire watershed of the Umpqua River originates within the boundaries of Douglas county. The county also contains nearly 1.8 million acres of commercial forest lands and one of the oldest stands of old growth timber in the world. Almost 30% of county residents rely on the timber industry to feed their families. Field crops, orchards, and livestock make up another large portion of the economy. However, since the decline of the timber industry, Douglas County has developed a large volume of wineries and local breweries to compensate for the loss of timber funds.
The first vineyard to begin in the Umpqua Valley was planted by Richard Somer and named Hillcrest Vineyard. It was located at the south end of the Umpqua Valley and started in 1961. The past two decades have seen an exponential growth in vineyards and wineries throughout the county and is now home to 22 wineries located within what is locally known as the 100 Valleys of the Umpqua. While the wine industry has seen steady growth over several years, the last five years have seen a growth in local breweries. Now home to five local breweries, Douglas County also has several pubs that feature local brews from Douglas County and Oregon.
The Umpqua Valley offers a large variety of activities and sights all within an hour's drive from the County Seat of Roseburg. You can travel from beautiful mountain ranges and forests to the ocean beaches and everything in between in less than a day. Douglas County is home to six covered bridges, beautiful historic districts and the only drive through wild animal park in Oregon featuring over 550 animals from around the world. It is also home to a Casino owned by the Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe of Indians Called Seven Feathers in rememberance of the original seven families who avoided capture all those years ago.
Besides the beauty of what is truly God's Country, Douglas County is home to the beautiful Umpqua River. From the fly fishing only areas high on the North Umpqua, to the sturgeon on the lower Main Umpqua, the variety of fishing experiences never gets old.