Definitions

Abert Lake

Lake County, Oregon

Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is so named for the sizeable number of lakes found within its boundaries, including Lake Abert and Goose Lake. While it is among the largest Oregon counties in land area, it is thinly populated: in 2000, its population was 7,422. The seat of the county is located at Lakeview.

History

Lake County was created from Jackson and Wasco Counties on October 24, 1874 by the State Legislature. It then included the present Klamath County and all of the present Lake County except Warner Valley. In 1882 land was removed to create Klamath County, and in 1885 the Warner area from Grant County was added.

Linkville, now Klamath Falls, was the first county seat. M. Bullard gave 20 acres (80,000 m²) as the Lakeview townsite. By the 1875 election a town had been started there and an election moved the county seat to Lakeview. Because of poor transportation connections with the rest of Oregon, the early economic orientation of Lake County was toward California. As an indicator of that connection, both the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner arrived in Lakeview daily, often before the The Oregonian. During the 1840s and 1850s the county was part of the military courier route between The Dalles on the Columbia River and the Presidio in San Francisco. The county did not acquire a railroad connection until the 1890s. That railroad spur, the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway line running from Lakeview to Reno, Nevada, only emphasized the isolation of the county from the rest of Oregon.

Geography

Geographic features

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 8,358 square miles (21,648 km²), of which, 8,136 square miles (21,071 km²) of it is land and 223 square miles (577 km²) of it (2.66%) is water.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Economy

The traditional county economy rests on lumber, agriculture, and government. Irrigation has permitted agriculture based upon the raising of livestock and the growing of hay and grain to thrive despite the low rainfall and a short growing season. Lumber and wood products are taken from the Fremont National Forest.

Government employees from the national forest and the regional Bureau of Land Management headquarters provide stability to an economy that otherwise would have to rely only on seasonal agricultural and lumber jobs. The Bureau of Land Management is landowner of 49% of the lands within the county. Tourism is a growing industry because of the county's many attractions which include Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Hunter's Hot Springs, Goose Lake, Warner Canyon (ski area) and areas for rock hunting.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 7,422 people, 3,084 households, and 2,152 families residing in the county. The population density was 1 person per square mile (0/km²). There were 3,999 housing units at an average density of 0 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.97% White, 0.13% Black or African American, 2.37% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 3.19% from other races, and 2.48% from two or more races. 5.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.1% were of Irish, 14.0% United States or American, 13.8% German and 11.8% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.9% spoke English and 3.6% Spanish as their first language.

There were 3,084 households out of which 29.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.60% were married couples living together, 7.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.20% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.90% under the age of 18, 5.10% from 18 to 24, 24.30% from 25 to 44, 28.10% from 45 to 64, and 17.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 100.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,506, and the median income for a family was $36,182. Males had a median income of $29,454 versus $23,475 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,136. About 13.40% of families and 16.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.40% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest

Oregon sunstones are found north of Plush. Sunstone is Oregon's state gemstone.

Communities

Incorporated cities

Unincorporated communities

References

External links

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