Oregon Map

Lower Columbia River

Columbia and Clatsop Counties


Columbia County, 97064

Settlers first homesteaded in the upper Nehalem Valley during the latter part of the 19th century. They cleared the land for farming, using the timber they removed to build homes and other structures. The town was incorporated in 1891, but grew slowly until Oregon-American Lumber Co. started building the "largest electric sawmill in the world" in the early 1920's. Vernonia was a boom town then, and like all boom towns, it eventually went bust. In 1957, when the old growth trees were gone, the mill closed its doors permanently. --from the Vernonia Chamber of Commerce web page--

How the first settler found Vernonia I will never know. It is on the Nahalem Hiway 47 that runs from Hiway 26 across the coastal mountains to Astoria! It is some of the wildest and most beautiful country one ever sees--and along the way is Vernonia.