The Little Town with a Big Heart
The earliest known human use of this place was over 8,000 years ago. This same area was used by trappers, explorers, surveyors, homesteaders, railroads and the logging industry. These trails became Highway 97.
Evidence of long-term human habitation near Crescent is extensive. Researchers have identified obsidian arrowheads and chips dating back at least 8,000 years ago. Later groups, such as the Klamath would occasionally travel through the area on their way to trapping and fishing sites along the Columbia River and in the Willamette Valley. Fur trappers with the Hudson Bay Company, such as Peter Ogden, researched this area in the 1820’s looking for animal pelts, bringing with them new technologies, food, and disease.
In the 1840’s, wagon trains along the Oregon Trail broke off from the main rout to the Southwestern Valley. Several of these expeditions would come close to Crescent, but many encountered difficulties along the way and had to turn north. Next came the railroad and road surveyors. At one time Crescent was to be the central hub of Oregon. This didn’t happen when other locations were selected to the west and the east, with the main entry from the Snake River never getting past the Harney basin. Present day Highway 97 was the primary original route called the Huntington Road. This main route ran through the center of Oregon from the Dalles on the Columbia River to Fort Klamath near the California/Oregon boarder. Later unclaimed land attracted homesteaders, but volcanic soils, short growing seasons, and lack of reliable water forced many to abandon their claims.
Today, Crescent still focuses on helping travelers and lures many of them to stay with opportunities for camping, hunting, fishing and other recreational pursuits. Following the path southeast along the Little Meadow and the Little Deschutes River to an historical marker. As the evening shadows fall and the cool breeze comes down the river, listen closely; you may hear the making of a night camp by the spirits of the long ago people who first settled here.
Visit our NKC Business Directory to find local businesses ready to serve your every need. For additional information regarding the abundant wildlife in our area, visit our Wildlife web page. For the latest information on Events and Activities in Crescent, visit the Crescent Community Club web page. For the best fishing in the state of Oregon, North Klamath County is your best bet.