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Early view of Sandy about 1908.

Sandy, Oregon, located at the foothills on the southwestern side of Mt. Hood was named for the Sandy River which originates high on the slopes of Mt. Hood, about 50 miles east of Portland, Oregon. The headwaters are beneath Reid and Sandy Glaciers at 6000 feet in elevation. From there the river flows due west through the Hoodland Corridor. It cascades past the communities of Welches, Brightwood and Sandy, then turns north to enter the Columbia River near  the present day site of Troutdale.

The Sandy River was originally named Barings River after British financier Francis Baring. It was christened by Lieutenant W.R. Broughton from Fort Vancouver’s expedition group who discovered the river on October 30, 1792.

When Lewis & Clark came down the Columbia on November 3, 1805, they noted the presence of large amounts of sand being thrown out by the river and they named it Quicksand River. Between 1845 and 1850, the name was shortened to “Sandy” River.

The Revenue family of Boring had originally settled near the present day site of Sandy in 1853. It was located on the Barlow Road which ran from Government Camp to Eagle Creek. The whole territory north and east of Eagle Creek was referred to as “Sandy”. However, the site of Sandy that we know today was originally called “Revenue”.


Street scene in Sandy about 1910.


Early view of the Sandy Hotel.


All roads lead to the Sandy Saloon.


Early view of the Sandy Stage and Livery.

About 1870, Richard Gerdes, who had been operating a store at Eagle Creek with Henry Wilbern, bought property near the Revenue farm and opened a store. Soon afterward, he applied for a post office which he established on February 13, 1873. It is believed that Gerdes suggested that it be named “Sandy”.

On June 1, 1854, a post office named Sandy opened near the present day site of Troutdale. This post office was discontinued on February 26, 1868.


A later view of Sandy about 1950.


Another view of Sandy in the 1950s.

Mt. Hood

Last updated 01-28-19

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