Originally called Fifteenmile Crossing, Dufur’s name was changed with the establishment of a post office in 1878. Named for the DuFour family, who emigrated from France and settled in Wasco County in 1872, brothers A.J. and Enoch DuFour raised sheep and established the Fifteenmile House. The community grew, with early enterprises focused on stock raising and sawmilling. In the 1860s, a farmer named Horace Rice planted wheat on the uplands; others soon followed, and before long the hills were covered with fields of grain.
In addition to wheat farming, Dufur became home to the largest dryland apple orchard in the country. The town thrived thanks to the Great Southern Railroad that linked passengers and goods to The Dalles and the Columbia River. By the 1920’s orchardists realized there was not enough moisture to sustain their crop and trees were pulled and burned.
In 1976 the Dufur Historical Society restored the donated Schreiber log cabin, built in 1901, to become Dufur’s Living History Museum. The museum features pioneer-era historical exhibits, textiles & weavings, photographs, farm implements and more.
Additional information about Dufur’s history can be found on our Helpful Links Page.