Detroit, Oregon, USA – Strong in the Heart of the Oregon Cascades


The good news is the cooling weather is slowing the Beachie Creek and Lionshead fires spread. Reports are that ODOT is making good progress on securing the roadway so we can get in. They say, baring landslides or falling trees, they hope to have the road open sooner than expected. Stay tuned for updates.

• Thank you to Deputy Olson and Castranovo for a great program that allowed boat owners to get the stranded boats out of the lake. Also  thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers for slowing the pace of lowering the lake level.

• There will be a special session of the Detroit City Council on Tuesday, September 29, at 6:30 pm. We will be meeting at the Council of Governments office at 100 High St. Suite 200 in Salem. You can attend the meeting by phone, and we will provide that information. Most of the meeting will be used to begin the planning for Detroit’s comeback.


FILE NOW FOR FEMA DISASTER ASSISTANCE. Please visit, or call 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA).
Amounts have been authorized with assistance levels for individuals and families that have been impacted. Push for every dollar available. It will be important to reestablish the local economy.

Individual assistance is available to renters, uninsured, and under-insured primary residences. Smoke damage is also considered for assistance. Evacuation is also included. Keep receipts.

For Local Governments to respond to and recover from disaster, find Award Packages/Grants here:  Read the ‘Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide‘ in this link: .   In short, FEMA can help cities replace city property to “pre-disaster” design standards, or better, if cost effective.

FEMA is not the only federal, state, and local agency that will be assisting here, so make your lists of ideas of what you need help with for recovery or enhancements and we can chase down resources.

Fire Evacuees in Deschutes County CLICK HERE for Assistance Meeting times and locations in Bend and Redmond.

To contact the City of Detroit CLICK HERE for email access. Phone number yet to be determined.



History of Detroit

Photos by Rick Jolin

The original name of the settlement was “Coe”. In October, 1891, “Detroit” received its new name with the founding of a Post Office, and the significant number of residents from Michigan who were living in the area.

Detroit is located approximately 50 miles east of Salem, Oregon, at about 1680′ elevation on the North Fork of the Santiam River. For many years it was only accessed by railroad (constructed in 1889) and was intended for the rail to be extend through the state to Boise, Idaho. The old town prospered from logging, fishing, and the great outdoors. By 1907, it had a population of 53 residents, and in 1926 road access was completed from Salem.

cityHallFrom the 1930’s until 1941, it was home to the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps – Camp F-20) which was located one mile east of town. Detroit had service stations, a post office, schools, stores, taverns, a church, a hotel, a railroad station, and the Canyon Movie Theater (1947-1952). It also had regular bus service. The population in 1945 grew to 250 residents. By 1949 the community had an active fraternal order of Eagles (FOE).

The Army Corps of Engineers selected the site of the Detroit Dam in the 1930’s. The dam would put the town 100 ft under water. After WWII, a cease building order on the town site expired and construction of the dam commenced on April 1, 1949. At the time, it was the 4th highest concrete dam in the world with dimensions of 463′ high and 1523′ long, and cost $70,000,000 to build.

At peak construction, in 1950, there were 3,000 workers on the project. Worker housing was named Camp Mongold, with dorms for 800 single men and accommodations for 100 trailers. It would eventually house 1,200 people. Many contractors did not accept this housing, and alternate residences were constructed in Mill City for officials and employees.

Visit us on Facebook