The first military outpost in Lake County was Ft. Warner, established August 10, 1866. Fort Warner was built in the area where the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge is now located. The main reason for establishing the fort was to protect early settlers from the Native people of the region. Harsh winters at the original Ft. Warner proved too much and in September of the following year the fort was relocated to a location on the northeast slope of the Warner Mountains.
Sheep and cattle ranchers first settled the Lake County region in the late 1860’s. Lake County was chartered October 24, 1874. Lake County was carved out of Jackson County and Wasco County and included the present day counties of Klamath and Lake County. Lake County was not officially established until February 1, 1875. Klamath County was created in 1882. The original county seat was in Linkville, now Klamath Falls, and was relocated to Lakeview as the result of an 1875 election.
A fire swept through Lakeview in 1890 which destroyed about 75 businesses; in 1901 the town was rebuilt. The land for the first courthouse was donated by M. W. Bullard and was completed in 1904. In 1954 a new courthouse was built on the site of the former courthouse. Lakeview is known as "The Tallest Town in Oregon" because of its elevation of 4,795 feet.
The county's main industries include agriculture, ranching, wood products, mining and recreation. Lake County is famous for its hang gliding - we have the best "thermals" in the world, Oregon's only geyser, Old Perpetual located at Hunters Hot Springs Resort and it's the only place you can find "sunstones" in the little town of Plush. Christmas Valley is renowned for it's top quality alfalfa.
Other towns in Lake County include Adel, Alkali Lake, Christmas Valley, Fort Rock, New Pine Creek, Paisley, Plush, Silver Lake, Summer Lake, and Valley Falls.