C. C. Fuller and his company, the Clearwater Improvement Co., plotted a portion
of his homestead, creating the town of Orofino in 1898. This land was
orginally part of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation that was opened to homesteading
in 1895. Settlement of the town started in earnest in 1899 when the railroad
was built to the town, bringing settlers.
The present town is the second one to bear the name Orofino. The first
settlement, Oro Fino City, located two miles south of Pierce, was created during
the gold rush of 1861. The town succumbed to fire and the land was dredged
thirty years before the settlement of the current town. The name, originally
spelled Oro Fino, means "fine gold" in spanish. The spelling
of Orofino was adopted when the post office objected to two word names.
The village was Incorporated in 1905 with a population of 207 people.
Half of those were under the age of 18. At the beginning, Orofino was
located in Shoshone County. Later, it became part of Nez Perce County
when the south end of Shoshone County was annexed. In 1911, Clearwater
County was created with Orofino as the county seat.
Orofino suffered another fire in 1906 with the lower town from Canada Hill to
the Orofino Creek burning. The State Hospital started construction in
1905 with much of the labor being completed by patients brought from the hospital
The town experienced fairly rapid growth in the early 1900's. A new school
was erected around 1910. This school still stands as the base of the
Orofino served as the hub for the largely agricultural area. The timber
industry also played a part in the economy, although it was mainly composed
of temporary sawmills. When the railroad completed a spur line from Orofino
to Headquarters, located north of Pierce, the logging industry became a major
employer of the area.
The Staff of The Real Estaters, llc would like to welcome you
to Orofino and invite you to visit again.