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The name Charles Ray is central to the history of Cloverdale. The community's first post office was set up in Ray's mercantile store on July 1, 1899. Ray and his father established Cloverdale's first cheese factory and hotel. Even the name "Cloverdale" was borrowed from Ray's favorite place to visit in California.

Many of the town's wooden buildings were destroyed by fires - one in 1920 and another in 1934 - but some examples of the community's rich history are still standing. Among them are two historic churches, several older commercial buildings and a number of older houses.

The center of town today includes numerous shops, plus a supermarket, hardware store and a pharmacy with an old-fashioned soda fountain.

The town is also home to a branch of the Tillamook County Creamery Association Farm Store, a popular restaurant and lounge, a busy garage, a veterinary hospital, and a bank.

Cloverdale is also home to the popular Sand Lake Recreation Area. It covers 1,076 acres of open sand dunes, surrounded by forests and along side the Pacific Ocean. The Sand Lake Recreation Area offers a variety of recreational opportunities. 

One of the most popular activities in the Sand Lake Recreation Area is Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) riding in the many miles of sand dunes. People come from all over the Northwest to explore and ride the dunes. There are also year round campgrounds and a day use area.

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