In the 19th century, the central meadow of what is now Corbett State Park was a popular stopping place on the pioneer wagon road that crossed the Cascade Range near Santiam Pass. Pioneer travelers liked the site because it offered fresh water and good grazing for their draft animals.In the early 20th century, the meadow was also used by sheepherders who grazed their flocks in the eastern foothills of the Cascades.
 

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department acquired property in 1952. The land was a gift to the people of Oregon from Henry L. Corbett and his wife, Gretchen Hoyt Corbett. It honors their son, Elliott R. Corbett II, who was killed in action during World War II. Elliot R. Corbett II was an infantryman in the United States Army, serving in the European Theatre when he was killed on 19 November 1944 at the age of 22. He is buried at the US Military Cemetery at Margraten, Netherlands. The Corbett family’s gift of the park was made on condition that the land remain a wilderness area.

Elliott R. Corbett II - State Memorial Park