In 1845, Samuel K. Barlow, a pioneer emigrant from Kentucky, blazed a road (known as the Barlow Road) from The Dalles, Oregon around the south side of Mt. Hood to Eagle Creek (a settlement east of Oregon City) thus completing the last leg of the famous Oregon Trail that began in Independence, Missouri.
Sandy's first settlers, the Francis Revenue family, arrived in 1853 and soon opened a trading post here on the Barlow Road and served many of the thousands of pioneers who traveled through on their way to the Willamette Valley.
Sandy's first Post Office was established in 1873 and the village became an incorporated city in 1913.
Sandy was named for the nearby Sandy River which was originally identified as the "Quicksand River" by Lewis and Clark; however, the name "Quicksand" gradually evolved into "Sandy".