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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Prairie City in Grant County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail

Dixie Pass interpretive site

 
 
Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Hann, June 15, 2016
1. Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail Marker
Inscription.  Imagine the American Indians first creating trails through these mountains hundreds of years ago. Later, in 1825 and 1826, Hudson Bay Fur Company trappers, led by Peter Skeene Ogden, crossed this very pass. In 1862 more people made this difficult journey by stagecoach and freight wagon.

When lumbermen decided to venture into these vast ponderosa pine forests, plans were set in motion to build a railroad to haul logs to a sawmill in Baker City. How exciting it must have been when the first 22 miles of track were placed, running through the mountains to McEwen. By 1910 the rails reached all the way to Prairie City, covering more than 80 miles. The railroad hauled logs, livestock, people, and other freight.

The story of the "Stump Dodger", as this railroad was nicknamed, is one of dreams, fortunes gained and lost, and one of people using what is around them to live their lives. That story continues today.

Remnant of that rail line are tucked away, only a few yards from where you stand now. Take a step back in time along this barrier free, 1/2 mile loop trail and discover the Sumpter Valley Railway
 
Erected by

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Malheur National Forest.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1890.
 
Location. 44° 32.071′ N, 118° 36.525′ W. Marker is near Prairie City, Oregon, in Grant County. Marker is on John Day Highway (U.S. 26), on the right when traveling east. The interpretive site is well signed and the parking location and marker are visible from the highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Prairie City OR 97869, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Oxbow Conservation Area (approx. 8.7 miles away).
 
More about this marker. This is the introductory marker for an interpretive hiking trail with several additional markers along the route.
 
Regarding Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail. A virtual tour of this interpretive site with additional photographs and historic information is posted on the Malheur National Forest website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd511773.pdf
 
Additional keywords. Logging history, Journey Through
Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Hann, June 15, 2016
2. Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail Marker
view of marker from parking area.
Time State Byway, Blue Mountains, Oregon history
 
Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Hann, June 15, 2016
3. Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail Marker
Panorama of railroad from overlook along the trail
Sumpter Valley Railroad image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Hann, June 15, 2016
4. Sumpter Valley Railroad
"Steam donkey" originally mounted on a rail car and used to drag logs up to the train for loading.
Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Hann, June 17, 2016
5. Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail
Historic photo or the Sumpter Valley depot in Prairie City. The building has been restored and now houses the DeWitt Museum. http://www.cityofprairiecity.com/svc_display.php?id=330
Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Hann, June 15, 2016
6. Sumpter Valley Railroad Hiking Trail
Illustration of the "Stump Dodger" train hauling logs. One of several interpretive panels along the hiking trail.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 17, 2017. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2017, by Don Hann of Canyon City, Oregon. This page has been viewed 274 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 16, 2017, by Don Hann of Canyon City, Oregon. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 1, 2024