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

The Lure of Gold

Oregon Trail

— Oregon History —

The Lure of Gold Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 28, 2017
1. The Lure of Gold Marker
Captions: (middle left) The Virtue Mine, circa 1890. Note location on map.; (bottom left) The White Swan Mine, circa 1890.; (bottom right) Mining crew of the Cornucopia Mine located 70 miles east of Baker City in the Wallowa Mountains.; (upper right, map of miles located near the National Historical Oregon Trail Interpretive Center).
Inscription.  Beginning in 1843, thousands of Oregon Trail emigrants trekked through this region toward new lives in the West. This epic journey indelibly etched the landscape with wagon ruts, such as those near by. When Henry Griffin, a prospector from California, discovered gold eight miles southwest of present-day Baker City in 1861, the emigration pattern changed radically. Eastern Oregon quickly became a destination for gold-seekers and settlers - many arrived from the Willamette Valley reversing their initial journey along the Oregon Trail to settle in this area.
Mining camps sprang up with the prospect of gold and many boomed into towns. By 1862 the nearby town of Auburn, which no longer exists, had a population over 5,000 and was among Oregon's largest cities. Local settlers established farms and stores, providing hay and produce to miners, and for much of the 1860s large wagon trains loaded with freight were a common site along this segment of the Oregon Trail.
Erected by Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists:
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Industry & CommerceRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Oregon Beaver Boards, and the Oregon Trail series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1843.
Location. 44° 48.486′ N, 117° 43.908′ W. Marker is near Baker City, Oregon, in Baker County. Marker is on Oregon Route 86 near Oregon Trail, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 22267 Oregon Highway 86, Baker City OR 97814, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ruts of the Oregon Trail (a few steps from this marker); The Wagon Encampment (approx. 0.4 miles away); Oregon Trail Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Lone Tree of the Oregon Trail (approx. 1.1 miles away); Chinese Shrine (approx. 4.1 miles away); Baker City Chinese History (approx. 4.1 miles away); Baker (approx. 4.3 miles away); The Oregon Trail (approx. 4.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baker City.
The Lure of Gold Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 28, 2017
2. The Lure of Gold Marker
The National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is on top of the hill in the background.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 11, 2018. It was originally submitted on September 9, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 232 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 9, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Sep. 30, 2023