“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
La Grande in Union County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)

Historic La Grande

Oregon History

Historic La Grande Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 30, 2017
1. Historic La Grande Marker
Captions: (bottom left) One of the first houses in La Grande, Oregon, circa 1880.; (bottom center) The first passenger train in La Grande in 1884.; (bottom right) Original town plat plotted by Daniel Chaplin February 4, 1868. The dot on the plat above designates the original location of the log cabin (relocated near this sign).; (upper right) Current map of La Grande, Oregon.
Inscription. La Grande was the first town permanently settled in Northeastern Oregon. Daniel Chaplin laid out the original "Old Town" in spring of 1862 and Ben Brown built the first house, a log cabin, alongside the Oregon Trail at the corner of B Avenue and Cedar Street.
As the prime lands of western Oregon were settled, and then gold was discovered in eastern Oregon, a reverse migration used the Oregon Trail from west to east. The "Old Town" area grew quickly. James S. McClung noted in his diary on September 22, 1862, "we came to Legrande Citty 5 houses 1 store and a Black smith shop... some of the people were living in their tent & waggon beds until they could build houses." Just two weeks later Henry Herr wrote, "Oct. 9th Grande Rounde Valley City... This place is composed of 75 log cabins and emegrants with us are taking up claims and commencing to build houses. There are three stores.
The post office was established in May 1863 under the name of "La Grande." In 1884, the shape of La Grande changed dramatically when Chaplin donated 105 areas to the new railroad and the commercial center moved from "Old Town" to the tracks.

" it is a place - one of the few we have seen in our journey so far - were a farmer would delight to establish himself, if he were content to live in the seclusion which it imposes."
Historic La Grande Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 30, 2017
2. Historic La Grande Marker
-- John Fremont, 1843
Erected by Oregon Department of Transportation.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Oregon Beaver Boards marker series.
Location. 45° 20.148′ N, 118° 6.474′ W. Marker is in La Grande, Oregon, in Union County. Marker is on La Grande - Baker Highway (Adams Avenue) (U.S. 30) near Otten Drive, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 199 Adams Avenue, La Grande OR 97850, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Conde B. McCullough and Upper Perry Arch Bridge (approx. 3.2 miles away); Highway US30 and Perry, Oregon (approx. 3.3 miles away); Hilgard Junction Oregon Trail Kiosk (approx. 6.2 miles away); "Wagons East " 1975-1976 (approx. 6.2 miles away); Imbler Church (approx. 10.9 miles away).
More about this marker. This marker is in Gangloff Park.
Also see . . .  Oregon Travel Experience - Historic La Grande. (Submitted on January 12, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon.)
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on January 29, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 13, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 76 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 13, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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