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

Junction City — A Brief History

 
 
Junction City — A Brief History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, April 22, 2018
1. Junction City — A Brief History Marker
Inscription. Born of a vision that was not to be fully realized, Junction City was platted in 1870 by Ben Holladay, the West Coast railroad promoter. Holladay was building the Oregon & California Railroad south from Portland, laying track on both the east and west sides of the Willamette River. Junction City was to be the meeting point for the lines.

The lowlands around the town site had been populated with a sprinkling of wagon train settlers for 25 years. A small river settlement, Lancaster, flourished nearby. But Junction City first became the area’s center of commerce.

However, Holladay’s prediction that the town would be a “second Chicago” proved fanciful. The east side rail line never reached Junction City. Still, the town was a division point on what became the Southern Pacific Railroad, with a roundhouse, crew quarters and even a small Chinatown. A second railroad, the Oregon Electric, arrived in 1912. But the Southern Pacific moved its shops to Eugene in the 1920s.

By then, however, Junction City was an established farm community and a commercial center. The early settlers, primarily with roots in the South, had been joined by others from around the country. In 1902, a Danish developer, A.C. Nelson, acquired a tract east of town and successfully promoted settlement by fellow Danes. Six decades later,
Junction City — A Brief History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, April 22, 2018
2. Junction City — A Brief History Marker
Marker stands next to another display commemorating the town clock in the foreground.
their culture would become the nucleus of the Scandinavian Festival.

In the post-World War II era, the town saw steady growth. As retail trade ebbed to Eugene, local commerce became more service-oriented and more local breadwinners became commuters. However, the city acquired a solid manufacturing base in the late 1960s with the birth of a recreational vehicle industry that by the turn of the new century, had spread to neighboring cities.
 
Erected by Junction City Historical Society, writer Mike Thoele and photo artist Jamie Hooper.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Southern Pacific Railroad marker series.
 
Location. 44° 13.16′ N, 123° 12.16′ W. Marker is in Junction City, Oregon, in Lane County. Marker is at the intersection of W 5th Avenue and Holly Street, on the right when traveling west on W 5th Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Junction City OR 97448, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lee House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Locomotive 418 (about 400 feet away); Junction City’s First Jail (about 800 feet away); “The Struggle Has Ended”
Junction City — A Brief History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Douglass Halvorsen, April 22, 2018
3. Junction City — A Brief History Marker
Then and now photo of the former Oregon Electric Railway Depot located at the corner of 5th and Holly.
(approx. 4˝ miles away); Smithfield (approx. 6.7 miles away); West Side Old Territorial Road (approx. 6.8 miles away); Wilhelm Mill Water Wheel (approx. 7.9 miles away); The Belknap Settlement (approx. 8.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Junction City.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 30, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 29, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 29, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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