“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers in Baker County, Oregon

Clickable Map of Baker County, Oregon and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Baker County, OR (64) Grant County, OR (30) Malheur County, OR (24) Union County, OR (12) Wallowa County, OR (20) Adams County, ID (5) Washington County, ID (6)  BakerCounty(64) Baker County (64)  GrantCounty(30) Grant County (30)  MalheurCounty(24) Malheur County (24)  UnionCounty(12) Union County (12)  WallowaCounty(20) Wallowa County (20)  AdamsCountyIdaho(5) Adams County (5)  WashingtonCounty(6) Washington County (6)
Baker City is the county seat for Baker County
Adjacent to Baker County, Oregon
      Grant County (30)  
      Malheur County (24)  
      Union County (12)  
      Wallowa County (20)  
      Adams County, Idaho (5)  
      Washington County, Idaho (6)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Alfred Block
Mary Alfred was one of Baker City’s pioneer businesswomen. She and here husband, Francis Alfred, came to Baker County in 1870. She had a millinery and mantua (robe) shop in her home. Mr. Alfred drove a stage between Baker City and La Grande. In . . . Map (db m108053) HM
2Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Antlers HotelBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
In the early days of the 20th Century, the Antlers Hotel was a bustling three-story hotel which boasted a fine restaurant and bar. The hotel had an elevator. The upper corridors were naturally lighted by “light wells” and skylights. . . . Map (db m108096) HM
3Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — BakerHistoric Oregon Trail
In October 1861, a group of prospectors in search of the mythical Blue Bucket Mine, made camp on a creek six miles southwest of here. That evening, Henry Griffin discovered gold in the gulch which bears his name. That started a stampede which . . . Map (db m108152) HM
4Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Baker City Chinese History
Chinese were prominent working on railroads & gold mines in Baker County. The Baker City Chinatown was located by Powder River on Auburn Avenue where a Joss House was built in 1883. Chinese gardens on the east bank of Powder River between . . . Map (db m108158) HM
5Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Baker City HallBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
Baker City, the “Queen City of the Inland Empire” at the turn of the century, needed a City Hall that reflected the town’s eminence. The city fathers commissioned a bold and stately Renaissance Revival building. The structure is noted . . . Map (db m108191) HM
6Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Baker Loan and Trust BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
Prominent local businessman William Pollman contracted to have the Baker Loan and Trust Building built in 1910, after a major fire destroyed another building on the site, along with two buildings to the south. The building was designed by . . . Map (db m108043) HM
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7Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Basche-Sage Hardware Co. Building
Basche-Sage Hardware Co. was one of Baker City’s largest firms for more than 100 years. The company began when Peter Basche purchased a Baker City tin shop in 1876. In 1888, Basche merged with the Sage and Grace hardware store. Stores were opened in . . . Map (db m108084) HM
8Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Bishop Building
The Bishop Building stands as a testament to the strength and durability of volcanic tuff, which was used to construct many of Baker City’s major buildings during the first decade of the 1900s. A fire gutted the building in 1940, but it remained . . . Map (db m108079) HM
9Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Chinese Shrine1890
This Chinese prayer house was used to honor the departing spirits by burning incense and prayer papers. The prayer papers were brown paper with some million little pinholes & pushed through the alter window. In traditional Chinese religion the many . . . Map (db m108159) HM
10Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — First National Bank BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
When constructed, this building was the third bank building to occupy this site. J.W. Virtue, a pioneer gold mining entrepreneur, built the first bank in 1873. It was the first stone building on Main Street. The building was ruined by a fire in . . . Map (db m108037) HM
11Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Flynn BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
The central two-story portion of their building was constructed in 1910. In the 1940s, single-story wings of reinforced concrete were added to both sides of the original structure. In its early years, the building housed the Chas. I. Flynn and . . . Map (db m108102) HM
12Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Geiser Grand HotelBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
When Baker City reigned as the “Queen City of the Inland Empire,” the Geiser Grand Hotel was a jewel in her crown. Built in 1889, the hotel soon earned a reputation for offering the finest accommodations between Seattle and Salt Lake . . . Map (db m108065) HM
13Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Gerstle-Solomon BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
This building was one of Baker City’s first masonry structures when constructed about 1879. Solomon’s One Price Clothing House originally occupied the first floor of the north half of the building. By the 1990s, footware had been sold in the . . . Map (db m108211) HM
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14Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Gwilliam Brothers BakeryBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
In October 1940 Gwilliam Brothers Bakery celebrated the business’s new building with a grand opening. Designed for high-volume bakery operations, the brick structure had a delivery truck garage in the rear and a large central oven set on a concrete . . . Map (db m108161) HM
15Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Haskell BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
Haskell was one of Baker City’s leading real estate developers of the late 1800s and early 1900s. He also engaged in many other pursuits. He was born in 1850 in Ohio. At age 18, he went to Montana to become a miner. He later mined in Nevada, . . . Map (db m108064) HM
16Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — J.C. Penney BuildingHistoric Oregon Trail — Established 1874 —
The lot which this building occupies was first the location of a wood frame structure housing the McCord Brothers blacksmith shop. In 1867, Dr. J.M. Boyd and John W. Wisdom leased the structure to open Baker City’s first drug store. Wisdom continued . . . Map (db m108041) HM
17Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Jett BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
John Jett’s stonemason’s skills are manifest in the inscription carved at the roof level of his building - “J.H. Jett Marble Works, 1901.” The Jett Building was the first in Baker City of volcanic tuff construction. Ten commercial or . . . Map (db m108206) HM
18Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Kennedy BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
This site was the location of Baker City’s first brick hotel, the Cosmopolitan. The Rev. P. DeRoo, a Catholic priest who aquired (sic) extensive real estate interests, had the two-story building built in 1875. The hotel also served as the city’s . . . Map (db m108063) HM
19Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Log Cabin SaloonBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
Mike Hoff, a “tonsorial artist” (barber) in Baker City in the 1890s, built this building for his business. After a few years, however, Hoff went into partnership with Valentine Bildner to open a saloon in the building. During the . . . Map (db m108060) HM
20Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Lynndale BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
The Lynndale Building was constructed about 1890. The northernmost of the three first-floor bays was occupied by a saloon from the building's earliest days. The establishment first was named Henry the Fourth, then The Club. Later it became the . . . Map (db m108077) HM
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21Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Mann Block
The Mann Block, built in 1890, originally housed one of the many saloons located in this block during Baker City’s early, rowdy years. Like most of the establishments, the saloon operated on the first floor, with a bawdy house and gambling rooms . . . Map (db m108052) HM
22Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — McCord House and ShopBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
“McCord’s Corner” contributed much to Baker City history. S. (Syrenus) B. McCord was the first mayor of Baker City. City residents elected him to four terms, and he also served several terms as county treasurer. In 1873, McCord . . . Map (db m108209) HM
23Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Miller Apartment BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
This building was the location in the 1920s of the Lew Brothers Tire Co., which later moved to Bridge Street. After the tire company relocated, the building was purchased by Glenn Miller, owner of Miller’s Lunch in the adjacent building to the east. . . . Map (db m108097) HM
24Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Miller's Lunch BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
This stucco-over-clay block building was constructed in 1923 as a "temporary" structure after a fire destroyed another building on the site. A block store first occupied the building, then an ice cream parlor. Glenn Miller, a local candy-maker, . . . Map (db m108162) HM
25Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Mint-Fox BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
The Mint-Fox Building was constructed as two adjoining structures, the south half in 1888, the north in 1889. The buildings were erected by A.A. Houston, a local builder. Houston first rented the south building to two miners, Lorenzo Durkee and . . . Map (db m108061) HM
26Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Old Oregon Trail1843
Dedicated to the memory of the intrepid pioneers who blazed the way over the Old Oregon Trail with the first covered wagons in 1843 and won an empire for the United States. Erected by the American Legion July 4, 1925 Map (db m108048) HM
27Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Old Post OfficeHistoric Oregon Trail — Established 1874 —
The Old Post Office building served as Baker City’s post office for 58 years, from completion of construction in 1910 until 1968, when the Post Office relocated to a new Federal Building a block to the south. The building also housed offices of the . . . Map (db m108042) HM
28Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Oregon Trail Memorial1843 - 1943
Map (db m108127) HM
29Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Rogers HotelBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
Baker City at the beginning of the 20th Century was the hub for a vast area of commerce, including mining, agriculture and forest products. Merchandise flowed into the city for distribution to dozens of smaller communities. Likewise, business . . . Map (db m108194) HM
30Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Ruts of the Oregon Trail
Of the 2170 miles of the Oregon Trail, approximately 300 miles of ruts remain. Swales created by thousands of wagon wheels and the trampling of draft animals are deep in some areas, shallow in other places. Much of the trail has disappeared due to . . . Map (db m108130) HM
31Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Shoemaker BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
William Shoemaker, a partner in a Baker City wholesale grocery and grain business, built this building in 1906. Before moving to Baker City, Shoemaker had been in business at Rock Creek, a small community in north Baker Valley. He built and operated . . . Map (db m108103) HM
32Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — The Lone Tree of the Oregon Trail
Early Oregon Trail emigrants crested the south flank of Flagstaff Hill and, with the Blue Mountains looming to the west, saw a solitary tree in the valley below. Called l’arbre seul (the lone tree) by French-Canadian fur trappers, this large . . . Map (db m108122) HM
33Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — The Lure of GoldOregon Trail — Oregon History —
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 . . . Map (db m108128) HM
34Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — The Masonic TempleBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
In 1900, after a fire had destroyed a former wood frame hall, the Baker City Masonic Lodge erected a new brick temple. The lodge hall occupied the second floor. The first floor originally was leased to the E.P. Voruz & Co. Home Furnishing Store . . . Map (db m108081) HM
35Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — The Oregon TrailRoute of Wagon Trains — from 1843 to the 1860's —
Wagons and cattle of the Great Migration, led by Marcus Whitman in 1843, descended Sept. 25 into Lone Pine valley. After nearly a month of travel over the hot dry Snake river plains from Fort Hall near Pocatello, Idaho, the cool climate and lush . . . Map (db m108157) HM
36Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — The Smoke ShopBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
This building, constructed in the 1890s, was the location of the Smoke Shop for approximately 50 years. The Smoke Shop was a typical men’s gathering place of the period, offering tobacco, beverages, billiards and card games. The first business . . . Map (db m108035) HM
37Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — The Telephone ExchangeBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
Hand-cranked telephones first rang in Baker City in 1889. Not until 1898, however, did a company succeed in establishing 24-hour, central exchange service. When inaugurated, the system had 40 subscribers and one operator on duty. The first . . . Map (db m108195) HM
38Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — The Wagon Encampment
A moveable community for four to six months along the trail… the wagon encampment typically grouped into a circle, forming a temporary corral. Around the circle, tents and bedrolls provided the shelter for exhausted pioneers. A few guards kept an . . . Map (db m199177) HM
39Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Walker BlockBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
This property, which consists of parts of two adjacent structures built in the 1880s, was the location of many Baker City businesses over the years. One of the first was Basche-Sage Hardware Co., which was to grow into one of the Northwest’s largest . . . Map (db m108039) HM
40Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — Weller-Henry Building
A fire that started in a billiard hall destroyed all the structures on this block in 1886. Several property owners chose to rebuild, and four adjoining brick buildings were constructed the following year. This building was constructed for Messrs. . . . Map (db m108050) HM
41Oregon (Baker County), Baker City — YMCA BuildingBaker City Historic District — Established 1874 —
A committee of civic-minded Baker City residents began meeting in 1911 to organize a fund-raising campaign to build a Young Men’s Christian Association building. The committee soon had secured pledges of more than $30,000. Plans for the . . . Map (db m108098) HM
42Oregon (Baker County), Durkee — DurkeeHistoric Oregon Trail
This spot was famous in early days as Express Ranch an important relay station on the Umatilla-Boise Basin stage and freight route. It was also a favorite camping place for emigrants and teamsters.Map (db m108121) HM
43Oregon (Baker County), Granite — Ah Hee DiggingsA Job of Mythical Proportions
Center Panel: These Chinese Miners Must Have Felt Like Sysyphus Pushing a Large Rock Uphill Forever, as in Greek Mythology. The backbreaking labor of stacking and re-stacking sixteen acres of rocks here at the Ah Hee . . . Map (db m106776) HM
44Oregon (Baker County), Granite — Red Boy Mine
In the early 1880s, the Red Boy Vein was located and claimed by Daniel Pinson, a Cherokee Indian. The claim did not pan enough free gold to work without a mill. His only legacy is the mine's name. In 1886 it became a paying proposition when . . . Map (db m106767) HM
45Oregon (Baker County), Granite — The Fremont Powerhouse Historic DistrictHistory written by nature and people
Natural landforms gave local settlers an opportunity to shape history. As you explore the remains of the gold rush era, consider the partnership of people and nature. A lake the ice forgot When the Ice Age glaciers melted, they left . . . Map (db m106762) HM
46Oregon (Baker County), Haines — "The 1880's Park" in Haines
Here cattlemen loaded herds into boxcars bound for Portland; while cowboys and rustlers haunted saloons. Railhead warehouses of the 1880's were town down in the 1990's and with salvaged materials the park project began. With foresight and . . . Map (db m111276) HM
47Oregon (Baker County), Haines — Baker Valley Rest Area Oregon Trail Kiosk
(Six panels dealing with the Baker Valley portion of the Oregon Trail are found beneath this kiosk) Permanent Settlers In 1861, Henry Griffin, a prospector from California discovered gold eight miles southwest of the present . . . Map (db m111284) HM
48Oregon (Baker County), Haines — Cattle Drives
After the close of the Sioux and Piute Indian wars the ranchers of Wyoming and Montana, discouraged in their attempts to fatten the Texas longhorn, turned to Oregon for their cattle. During the spring cattlemen and their cowboys arrived daily from . . . Map (db m113516) HM
49Oregon (Baker County), Haines — Chandler Cabin
The first cabin known to have been built in Baker Co. in 1861. Moved from it's original site five miles south in 1993. Disassembled and reconstructed to depict the life of the Oregon Trail Pioneers upon settling in the valley. Donated to the . . . Map (db m111278) HM
50Oregon (Baker County), Huntington — Farewell BendHistoric Oregon Trail
The last camp on the weary journey across the Snake River plains. Here the Oregon Trail left the Snake River and wound overland to the Columbia. Here camped Wilson Price Hunt, December 23, 1811; Capt. Bonneville, January 10, 1834; Nathaniel J. . . . Map (db m107217) HM
51Oregon (Baker County), Huntington — Farewell Bend Oregon Trail Kiosk
(The Farewell Bend Oregon Trail kiosk houses seven panels which deal with the trials and tribulations on this arid portion of the Oregon Trail.) "Pathway to the "Garden of the World" Excitement filled the air May 22, . . . Map (db m107276) HM
52Oregon (Baker County), Huntington — Remnants of the Oregon Trail
From Alkali Springs, called by many pioneers Sulphur Springs, the emigrants traveled on to Birch Creek, which offered much needed water and grass for their livestock. First named "Riviere aux Bouleaux" by French-Canadian fur trappers, here travelers . . . Map (db m107212) HM
53Oregon (Baker County), Huntington — The Last Spike
To reach Oregon, Union Pacific Railroad organized the Oregon Short Line Railway Co. in 1881 and built from Wyoming westward across Idaho in the same year. Oregon Railway & Navigation Co. was building eastward from Portland. Tracks of the two . . . Map (db m107282) HM
54Oregon (Baker County), Huntington — Van Ornum Massacre
In October 1860 the Van Ornum Party, survivors of the Utter Disaster, reached Farewell Bend. Here they again encountered Indians. On September 9 & 10, in Idaho, the Elijah P. Utter wagon train suffered a two-day attack by Indians in which 11 . . . Map (db m107219) HM
55Oregon (Baker County), Huntington — Van Ornum Wagon Train Massacre
By October 1860 the Van Ornum party reached Farewell Bend. They were survivors of the Elijah P. Utter wagon train that was attacked by Indians on September 9 and 10, just west of Castle Butte in Owyhee County, Idaho. The survivors had escaped the . . . Map (db m107220) HM
56Oregon (Baker County), Huntington — Van Ornum Wagon Train Massacre
By October 1860 the Van Ornum party reached Farewell Bend. They were survivors of the Elijah P. Utter wagon train that was attacked by Indians on September 9 and 10, just west of Castle Butte in Owyhee County, Idaho. The survivors had escaped the . . . Map (db m107292) HM
57Oregon (Baker County), Sumpter — A Golden HistorySumpter Valley Dredge
Welcome to the historic world of Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area! Here you will find one of the largest gold dredges in the United States. There are many ways to learn about the dredge and the people who worked it, from tours to . . . Map (db m106794) HM
58Oregon (Baker County), Sumpter — A Tale of the TailingsNatural Recovery
As you drove here, you probably saw long rows of rocks all over the valley. These are tailings - topsoil , riverbed rock, and bedrock, left behind by 40 years of dredging. Because of the dredges' systematic destruction, the original meadow and . . . Map (db m111243) HM
59Oregon (Baker County), Sumpter — A Working DredgeThe Ultimate Gold Mining Machine
The dredge is a huge but simple machine for mining an ancient river bed for gold. It is an expensive, powerful improvement on the shovel and rocker box. Miners used to call the dredge a "goose"---and for good reason. The dredge is "fed" at the . . . Map (db m106890) HM
60Oregon (Baker County), Sumpter — Anchoring the DredgeThe Biggest Spud You Ever Saw
As you look at the tailings in an aerial photograph or along the road, you'll see that they're played out in neat lines. Why are they straight? Because the dredge had an "anchor" to keep it going forward in a line, rather than wandering over the . . . Map (db m111245) HM
61Oregon (Baker County), Sumpter — Floating in its own pondMoving the dredge
The dredge floated in about nine feet of water- but it could move anywhere it wanted in the valley because it took its pond with it. Hard to imagine, isn't it? It worked because the dredge dug a pond for itself to float in as it moved -- . . . Map (db m106871) HM
62Oregon (Baker County), Sumpter — Site of Bank of SumpterSumpter, Oregon
Bank was established in 1899 with a capital stock of $10,000.00. The first officers were A.P. Goss, President and A.H. Goss, Cashier. The bank was destroyed by fire on August 13, 1917 and the vault is all that remains.Map (db m111241) HM
63Oregon (Baker County), Sumpter — Sumpter, Oregon
The bustling boom town of Sumpter stretched from here westward to Powder River at the peak of the mining boom. The mining camp was named for Fort Sumter, South Carolina, by five ex-Confederate soldiers who discovered gold near here in 1862. . . . Map (db m112914) HM
64Oregon (Baker County), Weatherby — Weatherby Oregon Trail Kiosk
(Six panels dealing with the Burnt River portion of the Oregon Trail are found beneath this kiosk) Dear Little Willie Emigration on the Oregon Trail peaked in 1852 with 10,000 would-be Oregonians. Poor sanitation and . . . Map (db m108110) HM
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Dec. 8, 2022