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Facts and History

General Information


Baker County's first school was formed in 1865 and held in the kitchen of a local house.
In the early 1970's, the Crossroads Creative and Permoring Arts Center was created when The American Association of University Woman outgrew the small art group's capacity because it became so successful.
One night in the year 1862, the miners on Rock Creek and vicinity were awakend by a terrible rumbeling sound. Thinking it was an earthquake they returned to bed, but upon rising the next morning they discovered the peak of Hunt Mountain had slid into Rock Creek. This is known as the Rock Creek Slide. The massive scar is still visible today.

A major boost for Baker City's fortunes occured on August 19,1884, when the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company arrived in Baker City. The railroad joined the Union Pacific at Huntington, giving Baker City direct Rail service to the East and West.

The cannon presently in the east lawn of the county courthouse courtyard was believed to be from the Imperial Japanese Army. After a Halloween prank in which the cannon was used to fire buckets of nails, chains and other assorted metel junk into the roof of a nearby church, county authorities sealed the barrell and firing pin to prevent future use of the cannon.

The Powder Basin compromises more than 2 million acres, including almost all of Baker County and a small part of Union County.

Baker County retains memories of the Chinese who were active here in the gold mining days. The Chinese Association headquarters remained in Baker City until the early 1950's.

At the turn of the century, Baker City was known as the "Queen City of the Inland Emplire", and boasted a population of approximately 6700, larger than Spokane or Boise City at the time.

Courtesy of The History of Baker County Published by Baker County Historical Society

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