Welcome To Canyon City Historical

Welcome To Canyon City Historical (HM1TOL)

Location: Canyon City, OR 97820 Grant County
Country: United States of America

N 44° 23.326', W 118° 56.94'

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Gold Discovered Here In 1862

In June 1862, a company of miners from northern California were heading east over the Strawberry Mountain Range, when one of the men discovered gold on Whiskey Flat, half a mile south of here. Miners from all over the area flocked into the area, and the new settlement quickly became called Canyon City. According to historical records, more than $26 million in gold was taken from Canyon Creek and the nearby mountains during the Gold Rush, 1862-1880.

Tradition says that between 1862-1864 Canyon City had the greatest population of any town in Oregon, with at least 2,500. The town boasted numerous, mercantiles, blacksmiths, liveries, a red light district and a Chinese district, and it became the seat of Grant County in 1864. In the 1870's and 1880's Canyon City was well-known as a main stop along the route from points east to the Dalles. Mules, oxen, and horses pulled heavy freight wagons laden with goods, passengers, emigrants, and gold. Canyon City was also a major stagestop for the stagecoach service which ran from Austin Junction to Burns in the 1870's.

In 1870, a fire destroyed much of the early town including the first courthouse. In the late 1870's Indian wars raged throughout Grant County and in 1885 Canyon City's Chinatown burned to the ground. In 1896 a severe flash flood destroyed much of the town. In 1898
and 1937 the community was once again ravished by fire. One of the earliest churches, St. Thomas Episcopal (built in 1876) still stands near the center of town, as does the old Sel's Brewery, a former saloon and brewery which operated in the late 1800s. The yellow former schoolhouse on Rebel Hill marks where early settlers, loyal to the Union, tore down a Confederate flag erected by sympathizers to the South during the Civil War. The Old '62 Hall on the South edge of town hosted decades of rowdy dances and community celebrations.

At the site of this park, stood the Elkhorn Hotel, a jewel in its own day. Here in the heart of Grant County, Canyon City's colorful past happened just yesterday, and if one listens quietly one may hear the steady plink-plunking of miners' picks on the hillsides.

The sign was made possible by a grant from the Oregon Economic Development Department, 1995.
Year Placed1995
Placed ByOregon Economic Development Department
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, August 12th, 2016 at 9:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11T E 344763 N 4916901
Decimal Degrees44.38876667, -118.94900000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 23.326', W 118° 56.94'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 23' 19.56" N, 118° 56' 56.4" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)541
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 110-198 Washington St, Canyon City OR 97820, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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