Written in 1898
The chief towns in Baker
county all tributary to Baker City commercially, financially and socially, are
Sumpter, Huntington, Bourne, Haines and Bridgeport. Sumpter and Huntington the
most important and populous, have not unreasonable hopes of becoming of
sufficient commercial and social importance to be soon classed among the quite
noteworthy places In the great state of Oregon.
Sumpter in the past year has doubles her population, now having 800 very wide
awake inhabitants. The town is almost due west of Baker City, and daily
passenger, freight and logging or lumbering trains run to and from the
metropolis over the 30 miles of main track of the Sumpter Valley Railway. Within
a radius of 15 miles of Sumpter, amid the great golden and timber-bearing
mountains, there are numerous producing mines with many a 1000-pound stamp
beating in thunderous tones upon rich quartz. Among some of these noteworthy
mines are the Bonanza, yielding $300,000 or more annually; the Eureka and
Excelsior, with about the same output; the Columbia and the North Pole, whose
combined output yearly runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars; the Don
Juan, Red Boy and other future bonanzas.
Sumpter has well-stocked stores, good schools and hotels, a 50x100 opera house,
and efficient water and electric systems. This terminal city has a growing
future and enjoys a wide trade extending into the mining, stock and lumbering
sections. The people are of a whole-souled class, and justly proud of their
rapidly upbullding little city, whose interests are published graphically to the
world by the Sumpter News, a live weekly newspaper, having power presses and
ably edited by J. Nat. Hudson.
Huntington is a growing town of 750 inhabitants, good brick business structures,
handsome churches, schools and residences. The town is 50 miles from Baker City,
and is the terminus of the Oregon Hallway and Navigation Company's railway, and
the Oregon Short Line Railway, being the gateway city to welcome to Oregon the
travelers from Eastern states. Huntington has several excellent mercantile
establishments, the largest being that of the Oregon Commercial Company, of
which Major J. H. Aitkin is the brainy manager, and which does an
immense wholesale and commission trade, receiving goods by the carload, and,
recently, a full trainload of sixteen cars from Portland. Huntington is about
sixty miles from the famous copper mines of the Seven Devils, in Idaho, and the
steamer Mabel navigates the Snake river from the city to the landing 18
miles from the heart of as rich a copper-stocked region as there is on the
globe. Huntington yearly ships thousands of head of cattle, sheep and horses
which are brought to the city from as far distant as 200 to 300 miles. The
Huntington Herald is an up-to-date weekly newspaper.
Bourne is a mining town about 40 miles westward of Baker City, and near Sumpter,
being in connection with the outside world by daily stages to Sumpter, and can
chat with other points over a long distance telephone line, through Sumpter to
Baker City and elsewhere. The town has a good hotel and two well-stocked stores.
Haines Is on the O. R. & N. Railway, 9 miles north of Baker City, and has 200
inhabitants, good schools, churches and store. Being located in the center of a
fine stock and farming country the town has a hopeful future.
Bridgeport is a village on Burnt river about 25 miles due south of Baker City,
and Is reached by daily stages. It is a trading point for one of the best
stock-raising sections in the state.
mining In the golden sands of Snake river, a section which will prove a rich
market for Baker county's farm products, is beginning to assume importance. Many
dredger boats are built or projected, and actual mining has proven that for
hundreds of miles the gravel bars of the river will yield from 50 cents to $10
per cubic yard in gold. Midas bar alone, scarcely over 100 miles southeast et
Baker City, has been estimated by scientific and practical mining experts to
contain, the vast amount of $45,000,000 in fine gold.
Eastern Oregon Gold Fields
Baker County Towns
Oregon Genealogy Records
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