General Information




County Seat: 1995 3rd St. Baker City, OR 97814
Phone: (541)523-8200
Fax: (541)523-8340
Established: September 22, 1862

Elevation: 3443'
Latitude: 44.820112
Longitude: -117.752996
Population: 16,082
Land Area (square miles): 3,068.12
Average Temperatures: January 34 degrees, July 85 degrees
Annual Precipitation: 10.63''

Assessed Value:$1,059,354,869
Real Market Value: $1,354,508,658

Economy: Agriculture, forest products, manufacturing and recreation
Interesting Facts of Baker County

The first mineable mineral was discovered October 23, 1861, by Henry Griffin. That material was a gold nugget and the place was alter named "Griffin Gulch" in honor of the discoverer.

In the early spring of 1926 a young man named Lloyd Carter who was working on a highway crew from Haines, saw "smoke" smoke rising from a nearby field. Investigating he found two ill-fated sanitoriums. On July 4, 1926, the geothermally heated pool officially became a popular recreation area, with camping facilities available for some time.


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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