Baker County Library District (Oregon) Digital Archive of HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS
Gallery #1--BAKER CITY--2,197 photographs.
Gallery #2--SMALL TOWNS & GHOST TOWNS--1,101 photographs.
Gallery #3--MINES--1,100 photographs.
Gallery #4--441 total photographs:TRANSPORTATION (336) & FOREST INDUSTRY (105)
Gallery #5--2,103 total photographs: PEOPLE (1,297), SCHOOLS (544), ORGANIZATIONS (171), and CHURCHES (91)
Gallery #6--1,211 Total photographs: SCENIC (682), AGRICULTURE (226), MILITARY (114), FIRE DEPARTMENT (91), SPORTS (83), MUSIC (15)
HISTORY BACKGROUND: Baker County is located in northeastern Oregon bounded on the east by Snake River and Idaho. When wagon trains started rolling west on the Oregon Trail in 1843, they met their first significant natural obstacle upon entering Burnt River Canyon at Baker County's southeastern corner. It was there they said goodbye to Snake River at Farewell Bend and started up narrow Burnt River Canyon, whose walls forced the exhausted pioneers and their animals into frequent crossings of the rocky river bottom or up onto the steep hillside. Many died in the canyon, animals from starvation and exhaustion, people from disease and accidents. Upon leaving Burnt River northwest of Durkee, Oregon, the travelers crossed a sagebrush-covered ridge from the top of which they got their first glimpse of lush Baker Valley and the best grass for their animals since leaving Missouri. For years travelers passed through Baker County on their way to the Willamette Valley in western Oregon leaving the area east of the Cascade Mountains virtually unsettled. That changed after the October 1861 discovery of gold near the south end of Powder Valley. By the end of the summer the area's population grew from nothing to over 4,000, prompting the Oregon legislature in the fall of 1862 to create Baker County, named for Oregon's first senator, Edward Dickinson Baker, who had been killed in 1861 in one of the first battles of the Civil War, the only member of Congress to die in that struggle.
Dedicated to the memory of Pearl Hayden Jones, Grace Lewis, Dorothy York, Laura Hayse, & Linea Adams, four volunteers who worked on this photo collection for many years.