Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891 | View Entire Issue (April 1, 1885)
THE WEST -SHORE;
tains. It is about twenty-five miles wide, and extend
the full length of the county. It supports large forests
ot timber, inoluding fir, pine, spruce and tamarack.
Along the larger streams are narrow valleys, where the
soil is exceedingly fertile, and where wild redtop and
several other grasses grow, affording exoollont hay and
pasturage for live stock. Many places in the mountains
are susceptible of cultivation, yet but fow sottlomohts
have been made. In the summer time sheep borders and
stockmen resort to this region with their stock, for here
they find valuable pasturage for Bheop, horses and cattle,
' East of the Blue Mountains is Graude Iionde Valley,
a ciroular grassy plain, thirty miles in diameter. It is
one of the most fertile valleys on the Pacific Slope, well
watered, and very productive of fruit, grain, vegetables
i and hay. Wheat often yields from forty to sixty bushols
to the aore, and oats and barley from sixty to eighty.
Grande Bonde Eiver flows in from the Blue Mountains
and follows an exceedingly crooked channol through the
valley. There are many smaller streams running down
from the mountains, and along the foothills copious
springs break forth, thus affording an abundance of
water, whioh converts much of the valley into a natural
meadow. Timber is conveniently near in the surround
ing mountains. The climate ia subject to greater ex
tremes than that of Umatilla County, west of the Blue
Mountains, though the winters are not extremoly sovore.
Snow seldom lies on the ground more than three weeks,
and, as a goneral thing, cattle remain out all winter, only
occasionally requiring core or footling at any time.
Though there is considerable agriculture, stock raising
and dairying are the leading industries. Thousands of
cattle, sheep and hogs are raised, the cattle grazing on
the fine grass of the rolling hills ami up tho mountain
sides, and the sheep in the mountain valleys in summer
and the lower valleys in winter.
The Eagle Creek Mountains are very rugged, and
valuable only for timber and grazing, so far as their sur
face is concerned, but they are known to coutain gold,
silver and copper quartz ledges, which have yet to be
sufficiently developed to ascertain their true value.
A section of the county as yet but thinly settled is tho
beautiful Wallowa Valley. The valley projmr is some
forty miles long and about twenty wide, including the
arable foothills. It is occupied chiefly by stockmon, and
is for the most part unfenoed, though there are a number
of fine farms, gardens and orchards. In gonerul it is a
high, rolling country, with a colder climate than any other
portion of Union County, excepting, of courso, tho moun
tainous regions. It is on excellent stock country, and
the inhabitants are largely occupied in stock raising.
The hardiest vegetables are grown, and various kinds of
grain in most localities mature and rien, but often more
or less injured by frosts. Although the country has been
settling up very rapidly during the last three years, there
is yet room for many thousand immigrants.
Another locality is the great Iraimha Canyon. It is
best described as a huge crack in the surface of the earth.
The bed of the canyon is about 1,500 feet lower than the
Wnllowa Valley lUiJ ILo Lulu ItinilB. wliiuil lid mi ttitlinr
side of it A clear Btroam of water runs swiftly through
it, ami in many places thore are small tracts of very fer
tile soil. Tho olimato is semi-tropical, and the cactus
grows in abundance. Sevoral families have taken up
their homos thore, and have found the soil and climate
well adapted to yie culture of grapes, poaches and many
oinor varieties of tomlor fruits. 8now seldom falls' in
this canyon, and stock fatten upon tho green bunch grass
which ouinea and matures More tha snow is fairly off of
tho high lands adjacent Tho Imnaha will, in the near
luturo, be notod for its delunous fruits and oorlv vomita.
bios. To tho east and north of Wallowa Valley lies a
bolt ot oiwii, rolling hills similar to the colobratod wheat
lands at the wontem base of tho Uluo Mountains. This
bolt is forty miles long and alnrnt twelve wide, fully one.
ii ii ... - . .
tniru Doing good arable land, and nearly all of it Bubjuet
to location under the laud laws. ' ' '
There are several small valleys in the county. One of
those, Indian Valley, situated north of Grande Rondo
Valloy, is quite thickly settled, and is a rich lrrnin urn.'
dueing section. Pino Valloy is a very beautiful placo,
nosuing nign up in tlio roughest part of tho Eaglo Crook
Mountains, vory much isolated, but oontaiuiuir nt iirnwml
about one hundred families. Eaglo Valloy and Lower
Powder Itivor, in tho southeastern part of tho county, are
places occupied by but a few pooplo, who aro engaged in
goia mining ami slock raising. Korth Towdor is a new
plooe, which promises to Imksoiiio an important railroad
depot It is suportod by a large farming community
whioh has settled along the valleys of Wolf Creek, North
Powder River and Clover Crook. Thore is room In thi
vicinity for many families to find iwhmI homos. Tho Biu
n 1 . . i . i
irooii oouniry, in wniun Is tho little community of James,
town, is also a growing one, and offers nood opportunities
Bunch grass ranges border tho valleys on all sidoa,
makinff the county one of tho liest stoek ridi lis mi tlm
Coast More than one-half of tho farming lauds aro yet
open to settlement under the homestead and pre-emption
laws. Saw mills to cut tho heavy timlwr of the inoun
tains, and grist mills to grind tho wheat of the valleys,
already exist The Baker City Branch of tho O. It k N.
Co. posses through Grande Iionde Valloy, and stock,
grain, butter, choose, etc., can lo shiped to market
either east or west
Union is the comity seat ami largest town, having a
population of H00. It is situated in tho southern end of
Grande Rondo Valley, and has good water power. A
large flouring mill, furniture factory, wish and door fac
tory, tannery, brewery, soda water factory and planing
mill constitute iU industries. La Grande, on tlm w
side of tha valley, has a population of 000, and contains
two saw and planing nulls, soap factory, furniture foe.
tory, flouring mill and United States bind Office, and
will soon have railroad machine shops. Island City, on
the river, has tWO people, a largo flouring mill and a
planing mill. Oro Doll, at the entrance to Grande Itondn
Canyon, has a flouring mill and pinning mill. Many