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Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
North Powder
Union County, Oregon


Page Contents for North Powder, Oregon

Statistics & Facts


History & History-related items

City Attractions


Statistics & Facts

The Oregon state capital is Salem.
The population of North Powder is approximately 448 (1990), 439 (2010).
The approximate number of families is 206 (1990), 184 (2010).
The amount of land area in North Powder is 1.589 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0 sq kilometers.
The distance from North Powder to Washington DC is 2202 miles.
The distance to the Oregon state capital is 260 miles. (as the crow flies)
North Powder is positioned 45.03 degrees north of the equator and 117.91 degrees west of the prime meridian.


North Powder, Oregon, is located south and east of the Grande Ronde Valley in the Powder Valley, which is reached bytaking I-84 through Ladd Canyon toward Baker City. North Powder is located right on the Oregon Trail, and has the uniquedistinction of having the only post office located on the Oregon Trail. Major industries are timber and agriculture.
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History & History Related Items

Lewis and Clark showed the Powder River on their map under the name, "Port-pel-lah", an indian name that means "powdery soil." In 1811, the Astor party camped near North Powder. Donald McKenzie is said to have named the river.

Madam Dorion, wife of Pierre Dorion, a guide to the Astor party, gave birth to the first white child born west of the Rockies somewhere near North Powder.

In 1851, Ruben Riggs settled on the North Powder River. It has been the belief that he had the first homesteader's cabin and sawmill in the area.During the great migration of the Oregon Trail, North Powder was a resting place for the pioneers. In 1862-63, the migration to the Powder River mines established it as a community.

Professor James DeMoss established a stage station in 1862. He also helped establish the first post office on October 2, 1868 with Joseph Austin as the first postmaster. By 1863, stock ranches were taken up and a livestock community developed.

Nicholas Tarter built a mill in 1872, the first industry in North Powder. It was operated by the power of a wooden turbine wheel with iron buckets.

By 1878, the only building still standing on the Chris Johnson place was the old mill and a house where the Hudelson's warehouse later stood.

Andrew Lun, who had a lumber business for six years in North Powder, bought a farm and constructed an artificial lake which produced 8,000 to 15,000 tons of ice which was then loaded on railroad cars and shipped. He sold his ice plant, that once burned down and he rebuilt, to the Pacific Fruit and Express Company, who operated it until 1937 when a lighting strike burned it to the ground.

North Powder was incorporated in 1902. By that time there were twelve business, three churches, schools and a newspaper called the Powder Valley Echo.
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Any resident can tell you how to find Pilcher Creek Reservoir, Wolf Creek Reservoir of Thief Valley Reservoir, and can tellyou at which the rainbow trout are biting best. The trout caught in this area can measure up to 18 inches.
The Anthony Lakes Ski area is located just 19 miles from this community, which is a recreational paradise with an abundance of fishing, camping, skiing, and snowmobiling possibilities.
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North Powder City Government

The community has an administrator and a mayor/city council form of government.
City offices may be reached by writing to: City Administrator, P.O. Box 309, North Powder, OR 97867, Phone: (541) 898-2185 (Monday - Friday till noon)

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