Hermiston is a city in Umatilla County, Oregon, United States. Its population of 19,354 makes it the largest city in Eastern Oregon. Take a look below for 15 amazing and interesting facts about Hermiston, Oregon, United States.
1. Hermiston is the largest, and fastest-growing, city in the Hermiston-Pendleton Micropolitan Statistical Area, the eighth largest Core Based Statistical Area in Oregon with a combined population of 92,261 at the 2020 census.
2. Hermiston sits near the junction of I-82 and I-84, and is 7 miles south of the Columbia River, Lake Wallula, and the McNary Dam.
3. The Hermiston area has become a hub for logistics and data center activity due to the proximity of the I-82 and I-84 interchange, Pacific Northwest fiber optic backbone, and low power costs.
4. The city is also known for its watermelons, which are part of its branding.
5. The historic inhabitants of the area were the indigenous Umatilla, Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Columbia Indians, descendants of peoples who lived in this area for thousands of years.
6. The earliest European settlers established a mission near Pendleton in 1847.
7. The territorial government organized Umatilla County in 1862 from the larger Wasco County.
8. On July 10, 1907, the town of Hermiston was incorporated. Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Weir of Hermiston inspired the name.
9. Hermiston serves as the retail and services center for much of western Umatilla County, as well as Morrow County and parts of Gilliam county. Hermiston’s Local Trade Area, which describes the area where people will travel to purchase items on a weekly basis, stretches from Pendleton on the East, the Columbia River to the North, Heppner to the South, and Gilliam County to the West.
10. There were 46,000 people living within Hermiston’s Local Trade Area based on 2010 U.S. Census data. Major national chain retailers in Hermiston include Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Big Lots, Sears, AutoZone, Big 5 Sporting Goods and Harbor Freight, among many others.
11. The community also has Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, and Subaru dealerships. Despite a relatively robust local retail & services market, Hermiston experiences significant retail sales leakage to the Tri-Cities for items purchased on less than a weekly basis.
12. The Tri-Cities, located approximately 30 minutes north of Hermiston in Washington, had a metro-area population of 275,740 as of April 1, 2014, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Washington.
13. The City of Hermiston Parks Department maintains 10 parks, 13 landscape areas, and 100-plus acres for the enjoyment of the community. In addition to the developed parks, the Department also has 50 additional acres planned for future development. Recent major enhancements include the additions of Riverfront Park, the Oxbow Trail, and continual additions to the Hermiston Family Aquatic Center. Riverfront Park features 16 acres of open grassy areas alongside the Umatilla River, as well as nearly a mile of paved walking paths, with picnic shelters, restrooms, and fishing access.
14. A 1.8-mile paved walking path, named the Oxbow Trail, was added in 2015 to connect Riverfront Park with the north side of town near Good Shepherd Medical Center. The Trail winds through protected wetland area for nearly the entirety of its length and also connects to Harrison Park.
15. Hermiston is on the La Grande Subdivision of the Union Pacific Railroad, constructed originally through the area in the 1870s as the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company. Railroad facilities include the Hinkle Locomotive Service and Repair Facility and “hump yard” located just outside the city.