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15 Awesome And Fun Facts About Mitchell, Oregon, United States

Mitchell is a city in Wheeler County, Oregon, United States. Take a look below for 15 awesome and fun facts about Mitchell, Oregon, United States.

1. The population was 130 at the 2010 census.

2. It was founded in 1873 and was named after John H. Mitchell, a politician.

3. The Painted Hills unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is about 9 miles (14 km) northwest of Mitchell. Mitchell School, a public school with an enrollment of about 70 students, is in Mitchell.

4. At the request of William “Brawdie” Johnson, a blacksmith, a post office was established at Mitchell in 1873.

5. Johnson, the first postmaster, suggested the name Mitchell after John Hipple Mitchell, a U.S. Senator from Oregon. Senator Mitchell held the office in 1873−79, 1885−97, and 1901−05. Platted in 1885, the community was incorporated in 1893.

6. In 1872 the first school in Wheeler County was established near Mitchell, and in 1874 it was relocated to the town itself.

7. Over the next two decades, Mitchell grew to include a store, assay office, two churches, two hotels, livery stable, three houses of ill-repute (one of which is still standing), five saloons, a flour mill, a livery stable, and an apothecary. There were also two newspapers, The Sentinel and The News.

8. The business district, including the saloons, grew up along Bridge Creek and became known locally as “Tiger Town”.

9. The church and most of the city’s homes were built at higher elevation on a bench overlooking the creek; this part of town was known locally as “Piety Hill”. About half the town was destroyed by fire in 1899, but it was later rebuilt.

10. Since its founding, Mitchell has experienced three catastrophic flash floods along Bridge Creek, which runs through the center of the city. Flooding caused great damage to the city in 1884 and 1904.

11. The third flood occurred on July 13, 1956, shortly after an intense thunderstorm in the hills to the south. The creek is usually less than 12 inches (30 cm) deep during July.

12. Minutes after the thunderstorm a 50-foot (15 m) wall of water surged into Mitchell destroying or heavily damaging 20 buildings in the city and several bridges over the creek.

13. Eight people were killed including a family of four who were swept away and never recovered. An observer from the United States Geological Survey estimated that about 4 inches (10 cm) of rain had fallen in about 50 minutes at the storm’s center.

14. Total damage from the flood, which also caused extensive damage to crops and roads in a nearby valley, was $709,000.

15. In 2018, a geologist from the University of Oregon found the toe of a plant-eating dinosaur near Mitchell, where the Pacific Ocean coast lay 100 million years ago. This discovery has been billed as the first dinosaur fossil found in Oregon. A competing claim involves fragments of a hadrosaur or duck-billed dinosaur found in the Otter Point Formation near the mouth of the Rogue River.

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